It was one week before anyone came home, with good news. Pettigrew and Voldemort had been sighted at the Steadwell ruins. Voldemort never went anywhere without Pettigrew, or Bellatrix Lestrange with him. He needed a Death Eater nearby at all times so he could call his other followers, so if he ended up alone, he really would be alone. The location was actually in some ruins as the name stated. It had been like that for twenty years, ever since the owner had blown it up, taking himself out as well, via a spell he had been trying to create for Lord Voldemort. Now, the grand dining hall and the Potions lab were all that was left. He had been a Death Eater, and had of course, over the years, brewed a lot of potions, which were probably in still in the Steadwell ruins. Not just there, but in different locations all around the United Kingdom. So that's what Voldemort had been doing, going from safe house to safe house, getting the potions he needed. Once they were done he would be going to the next one. He wasn't sure how long Voldemort would be there.
"Bill, Charlie, you know what I'm going to have to ask you?" said Severus grimly.
"We can't stay behind, Sev…you need me just in case there are wards," said Bill not wanting to miss out on the action.
"There is only Pettigrew and Voldemort, we will be back within the hour," said Wood.
"Never underestimate your opponent; haven't I told you that often enough?" growled Severus low in his throat.
"Sorry," said Wood sheepishly.
Severus simply rolled his eyes in irritation.
"Let's remove the last mark," said Severus, he didn't want to keep it on just in case he died with Voldemort. Or worse yet, lost all his magic with Voldemort trying to stay alive.
"The headmaster's office has been sealed why?" asked Bones, speaking to Flitwick angrily.
Flitwick looked relieved. "The new Headmaster has been chosen. It won't open for anyone else," stated the charms teacher.
"Who is it?" asked Auror Bones demandingly.
"We won't know until he comes forward," said Flitwick.
"Isn't there a way to find out?" sighed Bones, he wanted to ask the Portraits a few more questions.
"No," said Flitwick. "We will know soon enough when they come to Hogwarts."
"I want to know the minute they appear," said Bones grimly.
"Of course," said Flitwick accommodatingly, despite the way he was being spoken to.
"Are we ready?" asked Severus looking around the room.
"Yes," said Charlie. Fred, and George were staying behind to look after Rowena. It was the only way Harry had agreed to go, to end this once and for all.
"Then let's go," said Severus, he knew where the Steadwell ruins were, he had been there twice before. He apparated himself and Harry away; the others all did the same, apparating someone with them, if they didn't know where it was. Blind apparating wasn't something anyone did, unless they were completely stupid.
"No heroics, Harry, just do what you need to do, nothing more... for Rowena's sake," said Severus quietly. "Do not be drawn in by what he says, just kill him and get it over with."
"I will," said Harry nervously, he hated being separated from his daughter. It was all down to the fact she had been so forcibly separated from him. After grieving for his child, whom he thought had died, only to find her alive and well, and relatively safe, nobody could blame Harry for his protectiveness and reluctance to leave his baby girl.
"Don't just kill Pettigrew, him I want to suffer," he said loudly to everyone; that rat would pay for betraying his parents.
"Don't worry, I owe that Rat one," sneered Crabbe angrily.
Severus laughed in bitter amusement, there wasn't a person who Pettigrew hadn't annoyed or gotten into trouble. Pettigrew was a coward, and blamed others to try and save himself from being punished.
"Wards?" asked Severus staring at Bill.
"Basic detections, Muggle repelling, muffling ward, that's it," said Bill, completely baffled, staring at the magic he could see, the spells dancing together in one symphony, doing their job.
"Destroy them," said Harry his eyes narrowed.
Bill nodded his head, and with quiet ease had the wards down.
"Let's go," said Severus finally.
This was it.
Together all of them walked into the ruins, not caring that it might come down around them. Stealthily they made their way to the Great Hall; everywhere else was destroyed ― there was nowhere else Voldemort could be. Regardless, everyone had their wands up, alert in every possible way, not wanting any surprises.
Pettigrew as usual skittered around in his animagus form. Voldemort was getting angrier these days, and he didn't want to stick around. Unfortunately, he was too terrified to actually leave for fear of reprisals. He was just skittering through the Great Hall when he saw them all. He couldn't believe it; his master thought they were all dead. He was just about to run to his Master and tell him, and then he noticed Harry Potter with them. He had a bad feeling about this; suddenly he felt an urge to flee, regardless of his Master's instruction. Squealing in shock when a stunner hit him, he knew no more.
"Stupefy," said Wood, his wand pointed at the floor.
Everyone looked at him, then at the rat, wondering if it could be Pettigrew. Judging by its squealing and being poised to run... they'd say so. It wouldn't surprise them if it wasn't, this place was a ruins. It was exactly the sort of place rats wanted to hang around in, where no human usually dwelled.
