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When Allinorah Snape was sorted into Gryffindor in her first year, it was no surprise. When Delidyr Snape was sorted into Ravenclaw the year after, it wasn't much of a shock either. Anyone who had guessed otherwise was quite frankly completely and utterly deprived of any and all brain cells.

But as the bright-eyed students awaited their letters for Hogwarts to enter this year, the tongue-wagglers were faced with a dilemma about their favourite family to gossip about (not to their face of course, God forbid).

Fiery Kaylena Snape was a shoo-in for Slytherin. Jordanna Snape was most likely going to join her twin sister there, although there were small odds that she might join her older brother in Ravenclaw. (The Snape twins had created a name for themselves – Tor as the brains and Kaylee as the brawns – and several teachers were already thinking up new locks and protection for their equipment and materials.)

The potential female equivalent of the Weasley twins aside, it was Lucas Snape who most people were having a difficult time in deciding as to the appropriate house: he didn't seek the spotlight, but he had courage. He had intelligence, and could be cunning. In short, he could possibly fit in any house.

It was a well-known fact that the youngest Snape child was not the biological child of Severus and Hermione Snape. The fact that he was only six months younger than his twin sisters was a giveaway. That, and his blonde hair – still as blonde as ever. The reasons for his adoption were widely speculated and gossiped about: they ranged from Hermione having the love child of Malfoy (either senior or junior) to Snape impregnating some blonde bimbo and kidnapping the child to be raised with his four other unfortunate offspring.

It wasn't that attempts hadn't been made before to discover the parentage of young Lucas, it was just that every time someone went off looking for answers, they came back with a head full of questions on an entirely different subject matter, no recollection whatsoever of why they had left in the first place.

Lucas Snape was protected by strong magic.

There was a vague remembrance in some minds that the Malfoy family had had twins eleven years ago, but any further push into this repressed memory always resulted in a deflection to other thoughts. And thus the newspaper announcement of two babies – one girl and one boy – dated 22 June 2007 faded from memory.

No sane person dared asked the Malfoys outright as to Lucas Snape's paternity, but there were still those less sane that tried. The most famous one of them all was just months before: a young man on the eve of his twenty first birthday was dared by his fellow cocky young males to approach the Malfoys and ask them flat out if the fifth Snape had wandered away from their flock and gotten lost.

Max Meredith was never heard from again.

The Malfoys never acknowledged Lucas Snape, and there was much discussion about if there was any male Malfoy heir at all to speak off before finally – four years earlier – a rather public announcement had declared that two year old Salazar Lucius Draco Malfoy was the Malfoy heir, and for the first time, the magical world was graced with an image of a little boy who looked every inch his father and grandfather. (It was also a surprise to discover that the Prudence Malfoy had given birth to three girls in between.)

Likewise, the Snapes refused to acknowledge, deny or otherwise comment on the parentage of their fifth child: he was their son, their brother and that was all there was to it. Whilst anyone that dared to mention the lack of biological relationship between father and son to the fearsome Severus Snape did not disappear, never to be heard from again, they did walk uncomfortably for several days.

Back to the matter at hand, the unofficial betting on Lucas Snape's house at Hogwarts was doing steady business. There was an interesting predilection for Hufflepuff, though money was coming in steadily for the other three houses as well. Amidst all the flurry, one person silently entered and placed a bet on the outrageous odds that Lucas Snape would not attend Hogwarts at all.

This person instantly made their money back several times over when, minutes after the Hogwarts Express left platform 9 ¾ with only four Snape children onboard, Severus, Hermione and Lucas Snape stood before Croydon's School for Boys. (Croydon's School for Boys had been the boarding school Ali's best friend Genevieve's stepfather had attended. A Muggle married to a witch, Ethan Aratrass had nothing but good things to share about the school, and after much discussion – away from prying eyes, ears and other magical objects – Lucas had been enrolled.)

No one dared make it the headline of the Daily Prophet the following day, but it circulated just as fast throughout the magical world. 'Did you ever?' 'Why I never!' 'Well, strike me down!' 'That's a shock innit?' There were a few people who nodded their heads knowingly and declared that they of this since forever, but for the majority of people, the fact that Lucas Snape was a squib was the equivalent to when they had discovered that You Know Who had returned: it was truly shocking, and almost unbelievable.

With the benefit of a murky crystal clear hindsight, and suspicions aroused anew, it was noted that the Snapes and Malfoys were never seen in public together, and had not done so for a very long time. 'Nine years!' the busybodies all now declared in their all-knowing tones and their all-knowing nods. After all, why else wouldn't the families of two ex-Death Eaters – one a spy and the other lucky enough (and rich enough) to get off scot-free after the war – mix together? 'What a happy occasion that would be,' one naysayer had sniggered as another slapped her knee. 'Lucas Snape is a squib Malfoy. That's why.'

To those who had had suspicions ever since the sudden arrival of a little blonde haired boy into the Snape family, and by extension their lives, nine years earlier, the full implications of what Hermione and Severus had done by taking in Lucas Tobias Malfoy was silently acknowledged and applauded.