Disclaimer: for your entertainment
Tagline: Severus Snape, whose eyes were now glittering, was back in his element, and young Albus Potter was merely along for the ride.
The Resurrection Stone
Chapter 1 – "All the Hallows in One Hand or One More Howler!"
Albus Severus Potter was indeed sorted into Slytherin. As a second son, his inherent need to prove himself to his brother, if to no one else, had dominated his dreams and aspirations. Thus it was that he was the first Potter in Hogwarts history to be a Slytherin. His first year was marred with multiple troubles like those of his father's. Since Harry fully understood, he gave Al his invisibility cloak before he left for year two. Harry thought that perhaps if Al had the cloak no harm would come to the boy since there was likely no dissuading him from adventuring. Furthermore, Ginny explained to Harry in no uncertain terms how Howlers once a week was not something she looked forward to nor would she tolerate them in Albus's second year. Indeed Albus Potter's second year was somewhat quieter than his first. The same could not be said of his third year, however.
Three-quarters of the way through his third year, Al was on perennial detention with Filch. His task was to clean the grounds for three Saturdays in a row before moving to the next disagreeable chore for more Saturdays. On the second Saturday, he was working around Dumbledore's tomb pulling the early spring weeds and such. He noticed that the stone did not fit smoothly at one point. By picking at it, he uncovered and recovered the Elder Wand.
He had been read the stories of the Deathly Hallows enough times at Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione's house to know what he had in his hands. Ah, but how to gain its fidelity to use the power…and how would he find the resurrection stone. He felt the seeds of a plan forming in his agile mind. Last Christmas holiday, his father had begun to teach him how to duel. Harry had been a second year when he was introduced to the expelliarimus spell. Al picked it up quite quickly, disarming Harry several times before returning to school. Presently, Al could feel the vibrating power of the wand warm in his hand. Perhaps he now had the wand's allegiance already secured. He would test this theory later. He would see what the wand would do then. For now, he stuffed it up his sleeve and then into his school trunk.
Al had visited the Forbidden Forest many times since his first year and had a secret place he would retreat to when things got too unpleasant in the castle. His mind worked furiously on the whereabouts of that third piece of the Deathly Hallows as he rested in his forest refuge. As luck would have it, his spot was near where Aragog had once lived with his children. They had since moved deeper into the forest. He often took his Aunt Hermione's book about the end of Voldemort out with him. Albus reasoned that if he had all three and was the master over death itself, he could command the dead to rise to life again. Whom to choose though, that was another puzzlement in itself.
So it was that he did recover the resurrection stone before the end of his third year. Al now had all three pieces – he was the master of Death. In the quiet of his secret place he called out to Death who obediently came.
"Yes, Master," Death spoke to Albus. "You require me to kill your enemies? Name them, Master, I shall serve you."
"No, Death," began a surprised Al. "I do not require the deaths of my enemies. I require the life of one whom you claimed years ago. Can you return him to me?"
"Yes, Master. It is possible," Death responded. "Whom do you require the resurrection stone to give new life to?"
"The man I was named for – Severus Snape," Al cried. "I want you to give me Severus Snape!"
"It shall be done," Death disappeared in a smoky fog.
Suddenly, Severus Snape appeared before the young Al Potter. Snape's robes and clothes had been transformed into a soft misty shade of grey and a dusky plum rather than the midnight black of his former times. Other than that, he looked just like his portrait in the Headmistress's office. Unlike the Headmistress, Snape had not aged a day since the day he was murdered in cold blood by Voldemort. Al had seen the office enough times to know that before him stood Severus Snape.
"And which son of Harry Potter would you be?" Snape asked the young wizard whose bright green eyes sparkled with delight.
Al thrust his hand forward, "I am Albus Severus Potter, Slytherin third year."
Snape took in the boy's appearance and his hand, "And I am Severus Snape. I used to be the Head of your House." He then continued to himself, "You are the spitting image of your father. And you have my Lily's eyes."
"Yes, I know," began Al. "My Dad says that you are the bravest man he ever knew! And I had to meet you."
"Did he now?" Snape looked around, "What are you doing in the Forbidden Forest?"
Al just stood and shuffled his feet. Snape cocked his eyebrow and sneered his lips. It felt odd to be alive again. He brought his hands up to his neck where Nagini had struck him. He could feel the scars of her bite marks. His hands felt solid. His soul felt in once piece, too.
"Am I really alive, Mr. Potter?" he asked.
