Obviously, I don't own them, I just like to play with them now and again.

Another summer had begun. The students had left about a week before. This year had had a bad end, what with the death of Cedric Diggory and the return of Voldemort. Nevertheless, life went on, and after having given him a week's space to cope with the news, Dumbledore sought out his potions master. He felt it only fair that he should warn him that it was going to be a very interesting summer for him.

After the usual exchange of pleasantries (or unpleasantries, depending on your perspective), Dumbledore dove into his first order of business. He'd save the real reason he was there for last, slipping it in when he felt that the other man was the most open.

"So, what is Tom up to these days?"

"Planning mostly. Wants to know anything about Potter that might give him the upper hand. Wants to know about the wards on his relatives' home."

"Give me a day or two and I'll have some information for you. If you're summoned before that, tell him that I do not trust you right now."

"Any particular reason?"

"Maybe something to do with me thinking you replaced all my lemon drops with jawbreakers. You know, old-doddering-fool-tantrums."


They spent a few more minutes discussing events before Dumbledore finally remarked, "I know you'll spend most of your time in your lab, my boy, but if something strange comes up, be sure to let me know."

"Of course, Headmaster," was the acidic reply.

Not two nights later, the dreams began….


An eighteen-year old Severus, his several-inches-longer hair tied back in a low ponytail, was down on one knee in front of a seventeen-year-old Lily Evans. "Lily, will you do me the honor of being my wife?" At her ecstatic affirmative, he pulled her into his arms, smirking as she squealed in surprise. Then his expression sobered. "We won't be able to marry publicly."

"I know. Dumbledore can marry us. James, Sirius, and Remus can witness. I've never cared much for Peter, and the others have distanced themselves from him, so we just won't tell him."

"Good. I don't want him to know either."


Blood was pooled on the floor of the secluded seventh-floor classroom and more was dripping from his wrists. Things were getting fuzzy, and the firewhiskey was starting to kick in. That was good. Now maybe he'd be free from the pain and the self-hatred. Even the urgent pounding that had just started on the door did not interest him enough to go open it, even if he could.

Suddenly, the door burst open and James, Sirius, Remus, and Lily raced in. Lily gave a little cry and rushed over to him, placing his head in her lap while James began to staunch the bleeding. "Oh sweet Merlin, Sev, what have you done?" James said, half to himself. "Sirius, go get Pomfrey or Dumbledore. Preferably Pomfrey if you get to her first. Remus, keep anybody else from coming this way."

James then looked him straight in the eyes. "And don't you DARE die on me."


"Severus, I'm pregnant"

"What?! Oh Merlin, Lily!" He gave her a cautious hug, almost as though he were afraid of her breaking.


"I'm sorry it's come to this. I hope that you don't go without Lily and the baby for very long. Is Dumbledore sure this is the only way?"

"Yes." The words were weighed with intense sorrow. It was taking all he had not to cry. As it was, his voice broke responding.

"I'll do my best by them, you know that. I just hope it's all over before August first so you can maybe see your child being born. If not, I'll take pictures and Lily and I will apply a glamour charm that will start to gradually fade between the ages of eleven and seventeen, unless you lift it sooner. It will just replace any features the child inherits from you with mine."


After nearly two weeks of the dreams, he finally sought out the Headmaster.

"First off, Severus, they are not dreams. They're you real memories returning to you. That is why Dreamless Sleep proves ineffective against them."

"So I married Lily, James, Sirius, and Remus became my friends about halfway through sixth year, and…" He went completely white as a new realization hit him. "Oh Merlin. He's my son. Harry's my son."

"Yes, he is."

"What do I do? It's not like he's going to believe me, or even if he did, give me the time of day. If you recall, we are not on the best of terms."

"You underestimate his capacity for understanding and for forgiveness. He's had nowhere near the easy life that some might think." He placed no emphasis on the word "some" so that Severus knew that it was not solely directed at him.

"That still doesn't change the fact that I've treated him like shit for the past four years!"

"No, but you can move forward. Today is his fifteenth birthday. Maybe you and he can turn the page on your past history. Now how about getting the rest of your memories back now so that you can start on that tomorrow?"

He could only nod numbly in response.

Six hours later, he stumbled out of the Headmaster's Office and dragged himself to his quarters. He was going to need time and a stiff drink to process the memories and emotions surging through him.

Upon reaching his quarters, he poured himself a glass of the strongest drink on his shelf.

Pulling a book off the bookshelf, he sat down with the drink and opened the book. "Oh, hell," he said out loud. Out of all the books he had, he had to pull out the diary of the the only woman besides Lily that he'd ever loved. Flipping to a random entry, he began to read.

Minutes later, he put the book down, looking determined. Tomorrow he was going to the Dursleys' to retrieve his son, and then he was going to work to get to know him, and to let Harry get to know him as well.

It was with a much better frame of mind that Severus decided to toss out the drink and get some sleep instead.