HARRY POTTER AND THE SECRET OF SNAPE
A week had passed since the Battle of Hogwarts and the downfall of Lord Voldemort, and Harry Potter was at the Burrow with Hermione, Ron, and Ginny, spending some well deserved time with those he cared most about, without the weight on his shoulders of the fate of Wizarding kind.
"Harry, dear," Mrs. Weasley called. "Kingsley Shacklebolt is here to see you."
For the first time, Harry was not annoyed to be visited by the Minister of Magic. Kingsley had been a member of the Order of the Phoenix, and was now filling in as Minister until proper elections could be held.
"Be back in a bit," Harry said to Ginny, who sitting with him in the Garden. Harry didn't bother saying anything to Ron and Hermione, who were snogging on a nearby garden bench. They were making up for lost time, Harry guessed. And good for them.
Harry arrived in the Burrow's kitchen a moment later. He was greeted by Kingsley with a broad smile. "Good to see you, Potter!"
"You too, Minister," he replied with an equal smile. "What's the occasion?"
"Snape's will," Kingsley answered. "To general astonishment, he left you something. We'd check it for poison or jinxes, knowing how you two got on and all, but we can't get the damn thing open. Anytime we try, all we get is Snape's voice saying "Harry will know the password".
Harry was surprised by two things in that moment; first by the fact that Snape had left him anything, and second by the fact that the password Snape had called Harry by his first name. Even in his dying breath, Snape had called him by his surname. "Did you try 'Lily'?" Harry asked.
"Yes, we tried every name and spell we could think of."
"May I see it?"
Kingsley pulled a small box out of his pocket and handed it to Harry. "We thought about just breaking it open, but we didn't want to damage it – whatever it is."
Harry took the box from Kingsley and examined it. It was plain except for the crests of Gryffindor and Slytherin side by side on the lid, and the lock which was embellished with a Snake. An idea of how the box might open came to Harry nearly instantly, but based on the fact that Snape had gone to such measure to be sure that only Harry who see the contents of the box, Harry decided that he would not voice his idea.
"Any ideas?" Kingsley asked.
"No," Harry lied. "But I'll let you know if I come up with anything. Can I hold on to it?"
"Of course," Kingsley answered. "It's yours. Stop by the Ministry if you need me then. I'm practically chained to the desk at the moment, so I should be there."
"Well I'm headed back to Hogwarts in a week or two," Harry said. "Professor McGonagall said she would help me catch up on the stuff I missed during my seventh year, so I can start Auror training in September. So if you need me, I'll be there."
"Very well. Good day Potter." And with that, Kingsley was gone.
Harry turned around and walked back out to the garden. He saw Ron and Hermione sitting with Ginny now, and went over to join them.
"What did Kingsley want?" Ginny asked.
"Snape left me something in his will. He'd come to deliver it." Harry replied.
"What is it?" Ron asked.
"Don't know yet, but I think I know how to find out." Harry lifted the little box to the level of his eyes and started at the snake on the lock for a moment. Then, in Parseltongue, he said his mother's name.
The lock clicked, and the little box opened.
"Excellent!" Ron said.
"Oh!" Hermione said, as Harry lifted a potions bottle out of the box that was filled with a silvery liquid. "Those are memories, Harry!"
"Yeah, I know," Harry said quietly. He'd had extensive experience with viewing other people's memories as Dumbledore had prepared him to fight Voldemort. But what Harry was looking at now was a piece of parchment that had been resting beneath the bottle. He picked it up, and opened it.
As I write this letter to you I am sitting in the Headmaster's office, and only a few months ago you witnessed me kill Albus Dumbledore. If all has gone as Dumbledore planned, then you have already seen some of my memories regarding my feelings toward your mother, you have defeated the Dark Lord, and I hope you are sitting somewhere comfortably with your friends. If you are reading this then I did not survive the War either. This was not what I particularly wanted, but not unexpected either. I had hoped to be able to write a new letter to go with these memories, but it is not so, and you have a right to the information this vial contains. I hope that you will not think too badly of me, or of your mother, once you have seen these memories.
