Shaun Snape, Age 8
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 who likes to twist plots and play with characters, so enjoy.
AN: I only had three tries at the talk so here they are:
Shaun is 8 so he doesn't need all the details.
Severus grimaced clench ding his eyes shut and prayed he heard the question wrong. " excuse me?" he squeaked, knowing that he would deny such a noise if it were to be found out by any one.
Shaun stared up a his daddy's face the look of pure innoces " babies, daddy, where do babies come from?" "babies come from a mommy's tummy" snapes said with a slightly perturbed look.
" but tummies aren't big enough for a baby."
" The mommies tummy get big and stick out like your cheek when you stuff it with chocolate cake."
Shaun being a smart boy, that he is, pictures the reaction in his head." you mean that fat ladies, in diagon alley" Shaun beams knowing he has answer correct
"Shaun it is not nice to call them fat, those woman are call pregnant."
" ok, daddy" Shaun settles down in his daddies lap to cuddle. Snapes being a man of composer closes his eyes and relaxes. All the while thinking he missed a head on collision with the Hogwarts express; "how do babies get in the tummy?" just to get hit with the caboose.
" umm. .. Uh, Well Shaun , Why do you want to know?" the daddy asks with a blush creeping up from the back of his neck.
" cause," Shaun replies looking at his daddy with hope filled eyes. His imploring face screams of wet puppies, and mischief's angels. Well a daddy and a mummy love each other in a very special way and there love puts a tiny little person in the mommy that needs to grow before it comes to be a baby and comes out."
Snapes crunches his eyes close that the deities that Shaun id facing away so that he can not see his face and blush that he knows is growing. Severus, also thinks fondling of the interrogation that his went threw in the first fall of voletemort, over this.
" well the twins mommy and daddy must love each other a whole lot then" Shaun sates and snapes face twists in disgust of the mental picture he wishes he never had . " yes Shaun now run along and go play with your uncles." Shaun jumps off of his fathers lap goes to gather his books and crayons. Waving to his father as his goes to his uncles rooms.
"love you daddy," he calls out while shutting the door. Snapes thunks he head back against the chair be fore going to retrieve what he believes to be a well deserved glass of whiskey
Several weeks later Shaun and his daddy were walking through Diagon alley. When Shaun all of a sudden pulls on his daddies hand pointing at a man with a rather large belly, indicating his love for strong drink. "Daddy, Daddy, I thought only women can have babies? Cause he's gonna to have whole bunches soon." the whole area in which he stood stopped and looked at the little boy. Severus decided that now would be a good time to get ice cream and that his parcel would wait a few hours to pick up.
Eyes flared widly with nostrils flaying, a cough covered up a choked sound. "Babies?"
"Yes, you told me about my Mum and Daddy James and how they died but how did they have Me?"
"Well," Severus stuttered out, tugging on his collar with a slim finger, "they come from their mum and dad."
"Yes, I know that, I am seven after all. But how do they come from their mum and dad? I asked Fawkes but he just Sqwauked and flashed away. He told me to ask you, so please dad, tell me," he quedtioned innocently while pouting extravagantly.
"Damn that bird," Severus muttered before clearing his throat liberally.
"Dad!" Shaun whined, "You are not supposed to use That word, Aunt Minnie said."
"A baby comes from a very special place where a mum and dad wish for a baby and then it appears miracuously and the baby is theirs. The end and that is the story of how babies come to be," Severus wheedled before ending on a figurative note.
"Dad, Merlin told me not to believe the first story out of your mouth. He was also very reluctant to tell me, but why? You told me about your spying, what is so bad about babies? They must think you very good at this making babies because everyone keeps telling me to ask you."
Severus choked and broke down into a coughing fit which was soon subdued by the outrageous scowl on his son's face. "Fine, son sit there. This will be a long and arduous discussion."
He proceeded to draw many different pictured on the chalkboard involving many complicated diagrams and motion with his hands which left Shaun gaping confusedly at him. Hours later, Shaun was dozing in the chair where he had fallen asleep around the time his dad had started on female genitalia.
Outside the classroom loaid three gasping figures whose entire expressions were red form the hysterical laughter which had enveloped them from the beginning of the discussion.
"What, I think he got the point did he not? He will not be making babies any time soon."
Severus smirked victoriously at the trio before scooping his son in his arms and making his way to their rooms. Sirius, Remus, and Albus all stood up and kept laughing. Severus huffed silently as red creeped up his neck into pale cheeks as their laughter drifted down the hallway.
