WELL IT TOOK ME… HOW LONG? TOO LONG! ME BAD! THANKS FOR WAITING.

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Harry Potter and Co. belong to Rowling!

Chapter Fifteen. Our Hope!

Harry and Anasstassia apparated at Snape Manor fifteen minutes before the arranged time, she had decided to let Harry figure things out for himself if he didn't trust her enough to take a simple potion then he could just do with out her support. What a way to start out a marriage, she thought. She had conveniently forgotten that she had been daydreaming about widowhood only days before.

Harry really did not want to be rude to Anasstassia but the truth of the matter was that the girl- no his wife rubbed him the wrong way. She was beautiful and well mannered. She had a name and wealth but she was also a snob and liked to have the last word. A part of him was telling him that he was being unfair and childish. A very small part.

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Hermione gave herself one last look in the mirror before she ran downstairs… walk, she told herself…walk! Lady Snape doesn't run. Severus had asked that she dress formally. And after consulting Alessandra of all people, she had decided on a semi formal dress with some jewelry to add ceremony to their get together. Hermione sighed; she had saved her hair for last, the damn curls were not cooperating and time was running out. Panicking she spelled it into place. To her surprise the hair style proved to be exactly what she needed.

Severus looked at the clock it was almost a quarter to the hour. Hermione still hadn't come down but the girl was never late so he really wasn't worried. He straightened his coat one more time and at exactly a quarter till the chimney turned green and a very dissatisfied looking Anasstassia walked through it, a sickly looking Potter followed her seconds later.

"Father!" Anasstassia kissed her Father smiling and stepped aside for husband, the young Wizard shook hands mutely.

"Hermione will be down in a couple of minutes, have a seat." There were no other pleasantries. Neither man wanted to be in the others presence, however they were now family and as such were civil to each other. Alessandra knew this but ignored it and talked to her father imperviously; she would not allow their animosity to hinder her relationship with either one. She was a Snape she hindered others and not the other way around.

Snape talked to her daughter and did not miss the fact the Potter ignored them or better yet Anasstassia to the point of rudeness.

Five minutes later Hermione walked in, she looked beautiful much to Snape's and Harry's surprise, the youth was practically drooling something that did not go unnoticed by Snape or his daughter. Five minutes after that a glowing Alessandra and a guilty looking Remus arrived. It took Severus a whole two seconds to deduce that the werewolf had impregnated his daughter. He bit the inside of his cheek when she announced the most joyous occurrence. Hermione let out a typical womanly squeal of delight and hugged her and Remus. His daughter and Harry did the same; Severus kissed his daughter a second time and then proceeded to fix Remus with a stare that could have withered mandrakes. Remus said nothing and simply sat. Alessandra was oblivious to the stare or chose to ignore them. She was too smart to get in the middle of her husband and her Father.

Remus was not a coward but he knew Severus was seeing red and looked at the clock hoping the night would be a quick one.

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Two and a half hours later the dessert trays were brought in. Remus had given up on the idea of leaving early after their third course. Snape had not spoken a word to him since the meal had begun and Hermione was at her wits ends trying to make her ex-Professor more comfortable.

Alessandra and Anasstassia talked to everyone including their Father…Hermione watched them they were Masters at managing such uncomfortable situations she on the other hand had never felt more inadequate. Harry and the Professor were miserable to say the least and she didn't know what to do about it.

Dinner was finally done and still no word of why the two couples had been invited. Harry had been on the verge of asking but a look from his wife stopped him before he got the words out. Remus wanted to leave he didn't think he could take Seerus cold stare; I mean what did he expect Alessandra was a freaking nymphomaniac!

……………….

Severus knew he should have expected it but the truth of the matter was that he was furious. He loved his daughter and she could have done so much better. If it weren't for the fact that she was a banshee and Lupin's death would do her more harm than good he might have accepted the Minister's offer.

It was finally time for coffee and everyone rose and made their way to the Library where after being served they chatted for a little while before Severus informed them of his meeting with the Minister.

"You're serious Severus?" Remus forgot his uneasiness and looked at his host; he felt there was something he was leaving out.

"Entirely."

"You mean to tell me the Minister wants you to commit murder?" Hermione sat shocked How dare the man think her husband would do such a thing!

"It seems so."

"What did you say Papa?" Annasstassia asked.

"I accepted."

"YOU WHAT!" The room exclaimed in unison.

"I couldn't very well turn him down." Severus was a little annoyed by the group's reaction. Had their part in the war been so sheltered that they would so easily be surprised?

"But he can't force you to do something like that!" Hermione was offended this was not how she thought her married life would be.

"Did he offer anything in return?" Alessandra was quick and to the point.

Severus took his time answering, "Yes… he offered to do away with Lupin."

"He did what?" Alessandra's voice seemed to thunder through out the room.

"ME!" Lupin sputtered to say more but the words didn't come out.

