Chapter Ten: A Way Out:
Grimmuald Place: August 1998:
The house was dark, damp and depressing and it was the last place that anyone would think to look for Moody alive or dead. He had a patch over where his magical eye had been and he could add a few new scars but he was alive. He sat under the invisibility cloak waiting for the one person to come he knew would make his way here. It sickened him what had happened, how Severus had been forced to kill Dumbledore. He knew the boy would have done so as a mercy killing, he could see how badly hurt the aged headmaster was and knew he would die a slow and painful death once the curse worked its way free.
He allowed Severus to enter the house and search it, he would not stop him as he was looking for something here. Severus found what he was looking for, a book and opened it to show a small device inside in the room of Regulus Black. He shrunk the book and pocketed it before he headed into Sirius's room hunting for something. Moody entered the room to see Severus on his knees sobbing as he held a letter and photo in his hands. He thought himself alone and so here he could give vent to the horrible feelings he felt.
"There is no time fer that boy." Moody said getting Severus to drop the letter and photo and turn facing him wand out, "put that away, I know ye worked out a plan with Dumbledore to end this war."
"You died, how…"
"Now ye should know it is hard t' get rid o' me." Moody said, "I have been working on getting the muggleborn to safety, a few have been caught but most are now safe."
"Most but not all." Severus said, "go away Moody, I can handle this on my own."
"Really? Ye are close t' a break down, I know ye really well boy, you need me."
"You do, and no matter what I will help ye, Merlin knows why but I will." Moody said limping up to him.
"You hate death eaters."
"Real ones, ye are not a real death eater." Moody said scratching his chin, "thought ye knew that about me, guess that is why my little trick as a captive did not work."
As Moody was not going to keep Severus there Severus turned and left the room. He drew on an invisibility cloak and headed from the house and Apparated away. Moody knew he had work to get done, there was only one of him and he could only save so many people. He was not sure what the plan was fully that Severus was ordered to follow but he could only hope it led to the end of Voldemort once and for all.
Southern Illinois: May 25th , 2008:
It was ironic really how much had changed for the better since he had been presumed dead and had been brought to America to start a new life. Severus Snape still went by the same name he had grown up with, it was true he could bottle fame and had made a potion that got people to not connect him to the Severus Snape back in England. He had made another potion that allowed him to tan and so, with his long black hair and eyes, and with a tanned thin but tone body he did not look like the same man. He was seated on the porch of his house, located in the swamps near Cairo was a small magical community.
Most like him lived deep in the swamp, their homes were well built out on silts over the water, half on land half in the water. Most followed a similar blueprint and Severus's home was no different in this, it was two stories tall with a living room, kitchen, dining room, small bathroom and a bedroom Severus converted to a potions lab. Upstairs were four more bedrooms and another bathroom. On the main level was the wraparound porch that Severus was fishing off of at this time. As it was a warm day he was clad only in a pair of green swim trunks and was watching his two sons playing on the grass with his beautiful raven haired wife playing with his raven haired tanned children.
"Such a wonderful sight." Moody said coming up to sit by Severus.
"Yes, never thought to have a life like this." Severus replied taking the paper from Moody, "ah nearly forgot, the tenth anniversary of my death."
"For a dead man you sure don't look bad." Moody said.
"Neither do you." Severus replied.
No-one in England would recognize Moody now, he had undergone both muggle surgery and magical means to have the part of his nose replaced blasted off, a new magical eye that matched his other brown one, much of his scars and such removed or lessoned where they could not be removed and a part magical part muggle new leg that looked real and was permanently attached. He had cut his hair and had it dyed a dark brown making him look years younger than he was. He was clad in a yellow tee shirt, orange shorts and purple flip-flops.
"Looks as if your portrait was added to Hogwarts, charming." Moody grunted.
"You had me sit for it, never thought a portrait could be activated when someone was still alive." Severus said.
"Don't see why not, it's not you really, just some paint, memories and a charm." Moody replied, "ever thought about going back just to see what is going on?"
"Are you mental? The way I was treated? No my life is far better here, I am truly free and respected, I will never go back."
"Good, pass me a beer will you?"
Severus did and took one himself, he was lucky Moody's plan worked, his carefully put together memories were meant to humble Potter. It was petty the way he had sorted them and gave them to Potter, but the boy needed to know that everyone had a dark side. Or he was just being petty, either way the boy did think for himself now and even had a family of his own. Severus put his beer down as he got a tug on his line and in short order he had pulled a large fish from the water and grinned, dinner was going to be very good tonight indeed.