Shaun's face scrunched up as he thought seriously for a moment. Daddy where do babies come from? I
Severus shuddered and looked up to the heavens for guidance, a light blush appearing on his normally stoic face, his hand automatically reaching up to pinch the bridge of his nose, finally he sighed. Shaun, when a Mummy and a Daddy get together they are able to do a ritual, this ritual plants a tiny tiny seed in the Mummy's tummy. Slowly this seed begins to grow and grow when finally the Mummy has a baby in her tummy. When the ritual is complete and the baby is ready and Medi-wizard or witch comes and takes the baby from the Mummy's tummy, and now the Mummy and Daddy have a brand new baby.
AN: Thank you for all those who told me your own horror stories about the subject. My own mother is a nurse but just told me to go ask my big sister, who told me Mom just gave her a book.
Chapter 16: The Talk
Severus groaned. 'Where do babies come from?' he thought. How in the world was he to answer an eight year old boy? Well, it could be worse; he could be explaining sex to an eight year old girl.
He took a deep breath and looked down at the trusting face looking up at him in curiosity. "Well, son you see…well…when a woman and a …man…love each other very much they want to …show each other…how much. So they…well…" He flipped a warming charm at his tea and took a big swallow, trying to formulate his thoughts. With a sudden flash of insight he decided to fall back on his formidable experience as a teacher and pretend that Shaun was just a student who had asked a reasonable question in class.
He began by describing male anatomy in a clinical and detached manner, followed by the same descriptions of female anatomy. As he launched into a technical discussion of the mechanics of sex and how that led to the creation of a fertilized egg and ultimately an embryo which grew into a child he noticed that Shaun's eyes had glazed over and he was beginning to nod off. He hadn't even reached the description of a fetus' development at four months when his son fell over; his sleeping head now nestled on his leg. The soft and even sound of his breathing let Severus know that he could stop his discussion and just enjoy the feeling of his son sleeping on his lap. He smirked and refilled his tea cup, summoning a new potions journal to begin reading that fascinatingly insightful article on how to adapt a generic healing potion to a specific disease.
The students had returned without incident and Hogwarts had settled into its normal chaotic existence once more. The students in the day school had eagerly lapped up the new lessons and now that the Professors were no longer holding back in what they were teaching, the children were eating up the new knowledge like a starving man at a Hogwarts welcoming feast.
A young muggle born witch by the name of Hermione Granger had been invited to begin classes as a probationary student. Remus had gone to speak to her parents, who were both dentists, and it had been decided that she would portkey to Hogwarts each morning, attend classes and then stay for an extra hour and a half to receive any tutoring she might need to catch up to the others for a month before a final decision on her new placement would be made.
Her first day had set the tone for the next few days. She had arrived nervous, clutching an overstuffed book bag and chewing on a strand of frizzy brown hair. She took the seat that Remus showed her to, almost afraid to speak to the other children. She had excelled at the community day school and had been so excited when she found out the strange things that had been happening to her were caused by her own magic. She had quickly read everything she could and felt she could control her magic very well, but the rumors that flew around her community school about the day school at Hogwarts were rather frightening and she just knew that no one would want to be her friend and that she would fail horribly.
Shaun took one look at the obviously terrified girl, his empathic senses reeling with the amount of pure emotion rolling off of her that were overwhelming him. He walked up to her and stretched out his hand in welcome. "Hi, I'm Shaun Snape what's your name?"
"Hermione Granger. Are you really Professor Snape's son, and did you really develop the cure for lycanthropy when you were just four years old?" Her curiosity over the stories she had heard about this boy overcame some of her nervousness.
"Yeah, that's my dad and no I didn't develop it. Dad did let me help make it and I did find a new ingredient by accident that made it possible, but I didn't make it."
"Oh, but I thought…well okay…" She turned her head and looked at Professor Lupin who had just told the students to get out parchment and quills.
Shaun smiled at the witch, happy that her fear was no longer rolling over his senses. He just leaned over and whispered to her, "I'll talk to you later and introduce the others, okay?" She smiled back at him in gratitude ant Shaun went over to his own desk and sat down for the lesson.
The entire group was playing a version of keep away that the twins had dreamed up for their break that afternoon. Three people stood in the middle of a large loosely formed circle of the other students. The ones on the outside would throw balls of magical energy at the ones in the center. If they were touched in any way, the sphere would expand and glow the unique color of the person who had thrown the ball and the two would change places. At the end of the period the person who had managed to stay in the center and be tagged the least amount of times would be declared the winner.
