AN: This is the sequel to my story "Frater Gemini". If you have not done so already, you might want to slip over there and read it. Enjoy!
Sunlight filtered through the open curtains of one of the second floor windows in the little white house at the end of the lane and onto the face of the owner of the house, thus cutting off any thoughts of attempting to sleep in. Not that he was sleeping very well while sitting up and holding a blanket-wrapped thirteen-year-old. And the thirteen-year-old currently using his knees as a pillow was cutting off the circulation to his feet.
At least they were sleeping soundly now. The last three weeks had been hard on all three of them, because there had yet to be a night where one of the two young teens had not woken up with a nightmare. It had been three weeks since he had adopted these two boys and it had been that very night that the nightmares had started. There was no pattern to which one would have a nightmare, so he couldn't use the Dreamless Sleep potion. And it just wasn't safe to use that potion more than three nights a week. School would start back in a week and he wasn't sure how any of the three of them would manage if the nightmares didn't stop.
He moved his legs slightly and the dark head resting there rose and then dropped onto the bed, the boy not even waking. Severus shook his head. At least that one's nightmares hadn't been the most frequent. Harry's nightmares involved screams that Severus never wanted to hear again…screams of a boy under the Cruciatus Curse. The boy always woke the next morning with a sore throat. But at least he had a potion that could help with that.
It was the other one that he was most worried about. The one that, until a year ago, he had thought was his beloved godson…only to find out that he was actually the godson of his old nemesis and the son of the man that married the only woman he ever loved. While Draco could miraculously sleep through Harry's nightmares, the opposite was not true. Instead of screaming like his twin, Draco could always be found curled in fetal position, whimpering. If it hadn't been for Harry, Severus probably wouldn't have known about Draco's nightmares at all. Harry, who could sense his brother's emotions, would wake up and come downstairs to get Severus, then curl up at the foot of his brother's bed and go back to sleep while Severus tried to wake Draco and then get the boy back to sleep…which would only happen as long as he was wrapped in the blanket that Lily had made so long ago and being held by Severus.
Perhaps tonight, after purchasing the boys' school supplies and taking the train out to Hogwarts, he would dose them both with Dreamless Sleep, guaranteeing them all at least one full night of sleep.
But first, they had things to do. He would leave the boys with the Weasleys to purchase the things they needed for school while he went and talked to the last member of the Marauders…the "gang" of boys that had singled him out for torment during their Hogwarts days. The man hadn't necessarily take part in all the torment, but he hadn't tried to stop Potter or Black either. He could put up with the man long enough to figure out what Lily's strange message a few weeks before meant. And he would tolerate the man this year, but only because the man was going to be teaching at Hogwarts. He was not thrilled about the werewolf being at the school, but as long as the man took the Wolfsbane and took other precautions, and Severus intended to make sure were taken, it shouldn't be a big problem.
Severus looked up from the Daily Prophet when his sons came into the kitchen. "Good morning," he greeted them as Harry began to fix their plates. Both boys mumbled a greeting as Draco gave him a quick hug before going to pour them both glasses of juice. The sight of the two of them working together never failed to please him.
He watched the youngest of his sons for a moment. They had removed the glamour on their birthday and Severus knew that neither boy had their wand, so why was the boy blond again. "Dragon, I thought I removed the glamour…"
"You did," Draco answered. "I just didn't want to be confused for a Weasley since you insist on leaving us with them today."
"There is nothing wrong with the Weasleys!" Harry protested.
"Right…which is why Ronald stormed out of the infirmary that day."
"He's still my friend, Draco. And I like the twins…and Ginny."
Severus slapped Draco's hand when the boy tried to steal his cup of coffee. "That's enough. Both of you."
"Yes sir," they replied. They had managed to stay out of trouble since he had lifted their grounding early and they wanted to keep it that way.
"Which one of you managed to cast a wandless glamour? I still have both of your wands."