"SSSHHH!" said Harry stopping everyone in their tracks. That's when he heard it. He closed his eyes in dread.
"He knows," said Harry his shoulders slumping in defeat; so much for a stealthy attack.
"Nagini?" asked Severus scowling menacingly; he'd kill that snake.
Harry simply nodded.
"Let's just go and get this over with!" said Wood, and with that they all walked into the Great Hall.
The look of surprise on the flat face was amusing to say the least; he twirled around to apparate, and that surprise became even more apparent when he couldn't. Bill chuckled in amusement; he must have twisted the wards to anti-apparation, now Voldemort couldn't get out. It was a good job, nobody else had thought about them.
"AVADA KEDAVRA!" yelled a dozen voices. Half pointed at Voldemort, half pointed at the advancing snake.
Just as Severus wanted, they didn't hang around or play the hero.
Voldemort and his snake were dead before they could even put up a fight.
"Now what?" asked Flint staring down at the dead man. For some reason it felt very anti-climatic. Was that what Harry meant when they took down Dumbledore? It must have been.
"Now Harry and I will take his body to the Ministry, then I have to get to the school. We have work to do if we want to make the world a better place," stated Severus calmly and coolly.
"What do we do?" asked Wood curiously.
"There will be voting for a new Minister in two weeks, we just need to get a select few to put in their names. I think Bill or Charlie will have the most chance of success. The rest of you must vote for one of our own; once they are in place the real changes will begin." said Severus.
"What about Granger and Weasley?" asked Harry sneering their names in disgust. Oh, how he wanted revenge on them.
"Don't worry, we can make their lives a living hell without breaking the law. Granger and Weasley will find themselves unable to get jobs," smirked Severus wickedly. With bribes, anything worked. Granger and Weasley would regret the day they hurt his husband.
"Without jobs they won't have money," said Harry. Well, that was okay, he supposed, he just wished he could give them their own personal Dementor.
"If and when they finally break the law, then we can bring down the full extent of it on their backs," said Severus viciously.
Bill just closed his eyes sadly. He knew what had become of his little brother, and what Snape planned was very vicious. He truly was a pure Slytherin at heart, and he was just glad he wasn't against the man. Thankfully though, the rest of the family was innocent, and not going to be punished for Ron's actions.
"I think I like working with Slytherins," smirked Wood wryly, cutting the tension and causing the others to laugh in amusement.
"What about the Order members?" asked Harry quietly.
"I will have them watched; the medallion had some changes made to it, and I took Dumbledore's original and replaced it with a copy. Nobody will know any different; if they try anything, I will know," said Severus, revealing something even Harry hadn't known.
Harry just shook his head in amusement.
They all quickly scattered, eager to get home to their own houses again and wait for the show.
Severus, Rowena, and Harry all moved to Hogwarts, allowing Severus to make the changes needed before the new term started. Hogwarts was indeed going to be a different place.
The Headmaster's office had undergone drastic changes; it was no longer filled with trinkets or red and gold. Harry had been given the title as Deputy Headmaster and Head of Gryffindor house. With what Harry had shared with him, he wasn't going to let Minerva's attitude scare the next generation of children. It was obvious they felt they couldn't connect with her, or go to her with their problems. Harry had gone to her once; she hadn't listened to him, so with that in mind he had decided to demote her. Minerva had woken up the day Voldemort was destroyed, and given a choice: stay on only as the Transfiguration teacher, or leave. She had of course chosen to stay. Trelawney had promptly been fired, and the tower had been cleared out. Binns was no longer the History of magic teacher, and Charity Burbage had been replaced by a Muggle-born who had experience in both worlds, who would actually be able to teach them something. Both of those classes were now mandatory to attend until their NEWT's year. Only then could students decide whether to continue Muggle studies, or dump it. Wizards needed knowledge of the Muggle world; it was so much more advanced than them, with CCTV and weapons that could take an entire city out if they were found out. He had managed to persuade a Defence Master to come from America to teach the children. The other teachers were absolutely thrilled with the changes Severus was making, apart from McGonagall. She was angry that he was upstaging Dumbledore, making him look weak and helpless in the eyes of the other teachers. Who were, by the way, no longer grieving for Dumbledore. If anything, they were in awe of Severus, who had also given them more money to buy new things and a lot more leeway than Dumbledore ever had. They were getting to decide their own syllabus; it was completely up to them what the children were taught. The New Year was looking to be the most exciting to start in sixty years.