But Hermione was unable to conjure a ball of pure energy and it had frustrated her no end that everyone else could, particularly that flaky girl named Luna who didn't even look like she was paying attention during class. And the two bigger twins were just interested in having a fun time, not studying so how come they could do something that she couldn't? She was on the verge of tears when she noticed Professor Lupin sit down on the bench beside her. He nodded his head towards the loudly laughing and running group. George had been tagged simultaneously by Blaise and Shaun so that Blaise's light green blast and Shaun's deep red one had lit the older boy up with green and red stripes like a living candy cane.
Lupin seemed to be able to sense what was bothering the eight year old girl as he just sat beside her, silently offering her his support if she wanted to talk but not forcing any conversation on her yet. She didn't know him well enough to be comfortable with the Professor yet, and she was in awe way too much to feel comfortable confiding in a teacher.
"Frustrating isn't it, to want to be a part of something and yet know that you can't?" Remus said in his soft tenor. His non-threatening demeanor seemed to break through the girl's reluctance to speak and her words spilled out in a gush.
"I just want to fit in and I just know that I won't. I mean I never have any where else… but before it was because I knew so much more or I could do weird things that no body else can. But here it's because I can't do what everyone else can and it's…so…so…frustrating. I don't know if I could ever do what they are just playing with. It's such powerful magic and it shouldn't be possible…everything I've read about magic…pure wandless magic…it just shouldn't be possible." The young witch had her total belief in what she had read badly shaken by everything she had witnessed this morning; from the spectacular display of wandless magics to the complex spells and charms her fellow classmates had used. She felt hopelessly outclassed and was certain that she would never be able to do half the things the others could do seemingly without much effort.
Remus just chuckled softly and patted her on the knee. "I didn't teach them half of the things that they do, Shaun did. And the twins couldn't do wandless magic until two months ago. Shaun even taught their brothers and sister how to play this game over the Christmas holidays. George told me it only took them two or three days before all five of them could play at least a little bit."
Hermione looked at him in complete shock. "But that's not possible! All the books I read said that…"
Remus held up one hand in defeat. "Forget what you have read, Hermione and just go with what you see and what you feel. Where Shaun is concerned, the books and what can and can't be done have very little meaning. That boy has totally revolutionized the way children are taught. Until just four years ago it was believe that no one under the age of eleven was capable of enough magical control to even be taught formalized magic, but you are here and there are now several hundred children being taught well before the age of eleven all over Great Britain."
Hermione looked at her teacher as he stood up and held a hand down to her. She took his hand and stood up waiting patiently, deep in thought as he called everyone over to return to class.
Shaun was more than happy to participate in the afternoon tutoring sessions with Hermione. She was rapidly catching up to the others, though her greatest stumbling block still consisted of her almost pathological belief that what she read had to be true. When Professor Snape made her read a passage in a potions text from five years ago about Lycanthropy being incurable and then the current edition that told of the miraculous cure now available and how Lycanthropy had almost disappeared from the face of the earth she felt the foundations of her beliefs begin to crack.
When Professor Black showed her in the history of magic book that she had read that wandless magic was almost unheard of and that only the most powerful witches and wizards could do simple magics with them and only after studying for many, many years; and that all such magic drained and tired the person terribly, the cracks widened.
But it was Shaun that completely shattered her unnatural dependence upon books and opened her eyes to the wonderful realities of the almost endless possibilities for those who do not accept what they are told. After teaching her in only three days how to conjure a ball of pure white energy and then color it to personalize it she realized that imagination and determination were more important to what magic could and could not do than any other factor. She took several days to come to grips with this startling new information, but once she had embraced the concept, her own abilities were released and she began to catch up, finally secure enough in herself to open up and begin to make friends.
The students had been back from break for ten days and were all quietly eating breakfast in the Great Hall, most a little more than half asleep when Shaun got a pensive look upon his face and turned to his Grandfather who was sitting three places down from him at the head table.
Albus had his back to the boy, talking quietly to Minerva when he heard Shaun speak, loudly and clearly enough to ring out over the quiet conversations. "Grandpa Albus, where do babies come from?" He choked on his pumpkin juice, his face turning red as his ears blazed with color. Minerva snorted and held up a hand to keep from spitting out her porridge all over the table. The Great Hall went silent in stunned shock, waiting for the Headmaster's answer. The Slytherin table turned as one and watched as their Head of House, a usually stoic and inflexible man seemed to shrink and try to hide under the table.
Remus and Sirius were being shushed by Poppy and Pomona; after all, they all wanted to hear the old man answer the young boy too. Albus wiped his mouth with his napkin and turned to look at his 'grandson'.
Taking a breath, Albus smiled and answered, "Perhaps you might be more comfortable with asking your father that question, child."