"Neither of us," Draco answered with a shrug. "I just thought real hard and it changed back."
Severus stared at him. "Show me…"
Draco's face twisted in concentration and after a moment the blond hair turned a dark red. Grey eyes became green, and the sharp aristocratic features softened.
"That's brilliant, isn't it, Uncle Sev?" Harry asked.
"Try to change to something else," Severus told the boy.
"Like 'Dora?" Draco asked him.
Harry looked back and forth between the two of them. "Who is Dora?"
"Nymphadora Tonks is Narcissa's niece…she's a Metamorphmagus. She can change her appearance at will," Severus explained. "She graduated Hogwarts the year before you two came and I believe that her favorite hair color was pink."
Harry turned to his brother. "Can you do that?"
Draco's face twisted in concentration once more. "Guess not," he said a moment later when nothing happened.
"It's still a special talent," Harry told him. "Like my being able to talk to snakes."
Draco smirked at his brother and then changed back to the blond hair and cold grey eyes. "Can I please stay like this, Uncle Sev?"
Severus sighed. "I suppose it's alright. But don't go showing off this new talent of yours."
Harry and Draco had been left in the charge of Fred and George Weasley who had been promised an afternoon in the Potions Master's private lab if a few simple conditions were met: that the two boys got back in one piece, with only the things that they had been sent to buy and they were not to stop at either Zonkos or Honeydukes.
After watching his sons walk away with the three youngest Weasley males, Severus turned and headed back into the Leaky Cauldron and up the stairs to the room where Remus Lupin was staying. "You look like hell," he said with the man opened the door. "How many days until the full moon?" He didn't really care about the werewolf, but as he was the one brewing the Wolfsbane that the man needed, he felt justified in asking.
Lupin raked his fingers through his hair. "Four. I'll take the Express to Hogwarts with the students since I won't be up to Apparating." He stepped aside to let Severus in. "I read about the adoption. Congratulations, Severus. I'm sure that James and Lily would be happy to know that their sons are safe now."
"Lily is the reason I'm here, Lupin." He moved over to the small table and took a seat. "While Draco was recovering from what Lucius did to him, he dreamed of Lily. She gave him a message for me. 'The things that happened in the hours after my death are not as they appeared.' I never liked Black, I still don't, but is there a chance that he's innocent as he claimed twelve years ago?"
Lupin sat across from him. "Severus, you knew us at school. Peter tended to hide behind James and Sirius…he was a follower."
"I'm still not sure how he ended up a Maurader."
"How did I end up as one? It was James and Sirius who pulled most of the pranks while we were at school. Albus only made me a prefect to try and keep them out of trouble and you saw how well that worked. I think they just let Peter and I call ourselves Mauraders because we were their roommates."
"All they found of Pettigrew was his finger. Is there a way that he could have escaped that blast…Apparation, something…anything."
Lupin raked his fingers through his hair. "Merlin, why didn't I think about that before?"
"Think of what, Lupin?"
"After you knew the truth about me…did you ever wonder notice that James, Sirius and Peter were exhausted the day after the full moon? I was able to spend time in the Infirmary recovering, but they weren't even supposed to be out of the castle…"
"You aren't making any sense."
Lupin sighed. "I'm sorry, Severus. After they found out the truth about me…they all had an illegal Animangus form. They would keep me company after I transformed…it helped."
"Animangi? Did Albus and Minerva know about this?"
"Of course not, Severus. No one knew until James told Lily our seventh year…and now you."
"What is Pettigrew's Animangus form?"
"Umm…well…a rat," Lupin said with a slight chuckle.
Severus pinched the bridge of his nose. "Alright. So it is possible that Black was telling the truth and Pettigrew escaped. I'll get some of the old crowd to look into it."
"Why are you doing this, Severus?"
"I told you. Lily gave me a message through one of her sons."
"You loved her, didn't you?"
Severus sighed deeply. "I never stopped loving her, Lupin."
