Author's Note: This is the last chapter. I have really enjoyed writing this story and though it has many faults I still love it. Writing fan fiction seems to have improved my general writing as I did better on my papers last semester then I have ever done on any papers in school before. My writing needs vast improvement but it has vastly improved so I'll be patient in the meantime. I did want this story to go on for a little longer but the updates have been so sporadic I decided it would be better just to end it. I'll still be writing fan fiction though, just not chapter story's unless I can finish all the chapters before posting it. It's just too hard to keep up.
A Memory Found
by: Mystical Dragon
"That must be Ivan," Hermione whispered into Harry's ear as a rather sinister man with shoulder-length white hair walked into the Great Hall with Snape who was wearing glasses.
A soft murmuring ran around the Great Hall and Harry noticed even some of the teachers looked confused at who the new person could be. Draco, flanked by Crabbe and Goyle, smiled as the two of them passed the Slytherin table and then winked at Harry. Harry looked back at him, still unused to Draco being nice.
"Because of Professor Snape's condition," Dumbledore said, rising from his chair, and the murmuring stopped. "We thought it would be best for his brother, Ivan, to help Severus teach for a few weeks. You will show Ivan the same courtesy you would a regular teacher."
"I wonder how he acts," Ron said, looking worried. "I mean, he might be mean just to keep the charade up about being Snape's brother."
Harry rather doubted it. Ivan hadn't seemed the type.
"We'll find out soon," Hermione said. "Potions is first thing this morning."
Harry started to eat, wondering how Snape was going to act now. He had barely seen him during the Christmas vacation and when he had seen him, Snape had been withdrawn and didn't talk. Which actually wasn't that abnormal. The only times Snape had ever talked around Harry had been to insult him. Or so it seemed.
Breakfast seemed to go by at a snail's pace and by the time Harry, Ron, and Hermione were seated around a table in the Potions classroom, Harry was sure it was lunch time already. Time was a tricky dealer; speeding up when someone didn't want it to and slowing down when someone wanted it to fly.
The Slytherins filed in and nervously glanced at Ivan as they took their seats. Hadn't they met him already?
"Is everyone here?" Ivan asked as he lifted a silvery coated box onto the table.
"Yes," Snape answered from behind him, looking around the room and then back at a piece of parchment in his hand.
"Good," Ivan said and then smiled at them. "Since I'm not really a Potions master and Severus doesn't feel like teaching yet I have decided to let you all teach yourselves for the next week or two by..."
Hermione's hand instantly shot up.
"Yes?" Ivan politely asked, looking at Hermione without any of the irritation Snape usually looked at her with.
"What about the OWL's? We need to prepare for them," she said. "They are this year."
"I know," Ivan said, tapping the lid on the box. "You'll be teaching yourself by trying to figure out what the potion is that I am about to give you. Your studying will help you for the tests."
Harry glanced at Ron, worried. How were they supposed to do that?
"How?" Seamus asked.
Ivan lifted the lid off the box and picked up a clear round jar. He shook it. The bright yellow liquid inside started to smoke. "By the color, the consistency, the reactions they have. None of these potions are poisonous or toxic so you can safely take a drop or two out of the bottles for experiments. Those books," Ivan said, waving to two bookcases at the back of the room, "will help you in your identification. This potion, for instance, is quite unique. It's a bright color and it smokes when shaken."
Snape began to take the bottles out of the box and place them in four groups across his desk.
"Some of you, I know, hate potions so these potions," Ivan said, pointing at the first group, "are very simple. You might even be able to do one of those a day and I will expect each of you to work on a potion while you are in here until my brother feels like teaching again. You don't have to do any homework during that time," Harry and Ron grinned at each other while Hermione frowned, "unless you want to. The next group is easy potions that might take two or three days. The next group will take a week if not longer and the final group is extremely difficult. Some of you like a challenge and they will be challenging," Ivan said, looking at Hermione. "You may work alone, in pairs, or in groups of three but no group bigger than three."
Harry was sure Ivan had mentioned the group of three for Draco, Goyle, and Crabbe's benefit since they were all smiling at each other.
"Us three?" Hermione asked.
Harry hated doing this but he shook his head. "You're going to want to do the challenging one and I don't like potions enough to help you," Harry admitted.
Hermione glanced at Ron who also shook his head and shrugged. "I'll do it myself then. Which one are you two getting?"
"Very simple one," Harry and Ron answered together.
Hermione rolled her eyes and went to get her bottle.
"Let's get ours," Harry said.
The very simple potions where the most popular and Harry managed to snag a black potion. It left a purple stain for a few seconds over the glass it touched as he rolled it around.
Neville was standing next to the simple potions when Ivan came over and pointed at the third group.
"I'm told you like Herbology." he said.
Neville nodded and Ivan picked up a bottle with a dark green liquid inside. "This one may be harder but it should be a breeze for someone who likes Herbology."
Neville took the potion, looking worried, and went to sit down.
Ron left to grab some books for them. He came back with four while Hermione stumbled back to her seat with her load of ten books.
