"Darren," Harry said slowly. "You once said my mother worked hard against this?"
"Yes," Darren breathed in deep and heavy. "Your mother saw this coming. She did her best to circumvert it. She tried to get James to treat Severus better and tried to talk to Severus but they both were too stubborn. They ignored her and it ended up hurting only her in the end."
"So, what happened?"
"That year was awful. Severus stopped talking to me too. Your mother was in love and she loved the time she spent with James, but you could tell it was killing her to see Sev sitting with Lucius Malfoy, Bellatrix Black, Goyle, Crabbe...she knew who they were and what they were doing. They were all part of this Pureblood movement that was taking over the school. Your mother knew that there was a war coming. She could feel it brewing in the air. She wasn't expect Voldemort, per say, but she was expecting something. That's when she started researching the link between emotions and spell casting. It was a charms paper she wrote in seventh year that got her into Auror training." Harry watched Darren's eyes still. "She was brilliant, your mother. Really, she was." Darren stopped talking for a moment and Harry watched as he breathed in and out, composing himself to go on. "She started her research after Auror training with the Unforgivables. You had to muster the right amount of emotion to cast a real Unforgivable. Without it, the spell would just fizzle out. Dumbledore, I'm sure, has told you it was love that protected you from Voldemort. That was because your mother believed that, to counterattack an Unforgivable, you had to have an equal amount of the opposite emotion, love. She cited acid-base neutralization and all kind of crazy Muggle stuff that she heard from Petunia but she saved you. She saved you because she had more love than Voldemort had hate in his body for you. I told you she was brilliant." Harry smiled, thinking of how much he would have loved his mother and her brilliant mind. It would be a lot like how he loved Hermione.
"That school year ended very badly, Harry. Very badly. Severus was living almost exclusivly with the Slytherins, not speaking to her or me. Your mother knew he was joining the race war, taking the side he belonged to, leaving her behind. When Voldemort rose to power shortly after, she knew he was one of the Death Eaters. There is every thread of the story. Voldemort became Voldemort. Now you know why you were the chosen one. If this had all come out for Severus to love your mother, who knows? Neville might have been the boy who lived. You could have been Harry Snape. Maybe the prophecy would never have existed? Maybe Dumbledore would have defeated Voldemort much sooner. It's so many ifs and could haves. Those don't matter. Now you know the why for this outcome. You know your place in history."
"Darren, you said you met my Aunt Petunia?"
"Oh, yes, that was seventh year. I came for about a week. I was suppose to take her mind away from this Vernon Dursley of hers. She had just taken up with him and Lily didn't like him for anything. He was very entitled, she said. Thought he was the best thing to ever eat sliced bread. He didn't know about your mother, just that Aunt Petunia called her a freak and told him that Lily was nothing like them. She was right. Vernon didn't need much more than that. I went home after a week of watching Petunia and Lily stare at each other over dinner plates and Lily write long letters to James in Devonshire." Darren stood, knowing his part of the story was told.
"Thank you, Darren. For everything. For telling me everything."
"It's no more than you deserve, my boy." They shook hands and Darren walked to the Potter's front foyer. "By the way, Dennis' boys look just like he and Colin did," he smiled in departure and Harry knew he would see no more of Darren Creevey.
Harry went to Aunt Petunia's house no more than a day after his last talk with Darren. She was expecting him, knowing the story had to be finished.
"Aunt Petunia," he smiled as he kissed her cheek. She laid an old hand on his face and smiled.
"I know, I know. You just want to know." She led him to her couch and sat him down before taking his hand in hers. "The summer after the fight, Lily came home. I couldn't get a word out of her except I needed to stay away from Severus now. I had to stay away from him. I wasn't to go to his house. I wasn't to speak with him. She wouldn't tell me why. I fought her, screaming that he had insulted her, not me. It wasn't my fight. But she just looked at me like I was simple and told me to 'stay put like a good girl'." Aunt Petunia looked at Harry, waiting for the disapproval to show in his eyes at her hateful tone. Harry just squeezed her hand lightly.
"The whole summer, we didn't speak. We would pass each other in the hallway like strangers. I saw those letters to James she sent out at all hours. I figured this James had poisoned her, that he was turning her mind and that's why she was so against our childhood friend. I was starting to decide I didn't like wizards very much at all." Harry knew this was the final leg of his story. He was learning why his childhood had been so bleak, why Petunia had hated him so.
"Lily told mother one night of some bad business going on in the wizarding world. That she didn't like where things were going and that Severus was going to be a part of it. My mother cried that night like I had never seen her cry before. Lily said that bad things were going to happen to people who weren't purebloods and that she was going to fight on the side of love and all sorts of romantic hero nonsense. Mother wouldn't hear any of it. Refused to listen to Lily talk of fighting in some blood war in the wizarding world. Lily had been a muggle before she had been a witch. Lily looked at Mother so sadly.
"How can you ask me to go back?" Lily said quietly.
"How can you ask me to lose you?" her mother sobbed into her handkerchief. "You are my daughter, Lily."
"I know, Mother, but I'm going to be an adult in my world. The world I belong to. I can't just came back and give up everything I've worked for in the wizarding world for fear of it. I want to be an Auror. I want to save wizards and witches like me from dark magic. I want to fight hate with love, Mother. It's what you taught me."