She leaned casually against the wall, a hat pulled low over her eyes. Her grey eyes, the color of the sea during a storm, watched everything going on around her as had been her habit for years. Even in the wizarding world it was to pick out an easy mark, not that she had seriously looked for a mark in about three years.
Her godfather and his apprentice stood nearby arguing; her godfather in English and his apprentice in French. Those two were always arguing about something and she just couldn't translate fast enough to keep up with her friend's rapid fire French.
Tuning them out, she went back to her people watching. Nearby she saw four red heads speaking to a tall man with long dark hair who had his hands resting on the shoulders of two boys about her age, one with dark hair and the other with blonde. The two youngest red heads looked at the man almost with fear while the two identical red heads were listening carefully to the man's instructions. After a moment the man walked away from them.
The boy with the dark hair turned to the youngest red head. "Listen, Ron…you don't have to like it, but Draco is my brother, my twin brother, and Uncle Sev adopted us…if you can't keep your negative thoughts to yourself, you can just go spend the day with your mum and Ginny, because I don't want to hear it!" She heard Ron stutter an apology as they all walked away.
Well that was interesting, she thought, before resuming her people watching. Perhaps I'll find out what that was all about once school starts.
This would be her first year of any sort of formal magical education. Things were different in America …there young witches and wizards were apprenticed to another witch or wizard for their education. She was apprenticed to her godfather, but because of his job other arrangements had be made for the man's two apprentices for at least the next two years. Her godfather, Daniel Cole, worked for the American Magical Law Enforcement, but was often loaned out to the American military for special assignments. It was because of one of these assignments that he had arranged for them to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Such an arrangement was highly unusual, but Cap, as she called her godfather, knew enough people in both countries to pull the right strings.
She knew she looked out of place on this London wizarding street, but she didn't really care. Having grown up on the streets on New York City , she learned not to care about what people thought. She had also learned to blend in, even while dressed differently. Her usual uniform was baggy black pants and a dark solid color shirt. Today she had added robes similar in style to a muggle trench coat and a muggle cap that had been in her godfather's family for several generations. In no way was she looking forward to wearing skirts as part of the uniform at Hogwarts, but at least she only had to wear them for classes.
Out of the corner of her eye she caught sight of a familiar and very unwelcome face. He was not supposed to be here! Without a second thought, she stormed over and swung a powerful right hook at the face of the boy she never wanted to see again.
They had been passing Quality Quidditch Supplies when they saw it: the Firebolt! Harry, Draco, Ron, Fred and George all crowded around the display window to get a good look at the newest and fastest racing broom.
"I bet it cost a fortune."
"There isn't even a price tag. Of course it cost a fortune."
"Stop being a prat, Malfoy."
"The name isn't Malfoy anymore…" Draco was cut off when a fist came out of nowhere and caught him in the jaw, knocking him off his feet. He looked up to see a strangely dressed girl with a long dark red braid glaring down at him, her hands pointing toward him with her fingers splayed.
The sky suddenly grew dark and the wind began to blow. A tall man with dark blond hair ran up behind her wrapping his arms around her and lifting her off her feet. "Rae! Stop it now!" he snapped at her. "Control yourself!" The storm continued to brew and the winds got even stronger. "Alana Rae Kelly if you don't stop it this instant I will get Beau to douse you…"
The tall dark haired teen with them, reached around the man and placed a cap on the girl's head, covering her eyes. "You dropped that, cherie."
"I told you not to call me that!" she snapped, before relaxing slightly in the man's arms. As quickly as the storm come, it was gone.
The man set her down near the other teen and knelt in front of Draco. "May I take a look? She can hit pretty hard."
"You're telling me," Draco spat, but he allowed the man to look at his face.
"My name is Daniel Cole and these are my apprentices. The young lady that hit you is Rae Kelly, my goddaughter, and the young man is Beau Devereaux." He cast a glance at the two teens over his shoulder. Beau had not let go of the girl, but she was struggling to get away from him as they argued quietly. "I don't think anything is broken, young man. Just sore."