"Well that was about as cryptic as he could have been," Hermione said as Harry finished reading the letter. "I think that Snape meant for you to see the memories alone, Harry. He knew we'd be here with you when you opened the box, so he didn't say anything that would give us a clue in the letter."
"Yeah, I think she's right mate," Ron agreed.
"I'd be seeing the memories alone if he liked it or not," Harry replied. "Because I'm spending the rest of the summer at Hogwarts without you guys, and that the only place I know of that there's a Pensieve."
Just over a week later, Harry found himself back at Hogwarts. He had Apparated into Hogsmead, and a drink at the Three Broomsticks with Hagrid, and then headed back up to the castle. Hogwarts was nearly empty, as the students were home for the summer holidays. A few people were running about the castle, still cleaning up from the wreckage of the Battle a few weeks prior, but other than that all was quiet. Harry couldn't help but glance in sadness as places he knew friends had fallen during the Battle.
Just before coming back to Hogwarts, Harry had stopped at Mrs. Tonks house, to see little Teddy, his godson, for the first time. He and Mrs. Tonks had decided that she would take care of Teddy full time, until Harry was older and had a job and his own house, and then they'd split Teddy's time between them. Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks had both died in the Battle of Hogwarts just weeks after their son had been born. Harry had been named godfather, but none of them could have guessed he would have needed to fulfill his duty of guardian so soon.
Harry had gotten and Owl from Professor McGonagall that morning, which told him to settle in that evening and to report to her office first thing tomorrow morning to begin lessons. Knowing that McGonagall would be giving his little free time over the next few weeks, Harry decided that now would be a good time to go up to the Head's office and have a look at Snape's memories. Harry knew the route well, and before long he was standing in front of the stone Gargoyles, who guarded the door. They had been repaired since the battle, and looked at him with hard eyes.
"Severus," Harry said, and the Gargoyles moved aside. He walked up the stairs and into the office. He did not expect McGonagall to be there, although this was her office now. She had also told him that she was going to Diagon Alley that evening, and did he need anything.
There, on the desk, the Pensieve sat waiting for him. He walked up to it, and pulled the bottle of Snape's memories out of his pocket. Harry hesitated for a moment, thinking about Snape's last words on that piece of parchment, about him not thinking badly about his mother after he's seen this. However, Harry knew that Snape would never have gone through all this trouble if it was not important, so he uncorked the bottle, dumped the contents into the basin, and plunged.
Harry found himself in the last place he'd expected: the Slytherin dormitories. It was Christmas break, Harry guessed, seeing the snow outside, and by the fact that Snape and his mother were quite alone at the moment.
"Sev, at Holloween…" Lily started to say.
Harry glanced at Snape, who was grinning ear to ear and blushing. "You want to do that again?" he asked.
Lily pulled her knees up to her chest and placed her chin on them. "Sev…" she started again.
"What is it?" Snape asked, voice full of concern. Harry looked at his mother, and saw that she appeared to be scared, but like Snape, she was also blushing slightly.
"I'm pregnant, Severus." Lily finished at last.
Harry, almost mirroring Snape's reaction, gaped at her.
"W-what?" Snape stuttered.
"I'm going to have a baby, Sev." Lilly said quietly. "Your baby."
The scene changed. It was late spring now. Snape and Lily were outside, sitting alone by the lake. "Your charms are working Lily," he said. "No one has a clue."
Lily looked sad. "The baby will be born over the summer. Next time you see me will be on September the first. This will all be over."
"Yeah," Severus said. "Are you sure…"
"I'm giving the baby up for adoption, Sev," Lily said sharply. "Don't bring it up again."
"I want the baby to be able to find us when he's older, if he wants to," Lily said quietly. "So I've been thinking of naming him something that would give him a clue."
"He can't have our last names, or people will find out," Snape said.
"Yeah, I thought of that too," Lilly replied. "Any ideas on what surname to give him?"
"How about 'Prince'?" Snape suggested. "My mom's last name before she married my Muggle dad."