Shaun looked frustrated, "I did, Grandpa but he didn't know!" Severus turned bright red, his cheeks flaming, and the tips of his ears almost glowing as he dropped out of his chair and hid beneath the head table. 'Oh sweet Merlin, how am I ever going to look anyone in the face again!' The shocked silence in the Hall was broken by several twitters and then more snorts from the head table. Albus raised his eyebrows so high they almost disappeared from view under his hat. Minerva was laughing so hard, her head was down on her arms and the students and staff all gave up, peals of laughter ringing from the rafters as Severus tried to disappear. Shaun looked around the room in puzzlement. He stood up and went over to climb on his Grandpa's lap, lifting up a finger to quizzically wipe a tear that was streaming down the leathery cheek.
He leaned close so that his Grandpa could hear him. "What did I say Grandpa? Why is everyone laughing so much and why is Daddy sitting under the table?"
Albus forced himself to stop laughing and look intently into the curious face of the child sitting on his lap. "What exactly did your daddy tell you when you asked him?"
The Great Hall was once again silent as they noticed Shaun on the Headmaster's lap. Curious students shushed the few that were still making noises, everyone most anxious to hear what the two were talking about. The entire head table leaned toward the two, eagerly anticipating more startling revelations about the potions master.
Shaun shrugged and looked puzzled. "He told me all about some weird stuff and how men and women love each other. I didn't understand any of it and he kept talking and talking and all I want to know is where babies come from."
Albus bit his lip and waited for Shaun to continue. "I mean, Neville said his Grandmother said some weird big bird brings them, but Luna said they come from the fairies. And Blaise said he just came from Attenborough. But I don't come from Attenborough; at least I don't think I do. So where did I come from?"
Albus patted the black hair gently and smiled. "You come from Godric's Hollow, child."
"Oh, okay, Grandpa. Thanks!" That said, Shaun climbed down and returned to his own seat, dipping his head down under the table and loudly asking. "Why are you down there, Daddy? Did you lose something?" With another roar of laughter, the Headmaster waved everyone from the room and off to their morning classes.
Every house lost points that week. It got to the point that it wasn't necessary to even look at the furious potions professor to set him off, but after a while the school settled back down and Severus realized that if something like that ever happened again he should ask Shaun why he wants to know something before answering. He did have to hex Sirius and Remus several times before they stopped tormenting him and if he could ever prove that it was Minerva and Poppy who had owl mailed those 'wonderful' pamphlets to him about talking to your young wizard about sex he would hurt them, badly. Though he did save them and stash them into his desk after reading them thoroughly for the next time.
Shaun had progressed with his lessons with Merlin at a steady pace. He was now able to defeat any of the Professors except for Grandpa Albus in a straight on duel, but he could not win consistently against two of them fighting together. He supposed he could beat all of his classmates, but everyone forbid him from even trying. He had even figured out a shield charm all on his own that stopped physical attacks as well as very strong magical ones. Once he did that he could basically stand back and watch while his opponent tired themselves out throwing ineffective spells against his shield, which actually absorbed any magic thrown against it and used it to strengthen the shield. Merlin decided to stop with the magical lessons for a bit and began training Shaun with physical fighting methods, using swords, knives, and even a staff.
Remus had everyone in the day school working harder and harder at physical fitness in addition to their academic lessons. They were all running and swimming laps, and working out with weights to build up their strength and stamina, and it actually helped them with both speed and accuracy in their spell casting.
By the end of April the students were beginning to stress out about the upcoming end of term, especially the fifth and seventh year students who had O.W.L.'s and N.E.W.T.'s hanging over their heads.
Shaun and the twins were sitting together just killing time while Severus met with Molly and Albus about continuing specialized potions lessons over the coming summer months. The three were well past the capabilities of their fellow students and had begun to branch out into researching ways to improve already existing potions.
"So we need to do a really big prank soon." George said.
"Yeah, I mean everyone is so-o-o-o serious it's painful." Fred observed. The two had toned down their annoying twin speech over the last few months, finally realizing that no one was going to take them seriously if they goofed off all of the time. Besides, Shaun would send stinging hexes at them if they annoyed him too much and he had tired of them finishing each others sentences all the time. He said it gave him a headache trying to figure out who was speaking all the time.
"I've got one!" Shaun was excited as the three heads bent together, planning and plotting.
It took almost a week and finally the potion was complete. The hardest part was brewing it without anyone realizing exactly what they were up to. Now they had enlisted the help of Ogden and Nippy who were more than willing to help with a prank every now and then as long as no one was hurt or the castle damaged in any way. They picked a Saturday when Molly had asked Severus if the two boys could stay a little longer after their lesson as she needed to be at a cousin's wedding and while she was comfortable leaving Ginny and Ron home with their older brothers, she wasn't as happy leaving the twins with minimal supervision. Originally Arthur wasn't going to the wedding but her cousin's father had been cursed with some unknown spell and he didn't want to give away his daughter while he was covered in rainbow colored boils, especially as the groom's grandparents were Muggles and they were marrying in a Muggle chapel.