"Does she usually go around hitting strangers?" Harry asked, kneeling down beside them.
"Usually she behaves better than that, but at first glance this young man looks like someone she never wants to see again," he explained.
Draco sighed as he caught sight of the girl giving him yet another dirty look. He looked over the man's shoulder. "Can I change, Uncle Sev? Please? I really don't want to get hit again…"
"In a moment," he said, kneeling down as well. He pulled his wand and ran a quick diagnostic spell. "Can I not leave you two unattended for even an hour without you getting into some kind of trouble?"
"It wasn't his fault," Harry explained to him. "She just walked up and hit him."
"My apprentice has quite a temper…" Daniel explained.
"So does he," Draco whispered.
The remark earned him a dirty look from Severus and a light cuff on the back of the head. "You may change," he told the boy.
"Thank you!" he exclaimed, changing his features.
"He's a Metamorph?" Fred asked.
"Duomorph," Severus answered, standing and helping Draco to his feet. He brushed the dirt from his robes and turned to the other man. "I'm Severus Snape."
"Daniel Cole," he replied, shaking hands with the other wizard. "I believe we were supposed to meet in a couple hours."
"Indeed we were. These are my sons Harry and Draco and their friends Fred, George and Ronald Weasley," Severus said.
Daniel reintroduced his two apprentices. "I apologize again for my apprentice's behavior."
George stepped forward. "Professor, after she hit Draco the sky got dark and the wind started to blow, like it was about to rain but then it just went away."
Severus turned to Daniel once more. "Is Miss Kelly a weather witch?"
"She is," the man replied, looking over at the girl. She looked away, pretending to be bored with the conversation. "Though she does have a bit of trouble controlling it when she looses her temper…"
"Then perhaps private lessons in some of the mental disciplines would not be remiss while she is at Hogwarts," Severus said.
"Hogwarts!" Draco snapped. "She's going to Hogwarts?"
Severus gave him a look. "They both are. Mind your manners."
"But Uncle Sev…I don't want to worry about getting clouted every time I decide I don't want to look like a Weasley…" the boy protested, earning him dark looks from the Weasley boys.
"You look like your mother," the Potions Master replied. "Go with Fred and George to finish your shopping…"
"Go!" Sighing, Draco followed Harry and the Weasleys down the street. Severus raked his fingers through his hair. "I apologize…again."
"I understand," Daniel told him. "They are teenagers."
A few hours later Harry, Draco, Severus and the three Americans were on the Hogwarts Express. Normally Severus would have Flooed straight to his quarters, but Albus had asked him to escort the two new students and their guardian to the school. During the next few days the two teens would be Sorted and would be tested on their magical knowledge to ensure their proper place in their classes.
"I work for American Magical Law Enforcement,' Daniel was explaining. "They often loan me out to the American military for special cases."
"He's a Captain in the AMLE," Rae said, resting her head against her godfather's shoulder. Daniel smiled affectionately down at her. It wasn't often that she acted like a normal girl her age. "The only person with a higher rank is the Director."
Daniel chuckled. "And we want the Director to keep his position for many years, don't we, little one?" She made a face at the endearment, but nodded. "The Director is my grandfather."
"Do you plan to go into the family business as well, Miss Kelly?" Severus asked.
"Cap and Gramps would like it if I would, but I wouldn't want to have to try and live up to their reputations," Rae answered. "I mean, Gramps has been the Director a long time and everyone says that he's the best we've ever had. And Cap is the youngest person to ever make Captain…he didn't just get it because Gramps is the Director. He's had to work really hard to get it."
"Uncle Sev's a Potions Master. One of the best in all of Europe !" Draco said proudly.
Severus gave him a look and then turned to Beau. "And what are your career plans, Mr. Devereax?"