"Father you didn't accept, please tell me you didn't." Anasstassia asked quietly.

"Severus surely you wouldn't." Hermione placed her hand over Severus arm and waited nervously for her husband to reply.

"As tempting as the offer may have been I did not accept." A sigh of relief was released through out the room.

Remus swallowed hard. What kind of world had he fought for? He had been at the Ministries service for the duration of the war and all for what so that Fudge could offer his life on a platter to anyone who could help him with his family problems! Remus leaned his head back and could feel Moony prowling inside begging to be released.

Harry sipped his coffee and sniffled loudly so Fudge had offered Remus's life or death as payment for the murder of another. Fucker! Is that what he had fought for? Damn the man! Damn them all! He'd make Fudge regret his offer!

"Who does he want dead?" Anasstassia asked.

"His future son n law."

"Why?" Hermione knew a lot of people were not happy with their chosen spouses but what could posses the Minister of all people to resort to this!

"He's a Vampire. Lupin will have heard of him, his name is Noah Lothos."

"LOTHOS!" Lupin could not believe it! No wonder the Minister was so desperate!

"Who is he?" Harry had never heard of the Wizard or had forgotten him; he was lousy at remembering names.

"Harry he is the most dangerous Vampire known in the Wizarding world." Alessandra said seething.

"But I thought Vampires were not tolerated."

"They are if you are as powerful as you." Severus pointed out.

"ME!" Harry was stunned. Could it be possible someone like him? "If he's so freaking powerful why didn't he kill Lord Voldemorte. Why didn't he help out?"

"It's not his family's way. The Lothos Family has never really seen it necessary to join the Wizarding World. They are what you call hermits." Sevrus continued raising his cup to his lips.

"Powerful ones brother." Annasstassia added nervously. Things could go very badly for them if this was not handled right.

"Yes very powerful and not only in magic but in wealth and connections." Severus finished.

"How can they have connections? They are Vampires!" Harry didn't understand. Vampires were outcasts! How could he be powerful!

"Many Wizards owe them favors, all sorts not just money but services. No one has proof but it is rumored that they've done away with several top officials in the Ministry."

Hermione bit her lip angrily, she had read the name somewhere but she couldn't remember exactly where. "Severus he actually asked you to kill him."

"No, his words were get rid of a problem and that's where our hope lies."

"Our?" Harry asked rudely.

"HUSBAND!" Anasstssia could not believe it! How could he?

"Harry really!" Hermione was hurt by Harry's words. They were a family, they were in this together!

"What ever happens to one us Husband happens to all of us. Just like father turned the Minister's cruel offer to do away with brother Lupin. So must we now help him, his downfall would be ours."

"Look Wife!" Harry said sarcastically, "If you think that I believe Snape turned down the offer out of the goodness of his heart you've got another thing coming! I'm sure the only reason he didn't do it was because he's more use to him alive than dead." Harry finished pointing at Remus for effect.

Anasstassia inhaled sharply. How dare this child insult her father! How dare he sit in her father's house and act like such a BITCH! She thought miserably.

"YOU CAN BE PART OF THIS FAMILY OR NOT. IT'S YOUR CHOICE" Severus bit out feeling Hermione's hand on his arm trying to somehow hold him back.

"THEN I WANT O-" Harry began but was interrupted.

Remus shouted desperately, " HARRY DON'T DO IT!"

"WHY NOT IT'S WHAT I WANT."

"HARRY IF YOU SAY IT YOU CAN'T TAKE IT BACK." Remus explained looking from Snape to the young Wizard.

"THAT'S WHAT I-"

"You Harry but what about Anastassia? She would not be able to see her Father or us if you do this."

"Of course she can!"

"No I can't, if you say we're no longer…" Anasstasia couldn't bring herself to finish, "then I have to stop seeing them." She whispered weaving a happiness charm to calm her husband.

Harry sighed inwardly, he hated being so mean but part of him couldn't help it. Part of him wanted to say the words. Wanted to have nothing to do with Snape ever again. He shook his head and saw his wife on the verge of tears. Merlin he had made her cry! He thought guiltily.

"All right!" Harry heard himself shouting feeling a terrible load lift from his shoulders. "OUR HOPE!"

Alessandra sighed in relief and stopped moving her own hands but not before her husband noticed. Harry was such a powerful wizard that it had taken the two of them to make him come around.

Severus scrutinized Potter for the first time that night. There was something wrong with the brat, he looked at his daughter and she looked downright miserable. A miserable banshee was not good. As much as he had decided not to interfere he's have to step in. Oh well! The things parents did for their children!

"As I was saying… " Severus continued pointedly, " that may be our hope."

Hermione cleared her throat, and the discussion began in earnest. After hours of talking it was Harry who came up with a viable strategy that might just save them in case something went wrong.

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Thanks for waiting, thanks for reading and thanks for reviewing.