"I have never, ever been so angry in my LIFE!"

The black-haired boy sat with his head bowed, his lip trembling. The Ministry employee that caught them had indignantly delivered them to Mr Diggory and Uncle Harry, although oddly enough he appeared more upset over the possibility of Lily smearing chocolate all over his precious files rather than two boys attempting to read a sealed one.

"You and Cedric deliberately misled Amos, snuck into the Archives, when you promised Professor Potter you'd only take Lily to the cafetaria, you broke into the files! What were you thinking? No, I don't need to know!"

"Albus..." Harry tried to intercede.

"Stay out of it, Professor!" The old man directed a trembling finger in the direction of the bedrooms, "go to your room, Severus! You are grounded for the rest of this term. No outings, no pocket money. I'll determine the rest of your punishment later!"

Severus' head shot up. "That's not fair!" he said, suddenly angry and defiant, "I only wanted to know...because you wouldn't tell me!"

"Be quiet right NOW, young man! Go to your room!"

"Albus!" Harry again tried to reason with the man.

"That's no flying and Quidditch for you either, then, and detention for a month," the Headmaster moved to grab the boy by his arm, but Severus flinched away from him, running to wards the door that led out of the office and to the rest of the castle.

"NOT. FAIR!" he shouted again, before slamming the door close.

Silence reigned for a moment. The boy standing outside, panting, could hear, after some seconds, the voice of his godfather.


"Don't you start," Grandpa warned, voice still furious.

"Or what? You'll ground me too?" Uncle Harry now sounded furious as well, "you ARE unfair, Albus, and you bloody well know it! Yes, they shouldn't have, but they wouldn't have if you'd just TELL him the whole story!"

Severus, unseen on the other side of the door, felt a jolt. So there was a story. He knew there had to be, but no one would even confirm that for him. Then again, Uncle Harry had always seemed in favour of being open with him, even if he couldn't overrule Grandpa.

"It shouldn't matter! He should know that I love him. That ought to be enough."

Uncle Harry sighed. "He knows you love him, although after what you just did, he might doubt it just a little at the moment. He knows we all love him. This is not about that, Albus, it is about that boy wanting to know his origins. That's perfectly normal. The more you refuse to tell him and the more you punish him for wanting to know, the more he will think it's something terrible."

"I..." Grandpa sighed, and suddenly sounded weary. "I can't tell him, Harry. I just can't."

"Then let me, at least to start," So Uncle Harry knew, "Albus, when I was a boy my relatives wouldn't tell me about my parents either. And I desperately wished to know."

"I am not the Dursleys," Grandpa insisted.

"Just now you certainly acted like them," the accusation in Uncle Harry's voice was clear.

"That's not fair," Grandpa said softly after a full minute.

"Oh? How were you acting any different than the time I was six, and asked my aunt to tell me about my mother, and she locked me in my cupboard for three days without food?"

"I love Severus," Grandpa's voice now sounded so broken Severus was tempted to rush back in. Only his anger and frustration held him back, "I will lose him if I tell him..."

"That is your fear talking. Come on, Albus..."

"No, Harry. No. I cannot. I will not. Maybe you are right I was too harsh, and I promise I will reduce his punishment. And then I don't want to hear another word about this unhappy affair."


"Please go, Harry."

Realizing his uncle was about to exit and catch him eavesdropping, Severus quickly made his way to his dorm.


That night, Severus was again summoned to his grandfathers office.

"I was unreasonable," Dumbledore said to the boy standing stiffly before his desk, not making eyecontact but instead staring over the Headmasters right shoulder, "and I certainly should not have mixed consequences at school with those at home. Professor Lovegood has already stated that had I not retracted them, she would have refused to enforce them. So you are not banned from Quidditch, nor do you have detention. You are only grounded the next two weekends."

A brief silence. Dumbledore had expected thankfulness, questions, anything but what he got.

"No, thank you, sir," Severus said politely, "I will keep to the original punishment."

"What? Sev..."

"If you are so determined to keep me from knowing about my parents, I think I should honour that," the boy stated coldly, "so I will keep to this punishment and try everything I can to find out. Accepting your reduction would mean I agree not to know, and I'd rather not...Sir."

With that, Severus turned around and left the office, leaving a stunned and distraught grandfather behind.


Harry, Phoebe and Luna sat in the sunshine, watching Severus weed the pumpkin patch.

"Is it wrong that I feel proud of him, somehow?" Harry asked, "I mean...I know Albus is really hurting, but I can't help but be proud of Severus to take all the unfair punishment as a statement to Albus that he won't stop looking for the truth."

Phoebe sighed. "This is going to come back to bite Albus in the behind one day, if it hasn't already."

"Oh, they'll sort it out, this time," Luna said, making daisy-chain, "even if it will take time. But Albus would do well to just tell the boy what he wants to know."

"He sticks to his punishment, but he keeps to his dorm room, and refuses to stay in his own room with his grandfather," Phoebe was clearly worried, "I think that is what is hurting Albus the most."

"Well, he asked for it," Harry shrugged, "he still thinks he knows best. Let him bear the consequences."

"Normally, I'd agree with you, Harry," Luna said, suddenly practical and down-to-earth, "but it is hurting Severus as well. He is angry with his grandfather, to be sure, but he also loves Albus, and needs to know he is loved. This estrangement is not good for Severus, either."

"He did break into the Archives," Phoebe pointed out.