None of the books Ron brought back were useful so Harry decided to look at the bookshelves himself. Neville was sitting next to it with his bottle beside him, clucking and making notes on a scrap piece of parchment.
Harry grabbed several books that were about finding out what a potion was from its color and reactions. They quickly narrowed it down since few potions were black.
"It's not a poison and its not toxic," Ron said, scratching two possibilities from their list.
They narrowed it down further and Harry raised his hand.
"It's for waterproofing boats," Harry said, grinning when Ivan come over.
Ivan nodded. "Very good. Basic store bought potion. All the easy potions are the standard ones, store-bought, with no variations in color or reactions so its easy to figure them out."
"If it wasn't standard what would it have looked like?" Harry asked.
"It could have been white, yellow, blue even," Ivan shrugged and tapped the books they had used. "The magic in England is so regulated your potions are all the same. The challenging ones are the ones that people created themselves using the ingredients they could find instead of buy. Those are the fun ones."
Harry and Ron looked at each other and then at Hermione who was busily flipping through a book on mushrooms and their uses in potions.
"Ivan?" Ron asked as Ivan started to move away.
"Yes?" he asked.
Ron was still staring at Hermione's book. "Can you make the same sort of potions we do in class without buying the ingredients?"
"Easily. The effects may be slightly different but..."
"Then why don't we learn how to do that?" Ron demanded, finally looking at Ivan. "I'm poor. My family can't afford half the ingredients we use in here so learning this subject has been completely useless so far. I know how to make a cold remedy but I can't afford the ingredients so I can't make it," he said, sounding angry and frustrated.
"Witches and Wizards have given up quite a bit of their freedom to live under a government," Ivan said softly. "We teach what we are told to not what would be useful."
"Try a challenging one," Ivan said, nodding towards the table.
Ron shrugged at Harry and got one. A pale blue liquid.
"Those books on identifying are going to be useless now," Ivan said. "Have fun."
When the class ended they had gotten nowhere.
"I think we made a mistake," Ron muttered.
"Don't worry," Ivan called as they all gathered their stuff together. "You will not be graded on whether or not you find out what your potion does. I just want you to have the experience."
"Good," Ron said, looking relieved.
As the week went by, Harry noticed Snape was looking more at ease in their classes and answering more of their questions then he had at first. He occasionally looked angry at something someone did or said but it passed surprisingly quickly. Potions was no longer a feared subject and a few people were even beginning to enjoy it.
When Snape finally began to teach, it was the same. He didn't teach the entire time and would let them work on some of their own potion projects. Ron and Harry were still trying to figure out what their mysterious homemade potion was while Hermione was working on her second one. Even Neville, to Harry's surprise, had opted to try one after he had found out what his first one had been.
Harry just wished everything else was going as good as potions.
"Have you ever thought of what you're going to do after you leave Hogwarts?" Ron asked.
Harry shrugged. The only thing he did know was that after his seventh year, Harry was no longer going back to the Dursley's. He didn't care if he ended up having to sleep in the streets of Diagon Alley, he wasn't going to live at that place any longer than he had to.
"Harry?" Hermione asked, looking at him with a Daily Prophet in her lap.
"What?" he asked.
"You don't like living at the Dursley's, right?"
"Of course he doesn't," Ron snapped and Hermione shot him an angry look.
"No, I don't," Harry answered, wondering what this was about.
Hermione lifted up the Daily Prophet. It showed the face of a building with a sign that read Knockturn Alley Orphanage attached to it.
"A Dark Elf is running it, remember? I don't think even Voldemort would get you there. Maybe you could go to it during the summer," Hermione said, looking like it wouldn't hurt to ask someone about it.
Harry stared at her. "You think Dumbledore would let me?"
"Ask Ivan," Ron suggested. "He's always going against the rules."
Ron liked Ivan and Harry decided he would do just that. He was sick and tired of the Dursley's. He just couldn't handle going there again. His reserves were running down and Harry was sick of needing reserves.
Ivan, to Harry's immense surprise, not only agreed to Harry going there but agreed to talking to Dumbledore about it with Harry.
"So," Harry said, after he had explained what he wanted to do to Dumbledore while sitting in his office, "I just can't stand going back to the Dursley's. I can't," he said, feeling nothing in case Dumbledore disagreed.
"I'm sorry, Harry. Isadora is going to need to concentrate on those other children..." Dumbledore trailed off and Harry numbly nodded his head.
Stupid thing to hope for anyway.
"Isadora does but I don't," Ivan said from behind. "What do you say, Harry? Ready to spend the summer with me, Severus, and Draco?"
Harry glanced behind him to see Ivan's serious face and then at Dumbledore. Dumbledore was leaning back and then he smiled. "Why not? Why not bring Sirius and Remus along with you? I could stand to do without them for the summer break and I think..." Dumbledore smiled at Harry, "Harry could use the time with his godfather."
Harry slowly nodded his head. For the first time since he had come to Hogwarts, Harry was looking forward to the summer.
There may or may not be a sequel, about the summer months, it will depend.