"I've considered joining the AMLE, Professor Snape," the older teen answered. "But it was my mother's wish that I become a Healer as she was."
"Was?" Harry asked, joining the conversation for the first time.
The raven-haired teen nodded. "She was killed when I was ten along with two of my sisters and one of my brothers by a rogue dark wizard. That's how I met Cap. He was the lead investigator on the case."
"After that Beau became my apprentice," Daniel told them. "And my wife and I adopted him and his three remaining siblings. We were unable to have children of our own, so it worked out well for all parties."
"How does your wife feel about the long separation?" Severus asked him.
" Halle 's not too thrilled about it, but it does help that she has the little ones now to keep her company," Daniel answered. "Unfortunately, we've had many such separations since we married. The Director has promised that after this assignment I will be able to stay home for a while."
"Then I wish you a successful mission."
"Thank you, Snape. Will you tell us more about Hogwarts?" he asked.
"Indeed. Students at Hogwarts are sorted into one of four houses: Slytherin, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw. They will attend classes with their House and the four Houses compete throughout the year for the House Cup and the Quidditch Cup. Professors can give or take points and assign detentions."
"Uncle Sev is Head of Slytherin House," Draco piped up.
"Which house do you belong to, Mr. Snape?" Daniel asked.
Draco and Harry both grinned. It was the first time that anyone had called either of them by their new last name. "I belong to Slytherin House, sir. Harry's a Gryffindor."
"I bet that adds a fair bit to the normal sibling rivalry," Daniel chuckled.
"Like you wouldn't believe," Severus told him.
"We're not that bad!" Harry protested.
Severus looked down at him. "Really? Then would you care to explain to me why your room changed colors every time you two were down in my quarters last year?"
"Sorry…" they both whispered.
He nodded. "I have changed the colors once more and I have also arranged things so that you will not be allowed to use your wands in your room."
"Uncle Sev!" Draco protested.
"That's not fair!" Harry added.
Severus gave them both a look which silenced them.
"Are you married, Professor?" Rae asked him.
"No, Miss Kelly…Harry and Draco are the sons of a dear friend of mine from childhood. I adopted them this past summer," the Potions Master answered.
Daniel looked over at Harry. "Harry Potter?" he asked quietly.
"Yes sir," Harry answered politely. "But it's Harry Snape now."
"Uncle Sev!" Draco yelled as he and Harry walked into their room later that evening.
"Yes dragon?" he asked, walking up behind him.
Draco turned to look up at Severus. "Blue and yellow? You charmed our room to be blue and yellow?"
The man nodded. "I did. I thought it was the perfect solution to the color issue."
"Blue and yellow?!"
"If you two can agree on colors, perhaps I'll change it for you again at Christmas," he told them, walking down the hall to his own room.
Harry snickered as he opened his trunk.
"It's not funny!" Draco snapped at him.
"Actually it is, 'Ri. Look at the colors…Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw,"
"That just makes it even worse, Jamie!"
"You're just upset that Rae got Sorted into Slytherin."
"I am not! Oh…alright, maybe I am. But I don't want to worry about getting hit all the time just because I look like some guy she used to know! What did he do to her anyway?"
"Maybe you should ask her," Harry told him as he got ready for bed.
Draco sat on his bed and crossed his arms, clearly sulking. "Why did she have to be in Slytherin?"
"Maybe because that's where the Hat wanted her."
"Oh that's just a bunch of bull, Jamie, and you know it! You convinced the Hat to put you in Gryffindor."
Harry finished changing and pulled Draco's pajamas from his trunk and threw them at his brother. "I told the Hat that I didn't want to be in Slytherin, there is a big difference, 'Ri. I just didn't want to be around you any more than I had to."
"Well I don't want to be around her!"
"Then ask Uncle Sev if you can't get resorted," Harry said, loosing patience with his twin. He climbed into his bed.
"But I was in Slytherin first…" Draco replied, changing clothes.
"Oh stop being such a baby!"