Eileen's Hope

Disclaimer: I own no part of the Harry Potter universe.

A/N This was Formerly titled "Hope, Dream and Fears" and has been tweaked slightly to be more in line with the HBP canon.

The insistent cry of a newborn yanked Eileen Snape from her first real bit of sleep since her son had been born two weeks ago. Next to her, her husband, Tobias, snorted and grumbled in his sleep. Quietly, she slipped out of the bed, wrapping herself in her dark-blue dressing gown. Once outside the bedroom, she lit her wand, tiptoeing to the other room. The moment she entered the room, she lifted the tiny bundle to her shoulder. The baby's cries reduced to a faint whimper.

The poor, wee lad was soaked! Gently, she changed his bottom, remembering to uncover, then re-cover him, to avoid ending up wet herself. When the task was complete, Eileen vanished the mess and adjusted his little gown. He opened his eyes, locking her in his unusually intent gaze. 'Unnatural' her husband had called it. She herself believed it to be a mark of great intelligence; after all, she had been a Ravenclaw in her school days. She smiled at him, and her heart filled with a love that knew no boundaries. She kissed his tiny nose and smoothed his fuzzy black hair. She cradled him in her arms, his head turning to her as his mouth worked frantically. Little Severus was developing quite an appetite!

She hummed to him softly as she settled in the rocking chair by the window. She winced slightly as he began to eat, smiling as he clutched her finger. He was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. His skin was smooth and resembled fresh milk. His jet black hair was soft, fluffy and thick. He had unusually observant, bright, black eyes that gave her the feeling that he could read her thoughts. Whenever he made eye contact with her she made sure all that was in her thoughts was how wonderful and perfect she thought he was. Eileen loved her tiny son and hoped that his future would be bright. She wanted him to have a happy childhood, to know just how special he was. As he grew up, she hoped that he would be successful in everything that he attempted. Any mistakes that he made she hoped would be learning experiences. She wanted him to find a love that would last his lifetime. Above all, she prayed that he would always have the courage to do what was morally right.

Severus, she had winced at his name when her husband had decided on it. She did not care for the sound of it, so harsh and almost cruel sounding. However, as the loyal wife that she was, she said it was a fine name. In her scant spare time, she had researched the name to see why her husband had chosen it. Only to find that it was the feast day of a saint on the day he was supposed to be born -- January eleventh. Eileen had laughed inwardly when her son arrived two days early, as if to protest the name. Yet, her husband had been determined to keep the name. She feared that it was but the beginning of strife between the two. No matter what she was determined to put her son first.

Eileen sensed the incredible intelligence that her son possessed. She prayed that he would only use it for the greater good of the wizarding world. They needed righteous people in the world now.

From the few ties she still had in the wizarding world, she had heard rumors of a great evil that was rising. It was one of the reasons she left the magical world and married a Muggle. By mixing her pure wizarding blood with a Muggle's, she had hoped that her child would not be magic. But from the moment she first saw her son she new he was a wizard, and one who would possess a great amount of power.

Since her son had been born, she had beseeched the higher powers with all of her heart that her family would be spared. Eileen feared that her father and brother would be tempted by the false glory and power. She would do everything in her abilities to ensure that even if they fell; Severus would remain just and upright.

She looked out the window, watching the falling snow. Dreams of her son's future filled her head. Looking down she noticed that he had fallen asleep, a dribble of milk on his chin. Lifting him to her shoulder, she patted his back, and was rewarded with a hearty burp. The baby squirmed for a moment, before curling up. She rocked him for a few more moments, delighting in the warm weight of him against her shoulder. How she wished that she could just stay here like this, blocking out the rest of the world! With a sigh, she rose gracefully to her feet and placed him in his little bed, tucking the blanket around him. Stroking his downy, black hair one more time, she whispered, "Sleep well, my son, may the God of your father always be with you."

She slipped out of the room to try and squeeze in a few moments of sleep before the demands of the day were upon her once again.

A/N: January 11th is the feast of St. Severus of Alexandria. There is also a St. Severus of Avranches the patron saint of -- you guessed it -- weavers. That feast day is February 1st. Either would be very appropriate for a child born in Spinner's End.