Lilly nodded. "And how about 'Evan', like my last name, for his first?"
Snape smiled. "Yeah, that would be good. That should give him a clue about you."
"How about this," Lily said, almost excitedly. "Evan Severus Prince."
Severus smiled again, and took Lily's hand. "That sounds great, Lily."
Harry could not believe what he was seeing. His mom? And Snape? Had a baby? But that meant…Harry almost fell over at the thought. "I have a big brother!" he shouted, to no one in particular.
The scene changed. Harry now stood in the Great Hall, behind a now adult Snape at the Staff table. Harry saw first years filing in and the Sorting Hat sitting on its stool. Harry glanced at Snape, who he was surprised to see looking anxious. Snape's expression was somewhere between bitter, scared, and excited, and Harry realized that Snape knew that in a moment, he'd be seeing his son for the first time. Harry's expression soon mirrored Snape's, as he too looked at the line of eleven year olds in search of his brother.
Before long, McGonagall called "Prince, Evan," and Harry and Snape both stared at a small black haired boy walking up to the stool. He looked a bit like Harry had then, though he did not wear glasses and his hair was far more tidy. Harry squinted at Evan's eyes, and saw with wonder that he also had Lily's eyes. Snape must have noticed this too, because he sat back with a nearly content look, just as the Hat declared that Evan was to be in Gryffindor.
The scene changed. Several years must have passed because Snape was now standing in a corridor, alone with Evan, who appeared to be in his third or fourth year now.
"Professor Snape, I was wondering. Since I was raised in a Muggle orphanage, how can I find out who my real parents were? I want to know if they were wizards, like me." Evan asked.
Snape looked startled. "Why are you asking me?"
"Just cause you always help me out, you know, in Potions. I say though, it's kind of weird that you do because you're never that nice to other kids in my house."
"Well," Snape said slowly, "I'd say look at your own name for clues. If I had a child and I gave him up for adoption, I would give him something that I knew he could not loose, like his name for example, that might help him find me, if that's what he wanted. Some children who are adopted do not wish to know who their birth parents are."
"Really?" Evan asked.
"It's a place to start." Snape said. Harry looked at Snape now, and saw a longing in his eyes. He could tell that Snape very much wanted to tell Evan the truth right now, but still, he held back.
"Thanks, Professor." Evan said, and then the boy hurried off.
"Too young," Snape murmured, "too young to know the truth."
The scene changed. Now they were in the dungeon that Snape used for a classroom, and Harry noticed a book on Evan's desk – The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 7. Evan was in his final year at Hogwarts, and by the look of the battered book, he was nearing the end of that. As the class filed out, Evan remained behind.
"Professor," he said, slowly approaching Snape's desk.
"Yes, Evan?" Snape asked, looking very tired.
"Sir, I…I found something out."
Snape instantly looked more alert. "About?"
"About you…and about me." Evan said slowly. "Sir, you're mother's surname was Prince, like mine. And…" Evan looked worried.
"Go on, Evan." Snape said with a sigh. "I think I already know what you're about to say."
Evan looked directly into Snape's eyes, and Harry could not help but feel bad for the both of them right now. This could not be an easy reunion, for either of them. "My middle name is Severus. I think, sir, that you may be my father."
Snape sat back in his chair and let out a long sigh of relief. "Yes, Evan, I am."
Evan reeled, and Snape got up to grab him. "Easy Evan, it's alright."
"You knew! You knew all along?" Evan about shouted. "And you never told me?"
"Evan I knew from the moment you set foot in this castle, well, before really. Your mother and I named you together."
"Who's my mother?" Evan demanded.
"I can't tell you that, at least not yet." Snape said, almost looking worried. Harry realized the same thing that Snape was probably thinking then – that if Voldemort knew that Harry Potter had a half brother, through Snape, that it would put all three of them in danger.
"Why?" Evan asked. "I want to meet her!"