"I can't lose you."
"I can't promise you won't. Just...trust me on this."
"My mother sobbed into Lily's shoulder for an hour after that. She went back to Hogwarts to start her final year then. Severus wasn't spoken of aloud all summer. She graduated after another year of silence between us and came home. She told Mother that she wanted to marry this James Potter. Mother flipped her lid, of course. Lily didn't tell Mother she wanted to get married so quickly because she was afraid of Voldemort and of the war. That she was afraid of dying before she was ever in love. I heard her tell all this to the Creevey boy later that summer. But I'm skipping something. It was the night I saw Severus for the last time."
"Petunia, don't stay out too late."
"I won't, Mother. Just going to for a walk." What she wasn't telling her mother is that she was going to find Severus. She couldn't do this. She could let Lily break his heart and then leave him at home with his mother and father. Lily didn't know, but she did and she had to check him. She came straggling out from the bushes across from Severus' door. Mulling aorund outside were several frightening looking figures in black cloaks and silver masks. She didn't think they had seen her but they had. They all seemed so much older and so evil. She could almost smell the hate radiating off of them. She crouched back in the bushes but the boys grabbed her arms and pulled her out.
"Well," the tallest one said in his smooth, chilling voice, "look what we have here. A muggle!" he spat on the ground. Petunia knew what that word was. These boys were wizards, like Severus. Maybe if she told them she knew Severus, they would let her go! She opened her mouth to speak but was stopped when a girl's voice cracked out.
"Should we kill her, Lucius?" Another boy came up and pinched her arm.
"Can I at least have a piece of her first, Bella?"The girl hissed but didn't stop him from squeezing Petunia's bottom once. She squeaked out rather sharply before another tall figure in black cloaks grabbed her.
"She's mine," the one holding her said. She recognized his voice as Severus. "She's an annoying, nosy little muggle girl," as he said these things, the venom spit from his lips and sprayed her arms. He held her tighter, causing her to breathe in raspy gasps. "I ask for the pleasure of ridding the world of one more muggle vermin, Lucius." The tall, smooth figure nodded his head and Severus dragged her into the bushes. He threw her down and pulled his mask off.
"Tunie, what are you doing?!"
"I wanted to see you. Severus, what-" He came close to her and put a finger to her lips.
"Quiet, listen. You have to stay away. My friends..." he stopped and looked back. He smacked her across the face. She yelped and drew back from him. "If they find out I didn't kill you, they'll kill me." He grabbed a rock nearby and said a spell over it. "This will take you home. Don't come near me again, Tunie."
"I don't want them to kill you, Tunie. I'm sorry." He saw a squirrel on the ground not to far from them. He pointed his wand at it and a terrible green light flashed from the end. The squirrel fell over dead, its spirit just vanquished from it. She felt a jolt and the rock took her back to her back yard. She snuck in the back door and went to her room to cry herself to sleep.
"Soon after that, I took up with your uncle Vernon. He was pompous and full of himself and he hated anyone that wasn't like him. I knew he would keep that world away from me. He treated me right and I told him that my sister was a freak. It created a world I felt safe in. It was a world away from magic, away from wizards, away from your war. When your mother died and that Albus Dumbledore dropped her off, it was like your war had come right back into my house. That's why I hated you so, Harry. You represented your mother, the one I was jealous of. You represented the world that took Severus and Lily away from me. You represented the war that scared me to death. You represented terrible wizards who wanted me dead because I wasn't one of them, no matter how much I had ever wanted to be. You were all the childish fears of my past in the flesh. And I'm so sorry I wasn't strong enough to overtake them."
"It's alright, Aunt Petunia. I understand now. But you kept me alive, and that's more than some would have."
"Oh, Harry. You are so much like your mother. You have her spirit in you."
"I'll bring Ginny and James around to visit soon. I heard Amanda's going to have a son?"
"Yes," she smiled breathlessly. "I don't deserve this family, Harry."
"I think you have a little of my mother's spirit in you too, Aunt Petunia. You have the same goodness she had. You just hid it for a long time." Aunt Petunia smiled but it faltered.
"Harry..." she started, her voice sounded hollow. "Whatever happened to Severus?"
"Well, he joined the Death Eaters; those were the masked men you saw him with. He heard a terrible prophecy about their leader, Voldemort, that made his leader kill my mother and father. After he heard that he caused Lily's death, he went to Dumbledore and asked for him to help him end Voldemort. He worked on the good side, in Lily's stead, for nearly twenty years. He was a double spy and a good one. He taught Potions at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He taught me a few lessons on other subjects," he snorted. "And he... he died in the Second War at the Battle of Hogwarts, protecting me like my mother years before." Petunia took his face in her hand and kissed his forehead before she began to cry.
Eleven Years Later
"Albus Severus, you were named for two headmasters of Hogwarts. One of them was a Slytherin and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew."
AN: Yes, I know. I've been writing this fic for, oh, two, three years? I'm sad to see it go but glad at the same time. I feel like this was a great piece. If you don't know, the whole point of this fic was my way of explaining that one line Harry told Al at the platform that day. Severus wanted Harry to know his story. I think Harry had to known the whole story, of Petunia, and Lily, before he could name his son Albus Severus. So, I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I have.
Much love, MrsVC