"To find what Albus won't tell him. Worthy of a lecture and maybe being grounded for a weekend, not the fury Albus unleashed upon him. Albus is afraid, but by acting on that fear he is turning it into a self-fulfilling prophecy. He'll have to make the first step towards reconciliation now. And no, Harry, I don't think you are wrong to feel proud of him. I wouldn't promote a child acting towards his parent in such a way, it is inappropriate, but considering how inappropriate Albus was acting towards him, I think he showed some dignity. He made it clear where he stands on this."

Luna looked at the grim-faced boy. "But make no mistake, right now he is also just a child needing to make things right with his parent."


Two weeks later, Phoebe and Minerva stepped in.

"Enough," Minerva told Severus, "you are getting overworked. Your schoolwork suffers. I am cancelling those last two weeks of detention, young man, and no arguments. You will use that time to catch up on your homework, instead of time you should be using to eat and sleep. I don't care what you or your grandfather say, I will not have you fail your classes. Is that clear?"

Severus sighed. "Yes, Ma'am," he agreed. He was bone-tired. He wished he could go to his grandfather, but he was still so angry with the man. Yet he missed him. And all the work he'd been doing was exhausting.

And the anger was fading. If losing his grandfather was the price he had to pay for information about his parents, he didn't think it worth it. It hurt not to know, it hurt that his grandfather would not tell him, but aside from this one issue, he was happy and loved. He knew he was happy and loved, and Grandpa would do anything for him. It was unfair, no doubt about it, but apparently it was very important to Grandpa that he not find out. Well, then, one day he'd turn seventeen, and then no one would be able to stop him finding out. He could wait until then.

Rick looked at his friend as he entered the library. "Are you alright?" he asked.

"Professor McGonagall just cancelled the last two weeks of my detention," Severus said softly, "so I can catch up on my homework."

"Are you still grounded?" Rick asked.

"Yes...but Uncle Harry said he'd be happy to allow a visit in our dorms," Severus grinned, "so, would you like to come over and play some games tonight?"

Ricks face brightened. "Sure! I thought it was unfair you got punished so much when all that happened to me was that I got a lecture and docked a week of pocketmoney. And "We're proud you wanted to help a friend, but you really shouldn't do something like this again," didn't really count as a lecture anyway."

"Did your trip last weekend go okay?" Severus asked.

"Yes, we went to Diagon Alley and had lunch there. Mum and Dad are really trying, you know, and they seemed happy when I asked if I could come to the Weasleys with them next weekend."

Rick hesitated. "Are you still angry with your grandfather? Because I think he really misses you. He doesn't look very well."

Severus' head shot up. "You think he's ill?"

"He certainly looked pale and off this morning, and the seventh-years said he'd been dragged to the infirmary by Mrs Potter."

Severus shrugged and they turned to their books, but Rick wasn't surprised when ten minutes later, Severus had disappeared.


"Is he alright?" Dumbledore woke to soft voices near him, one of them belonging to his grandson – the voice he hadn't heard in two weeks, now, the voice he longed to hear again, if he had any idea on how to reconcile to his boy.

"He'll be fine," Poppy's voice, reassuring, "I've given him some potions and he should be well within a day or so. And you drink that Pepper-Up, Sev! You're not doing well either, even if you're not ill yet. It's a good thing Minerva already cancelled those detentions, or I would."

"Ugh..." Severus had never been a fan of Pepper-Up, but by the sound of it, he obediently drank.

"Good. Now, if you are assured your grandfather will be fine, go to your dorms and to bed early. I'll be in my office."

Footsteps approached the bed, and Dumbledore felt a slight weight settle by his hand. He reached, and found a small bag of lemon drops. Opening his eyes, he saw the pale, and nervous, form of his grandson.

"I...heard you were ill...and I just wanted..." Severus bit his lip.

Dumbledore reached out and touched the dark circles under the child's eyes.

"My boy," he said softly, "Oh, I've missed you so much..."

Severus caught the hand between his own. "Are you really going to be better soon?" he asked in concern.

The Headmaster nodded. "Draw the curtains around the bed, please, Severus," he asked. The shoulders drooped and the dark eyes lowered to the floor, but the boy nodded and pulled the curtains around the bed.

"I...goodnight, Grandpa," he said softly from the other side, his voice dull with disappointment.

"Sev, what are you doing? Come, you're meant to be on this side of the curtains."

The child reappeared.

"Come up here, Sev," Dumbledore patted the matress, "I've missed you so much, let's make things right again? Please? Will you talk to me?"

Severus hesitated, but nodded and climbed onto the bed. His grandfathers arm came around him, and suddenly tears were spilling over and he buried his head in Dumbledore's sleeprobe.

"Shhh, it's alright," he heard his grandfathers voice, but couldn't help but notice not all tears soaking the Headmasters shirt were his own.

"I don't want to fight anymore," Severus finally said, hoarse.

"I don't want to fight anymore either," Dumbledore sighed, "I love you, Sev. I hope you know that."

"Hmmm," Severus managed, fatigue and relief taking over. "I love you too, Grandpa," he muttered, his eyes closing.

Dumbledore's eyes twinkled for the first time in weeks, as he pressed a kiss to the dark hair and let himself doze off as well.


"Cute," Phoebe commented, as the Potters walked into the infirmary half an hour later to find both Dumbledores fast asleep.

"Undeniably cute, but unless Albus has told him, nothing has really been resolved, has it?" Harry asked.

"Well...they have remembered that they love each other. That can only help," Phoebe hoped, "we'll have to convince Albus one way or the other."

"That might be an uphill battle," feared Harry, "we'll see. Let's focus on the excitement of next school year, first."

Phoebe looked at him. "Oh dear. What have you got in mind?"

All she got in return was an evil grin.