"If it meant you could meet her I would tell you in an instant, but that's just not how it is. She's dead, Evan. Gone." Harry was stunned to see tears streaming openly down Snape's face. "A long time ago, Evan. I'm sorry."
"Was it…" Evan looked mortified for a moment. "Because of me?"
Snape put his hands on Evan's shoulders. "No, Evan, no. She died because she was fighting against the Dark Lord. A lot of people died back then."
Evan looked relived, but still sad. "Like Harry Potter's parents."
"Yes," Snape said. "Like them."
Harry suppressed a grin. He'd wondered when he'd be brought into the conversation.
Suddenly Harry found himself back in the Head's office. He found himself wondering what happened next. Did Snape and Evan keep in touch? Did Evan hate his father for his seemingly Dark allegiance? Was part of the reason Snape had hoped to survive the war so he could be sure his son would not remember him poorly?
"Harry?" a voice – Snape's voice - said from behind him.
Harry turned sharply to find himself staring at a portrait of Severus Snape. Of course! Harry thought. Snape was headmaster while Harry was searching for Horcruxes, he would be here.
"Sir –" Harry started.
"Harry, call me Severus, please. It's long past time we got over old bitterness."
"Yes Si…Severus," Harry said.
"So, you've just found out the truth, at long last. You have a brother. Do you understand why I never told anyone? Why I never told Evan who his mother was?"
"Yeah, I think so. It would have just put him, and me, in danger. And you too."
"Where is he now?" Harry asked.
"I don't know. The year Umbridge was here he went into hiding, like many of the Muggle borns. He knew, and I knew, that he was of Wizarding parentage, but I could not acknowledge him any more than I could tell who his mother was. For all I know, Evan still thinks the Dark Lord is at large, and I am alive."
"Did my dad know about him?"
"I don't know. I doubt it. I imagine that James would have tried to kill me if Lily had ever told him, which is why, I believe, she never told him. Not to mention, he was only five when they died."
"I can't believe I never noticed him – he was in my House – we have the same eyes."
"Lily's eyes, yes. First Harry, he was several years ahead of you. It's not as if you had classes together. He wanted to try out for the Quidditch Team, but I talked him out of it, out of fear that if the two of you started spending large amounts of time together, that one of you might guess – moreso him because he was looking for relatives, and you believed yours to be all dead, or Muggles."
"Does anyone else know?"
"Madam Pomfrey, but that's all. She helped Lily and I keep the fact that she was even pregnant hidden. And she delivered Evan, and then took him to the orphanage in which he grew up."
"Are you sure that she never told anyone? Not even Dumbledore?" Harry asked.
"Quite sure. We made an Unbreakable Vow with her about it. She swore to help us hide it, deliver the baby to the orphanage, and never speak of it to anyone. Now that both Lily and I are dead, she can speak freely, but I suspect that she has not thought it important to tell anyone in the weeks since I myself died. She may, however, have some clue to his whereabouts."
"You want me to find him, right?" Harry asked. "You want me to tell him about our mother, and about who you really were."
Snape nodded. "I would hate for my son to think ill of me. And Harry, please don't think differently of your mother, now that you know. We never talked about it, because I was still a Death Eater then, but I'm sure that in due time she was planning on telling you. I'm sure she would have wanted her sons to meet."
"Yeah. Well, I'm going to go talk to Madam Pomfrey before McGonagall gets back. I'll be back to talk to you. I'm here for a few weeks to catch up on what I missed while trying to kill Voldemort."
"Very well. Good luck." Snape said.
Harry about ran all the way to the Hospital Wing. "Madam Pomfrey!" he called, skidding into the doorway.
"Potter!" she shrieked, coming around the corner. "What's the matter?"
"I…Snape…Evan." Harry panted. "What do you know about Evan Prince?"
Madam Pomfrey dropped the bedpan she'd been holding. "What?" she squeaked.
"Evan Prince. Snape, and my mum. You can talk about it now. Because both my mum and Snape are dead." Harry had now regained his breath, but Madam Pomfrey seemed to be holding hers.
"How do you…" she asked.
"Snape told me," Harry said. "He left a letter, and some memories to me in his will."
