Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters. They're all JKR's. I only like to play with them. ;)
"There he is."
"Yes, see? It says 'Severus Snape'."
Snape tried to ignore the whispered conversation and lifted his book a little higher to indicate he was busy. First-years, of course. Everyone else at Hogwarts knew better than to disturb him.
"Look at that!" a boy called out excitedly. "An Order of Merlin, First Class!"
"What did he get it for?" a girl asked.
A Muggle-born, obviously. The whole Wizarding World knew why he had been awarded that medal. Thanks to Harry Bloody Potter who couldn't even mind his own business now that he, Severus Snape, was dead and existed only in this portrait that the brat had insisted on putting up where everyone could see it.
Snape glared over the top of his book at the small group of first year students that had gathered before his portrait. They were gawking at him as if they had never seen a wizard's portrait before.
"For sending Harry Potter to his death", he said in that silky, slightly menacing tone of voice that, during his lifetime, had made every student who possessed the merest spark of self-preservation hurry to get out of his sight.
The shocked gasps from the children told him it still had a very similar effect. Good. That should shut them up and make them leave. It always did.
"Yes, and my Dad says it's a good thing you did because if you hadn't, he'd never have managed to beat Riddle," a single voice piped up from somewhere at the back of the crowd.
Snape snapped his book shut and frowned.
The boys and girls parted so that he could see the boy who had spoken. For a second, Snape held his breath. Green eyes. Lily's eyes.
"You're a Potter," he said.
The boy nodded. "Albus Severus."
Snape's frown deepened. No, that couldn't be right.
"Did you say Severus?"
"What, you're named after him?" another boy burst out.
"Yes." The young Potter frowned at his classmate. "My Dad says he was the bravest man he ever knew."
His fellow first-years stared at him. And Snape, too, was at a loss for words. He couldn't even think of one of his trademark biting remarks - not in view of those green eyes.
The bravest man he ever knew? What the -
"Children, stop bothering Professor Snape."
It was one of those rare moments when Snape actually was glad to see McGonagall. The headmistress looked at the first-years over the rim of her glasses.
"You're missing breakfast."
The children mumbled apologies and hurried off - and now that he wasn't so transfixed by those green eyes anymore, Snape saw it.
The boy stopped and turned. "Sir?"
"You're - Slytherin?" Snape pointed his chin at the boy's silver and green tie.
Snape frowned. "Why? Shouldn't you be in Gryffindor, like your brother?"
"Well -" Albus stepped closer again. "I did want to go to Gryffindor. But when I was sorted, the Hat wasn't sure where to put me, Gryffindor or Slytherin. And I thought -" He clasped his hands on his back and looked down at his shoes. "Slytherin's still got a pretty bad name. Which is really unfair. I met some Slytherins on the train an they're really ok. So I thought, well, that if I went to Slytherin and people saw I don't mind, even though I'm Harry Potter's son ..." He shrugged.
Snape said nothing.
"Off to breakfast, Mr. Potter," McGonagall admonished.
The boy nodded and ran off, after his friends.
"Sorry about the disturbance, Severus."
Snape shrugged. "It always happens at the start of term." He opened his book - only to put it down again. "That boy -"
"He's got his father's eyes," McGonagall said.
"Yes, I saw it. I bet he's just like his father." Snape gave an indignant sniff.
"He is indeed." The headmistress raised her eyebrows at him. "Very quiet and sensible for his age."
Snape shook his head. "Two Potters. I wonder how the school will survive it."
McGonagall laughed. "Just wait. In two years, it's going to be three."
"Yes. They have a sister who will come to Hogwarts in two years." The headmistress smiled. "Her name is Lily and I'm being told she's the very image of her deceased grandmother. - Excuse me, Severus, but I have other matters to attend to."
Snape stared after McGonagall.
Well, at least, he had a warning. So he wouldn't be too shocked or surprised when he found himself face to face with Lily Potter. Because that just wouldn't do, would it? He lifted his book to resume his reading.
James Potter. And Lily Potter. And Albus Severus ...
"I bet he's only doing that to annoy me", he murmured.
--- End ---