So on this particular Saturday the twins were sitting up at the head table with Severus and Shaun, waiting for their lunch to appear, a feeling of anticipation building in all three boys.
Albus snapped his fingers for the food to appear and everyone dug in. At first just one or two soft pops were heard, then more and more. The Great Hall fell silent and then giggles started as the unaffected students noticed the drastic changes in their housemates. Soon, the entire hall was filled with an assortment of various sized replicas of Severus Snape, Albus Dumbledore, Minerva McGonagall, and all of the other professors. One skinny and short Hagrid stood up on the table and grabbed at his bushy black beard and asked Madame Pomfrey for help. But she was too busy laughing at the students to even talk, let alone cast a reversal spell.
The students soon got into the spirit and started mimicking the mannerisms and speech of whoever they looked like. The various Snapes started snarling and taking away house points, the Dumbledores asked others if they wanted lemon drops. The Pomfreys used their wands to diagnose ever more bizarre diseases and injuries and the McGonagalls thick brogue and stern expression showed displeasure at every turn. It wasn't long before the students spread out throughout the castle, quickly finding out that no one could tell who they were; they took advantage and minor mischief abounded. The staff was run ragged stopping the mayhem but found out quickly that anyone trying to harm someone or do more than small pranks was instantly returned to their normal form and so the mischief remained harmless.
Even after the potion wore off two hours later, the mood in the castle was light hearted and happy. Spontaneous giggles and funny photos exchanged hands often in the days that followed. Severus had confronted the miscreants that very afternoon, recognizing that it had to be a potion to affect everyone all at once and that no one else in the castle had the expertise nor the access to brew it they all received detention for a whole week. But the laughter that night in the staff room lasted well past curfew and no one was really mad at them.
Testing over and the students exhausted, the mood in the Great Hall was a mixture of relief, happiness at the upcoming summer break and sadness at the prospect of leaving the castle that was their home for almost ten months of the year making the emotions so strong the Shaun was overwhelmed beyond the capacity of his normally strong Occlumency shields. Severus had received permission to miss the final three days of term, promising to return for the leaving feast. He had borrowed muggle camping gear from one of Hermione's relatives and taken Shaun up into the mountains above the castle. Most of the Scottish highlands were still virtually unknown and it seemed as if time stood still there.
Severus and Shaun had figured out how to put up the small tent and spread out their borrowed sleeping bags before sunset. A quick heating charm on their suppers and the two were sitting on a flat rock overlooking a panoramic vista of undisturbed hills and lush valleys that sloped gently down clear to the Atlantic Ocean glistening far off at the horizon as the fading light of sunset made the waves sparkle.
Severus pulled Shaun close to him, sharing his heavy robe when the boy shivered in the mountain air. He reached down and placed a kiss on the head of the boy that had so changed his life in ways unimaginable just four short years ago. Four years ago that seemed like a lifetime.
He breathed in the clear, crisp Mountain air and watched as the first stars twinkled in the twilight, content with the world.
Shaun snuggled against his father's side, soaking up the warmth the man generated. "Can we go flying tomorrow, Dad?"
"Of course, Firefly and then I will teach you to fish for your supper the way my father taught me before he died. Would you like that, son?" Shaun just nodded; he would do almost anything that his Dad suggested just to remain close to him.
Severus sighed; knowing that the closeness he now shared would not last forever; but for now it would be enough. He stood up and picked up Shaun, cradling the boy against his shoulder, noticing how much further down his own legs the boy's legs now reached. He felt Shaun's legs swing up and tighten around his waist as he carried the sleepy child over to the campfire and settled him into a sleeping bag before putting out the fire and climbing into the small tent beside him. A satisfied smile on his face he let himself relax into sleep.
Everyone at the head table watched as the excited children made their last goodbyes, their last hugs, grabbing a last piece of toast to eat as they gathered their belongings before catching a carriage down to the Hogwarts Express to return to London. Albus looked around him and smiled. "Ah another year successfully completed." His eyes twinkled merrily as he smiled, "And a new year to look forward to all too soon."
AN: It will be a while before I begin the school year portion of this saga as I will finish You Broke Him, You Fix Him before starting anything else. I also have another strange plot bunny rattling around in my head that I may work on first too but I don't promise anything. Thank you to all of you who have stuck with this story and I hope that you have enjoyed the ride.