Three weeks later the new Minister of magic was announced: William Arthur Weasley. It had been predictable, after all, the purebloods had been behind it, and Severus. Harry had of course publicly announced he wanted Bill to be Minister. With Harry's approval, the others had flocked to do the same. They really were like sheep, and very predictable; it turned Harry's stomach just seeing it. They were so mouldable, easily manipulated and gullible. It was a good job Dumbledore wasn't still here to do that to them.
Three years later, the world had flourished, with more and more students attending Hogwarts. They had been forced to expand the Dungeons and towers of Hogwarts, to accommodate the influx of new students. Severus had ensured the tuition was no longer what it used to be. The prices had been extortionate. He had been lucky enough to attend, if it had been any more expensive he wouldn't have been able to. His mother had only had enough for him to attend due to the majority being paid with a scholarship. There would be even more; in the past three years, families had been created― the book of prospective students was fuller than ever.
"Ro, be careful," chastised Severus, helping his daughter up, hiding a smile of amusement.
"Sorry, daddy," said Rowena, who was nearly four years old and incredibly beautiful. She had long, flowing black hair much like her father's, minus the greasy residue that was sometimes found on Severus' hair from Potion brewing.
"It's okay," said Severus, she was wearing a pair of light blue shorts, a little yellow top, and a dark blue cloak today.
"Where's daddy and Sevvy?" enquired Rowena, climbing on her daddy's knee. Her building blocks, colouring-in things and Barbie's were now forgotten.
Severus smiled softly down at his daughter, who was very safe; her daddies had made sure of that. Rowena had been two when their son had been born, Harry had insisted on naming him Severus after his husband. After him. His full name was Severus Harrison Potter-Snape. Rowena of course called him Sevvy, just like Harry did; Severus, though, always called him 'Sev' or Severus. "They will be back soon; they've gone to get us some ice-cream."
"For me too?" squealed Rowena jumping up and down on her daddy's lap obviously very happy.
"Of course," said Severus in mock seriousness.
"Yesss!" she cheered happily.
"What did I miss?" asked Harry, coming in with a huge smile on his face. He was carrying Sevvy, who was snuggled into his chest in a carrier. Harry had invented one similar to the Muggle ones, only making them much safer. Just in case they were hit with a spell or fell for one reason or another, the child would be perfectly safe. Sevvy had brown hair like Harry's but it wasn't the Potter's nest. He had Harry's emerald eyes, and Severus could lose himself in them for hours at a time.
"Ice-cream! Ice cream!" shouted Rowena happily.
"What would you like?" asked Harry staring at his nearly four year old daughter a peaceful, serene look on his face. Something that nobody would have seen until three years ago. His world was safe, so were his children.
"Chocolate! Chocolate!" chirped Rowena. She was like her daddy that way; Severus preferred chocolate to any other ice cream.
Severus set Rowena on her little chair and table, handing over the ice cream and letting their daughter enjoy it. He then took Sev from Harry, and placed him in his Moses basket, which was right next to his desk. They kept the children within reach at all times. Better safe than sorry.
"Weasley and Granger will be released from Azkaban later this week," said Severus quietly.
"I know," said Harry simply. They had been caught trying to give Harry Potions; they had realized they needed him again, to get jobs and be the hero's friend. Unfortunately for them, it was the move Severus had been waiting on. Also unfortunately, they had only gotten two and a half years each for their crime. Since it was their first offence.
The Order, surprisingly or not, had disbanded; they were no longer needed. Severus was disappointed; he had wanted to bring them up on charges for what they had done to Harry. Even to this day though, he kept a hawk's eye on them, waiting for the opportune moment.
"Do you think Poppy will find anything out about the new batch of first years?" asked Harry, changing the subject.
"We never know Harry," said Severus. When the first years began Hogwarts, the first week was hectic for Poppy. She had to check every student anyway, what better way to find out if students were being abused? They always found one or two among them, and they became wards of Hogwarts, until they got new homes. Bill had changed that law; children were no longer wards of the Ministry, but rather Wards of Hogwarts until they found new homes.
"At least they aren't being left alone," said Harry quietly, remembering all the times he had gone home to be abused.
"No, Harry, as long as I am Headmaster, there won't be another you or me," said Severus quietly.
"To think you had to be dark to get this far," said Harry in amusement.
"Not dark, going dark," said Severus fondly. He would cherish his two children; it had been hard enough for Harry to have Sevvy. The way Dumbledore's grandson had removed Rowena from his stomach had caused irrepairable damage. When Harry had given birth to Sev, they told them not to have more. To do so would mean Harry might not survive. That was completely unacceptable to Severus, and so they had stopped at two. It was more than Severus had ever dreamed, so he wasn't disappointed. Harry had been for a while, Severus could tell; he had wanted a large family. Fortunately Severus had been able to talk him around, make him see he should be happy with what he had. Two children were better than none at all after all.
Edited by Jordre.