With the cloak tucked in an inner pocket, Al held out the resurrection stone and Elder Wand with a sly grin, "Yes, sir. You are."
Snape took the stone and fingered it carefully, "But why me? How? There were those who died that day who were better men than I."
"Not according to my Dad. Besides, my brother James is a Gryffindor, and he says there are no such things as brave Slytherins. I had to prove him wrong, at least once," Al said matter-of-factly as he tucked the invisibility cloak back into his own robes.
"Indeed," was Snape's soft snort. "This stone cost Albus Dumbledore his life, and that wand tucked in your trousers cost me mine. Where is the cloak?"
"I've got the cloak in my pocket. Here, you keep the wand then," the boy said as he handed Snape the wand. "Are you hungry, sir? We could go up to the castle and get something to eat, if you want," Al added.
Stuffing the wand up his sleeve, Snape's other hand reached out and ruffled the boy's hair, "Yes, let's do that. What name do you go by, Albus Severus Potter?"
With a wide grin, Al answered, "My family calls me 'Al,' but the Headmistress keeps on calling me 'Albus' when she doesn't yell at me by 'Mr. Potter!'"
Snape closed his eyes and with a soft pleased smile upon his lips murmured, "Minerva…" he paused then reconsidered Al, "Well, young man, we really should be getting back to the castle. The Forbidden Forest is no place for a third year."
It was nearing dinnertime on Sarurday when the two ambled toward the castle.
"You know, Albus, that the Forbidden Forest is forbidden for a reason, yes?" Snape offered his new charge.
"Mea culpa," the boy responded casually. "I just thought that if I could find the stone and bring you back, well, nobody would much care. They would be too busy to even notice me. Besides, I love being in the Forest. I come here lots – I have a spot to think out here. I just throw the cloak over me and nothing can hurt me out here!"
"Mmm. I can see why Professor McGonagall spends time yelling at you. Were I still Headmaster, I would, too," Snape chuckled as he shook his head. "Your risk taking behaviour is very much like your father when he was your age."
Al paused a moment.
"Not to worry, I'm not your headmaster, now am I?" smirked Snape. "And you are not your father."
McGonagall glanced out her window and saw the pair making their way back from the Forbidden Forest. There was something insanely familiar in the gait and stature of the taller man, but she could not yet make out his features. She did, however, recognize Albus Potter as the shorter of the two. Her eyes narrowed in frustration muttering under her breath about the Potters being the death of her yet.
She returned to her desk and pulled out parchment and red ink. She wrote a hasty "Howler" to Harry and Ginny. The owl left as the two grew ever closer to the castle. They were now close enough for McGonagall to see who it was that Potter had with him. She nearly fell out of the window. Quickly, she adjusted herself and raced down the stairs and out the main door of the castle.
She stopped short of Snape and regarded him carefully, shaking her head in disbelief. Al quietly slipped away and joined the others who were returning from Hogsmeade. Snape drew nearer to his old friend.
"Yes, Minerva, it is truly I. It seems Potter lost this in the fight with the Dark Lord," he remarked and produced the resurrection stone. "His son found it and brought it together with the other two objects, and here I am again."
He moved closer still and tugged at his collar, showing her the deep marks, "Nagini's little parting gift."
Weeping tears of joy, Minerva rushed forward and hugged her old friend, "Severus, it is really you."
He wrapped his arms around her and held her, "Yes, I'm back. Minerva, Paradise is such a pleasant place. There is time to heal there. I am reconciled with Lily and the others…yes, even Potter, Black, and Dumbledore. I am ready to live my life freely instead of under the dark cloud of guilt and grief."
"Harry shared with us some of the contents of your gift of memories to him," Minerva held him fast. "I was so ashamed that I doubted you, Severus, and that I had so much faith in Albus…"
At the name of Albus, Minerva pulled away as her eyes narrowed, "Where is that Potter boy!"
"I don't suppose you could forgive him just this once, could you?" Snape inquired.
"Just like a Slytherin, you stick together, don't you!" she was exasperated.
"Of course…I'm famished, having been 'dead' all these years. You don't suppose I could have my old post and rooms back could I?" he smirked warmly placing his arm around her.
"Oh, come on then. I can't promise a job, but I can promise a place to stay for a while," she said as they began walking the last few yards to the castle.
They were met in the Headmistress's office by the Potters.
Harry's mouth dropped open at the sight of Snape, "You're…you're alive," he croaked out.