Madam Pomfrey seemed to be breathing again, and had just noticed the bedpan she'd dropped. She bent to pick it up. "What do you want to know?"
"Anything. Snape told me to find him. Evan went into hiding a few years ago…" Harry began.
"No need," Madam Pomfrey said haughtily. "Evan Prince is on his way here right now."
"Now?" Harry asked, "As in…now?"
"Potter, I've kept tabs on Evan Prince since he left Hogwarts. He always knew that I knew who his parents were, thought I could not, of course, tell him. He's been in Romania, visiting Charlie Weasley. They were friends in school, ironically. I sent word by Owl to him that Voldemort was finished, and that he could come back here. He told me he'd stop by Hogwarts to visit me. Should be here any minute, if you'd like to wait. You can have the honor of divulging his parentage to him, if you wish."
"He already knows Snape's his dad."
"I thought he might." Madam Pomfrey said. "Clever boy, Evan Prince. Hates his surname though, I imagine he may start to go by Snape, now that he's free to speak of it."
There was a knock on the door. "Madam Pomfrey?"
Harry turned and saw a tall young man, quite good looking, with long black hair pulled back in a pony tail. He had a dragon skin jacket on, and an easy smile on his face. What Harry looked most intently at, however, were his eyes. His mother's eyes. Their mother's eyes. "Evan."
Evan looked at Harry, and then Harry saw his eyes fall to the scar on his forehead. "Harry Potter, aren't you?"
"How'd you know my name?"
"Evan," Madam Pomfrey said. "Why don't you sit? I think Mr. Potter might be more interested to meet you, than you are him."
"I don't understand, how do you know who I am, Harry? I know who you are, of course. Save the Wizarding World, and then Charlie talks about you a lot, as you're his little brother's best mate and all. And his sister's boyfriend, from what I hear."
Harry grinned. "Well, Severus Snape told me about you."
Evan grunted. "What did that murdering traitor tell you?"
"He wasn't like that Evan," Harry said. "He never betrayed Dumbledore. He helped me destroy Voldemort. And he told me the answer to your biggest question."
"What's that?" Evan asked, though Harry could tell he was not convinced.
"Who your parents were," Harry said simply.
"He told you?" Evan almost yelled. "I begged him for YEARS, and he wouldn't budge. But he told you, who aren't even involved?"
"Calm down, Evan," Madam Pomfrey ordered. "You're believing badly."
Harry looked at his shoes. How could he tell Evan? How would be the best way? How would he take it?
"Go on, Potter." Evan said.
"Evan, did you know why Dumbledore trusted Severus Snape?" Harry asked.
"It was because Severus found out that Voldemort was going to kill the one woman he'd always loved, and from that moment on, Severus was against the Voldemort. That woman was my mother. And Voldemort killed her, and my dad, and, well I'm sure you know the rest of that story."
"Yeah," Evan. "What's that got to do with anything?"
"Before my mum and dad got married, my mum's name was Lily Evans."
Harry imagined Evan was thinking about what Snape had said about Evan's name being a clue to who his parents were, and that Snape had said Evan's mother had been murdered by Voldemort. It certainly looked that way, by the eyes widening on his face.
Harry put the pieces together for Evan. "Severus and Lily had you when they were about sixteen. They were too young to raise a kid, so they sent you to the orphanage. Madam Pomfrey helped them hide it. A couple years later, Lily married James Potter, my dad, and then they had me. I was a year old when Voldemort murdered them. Severus couldn't tell you who she was back then because if Voldemort knew who your mother was, he'd have murdered you, or used you as bait to get me. It would have also been dangerous for Severus."
Evan looked like all of this was sinking in very slowly. "Then…you're my…"
"Little brother. Yeah." Harry said. "We have the same mother."
Evan leaned back into the chair and let out a sigh, and Harry thought about how he reminded him of Snape the way he had done so. "Wow. Harry. I've got a brother."
Harry smiled. "I know. Me too. Which I think is great because the one thing I've always wanted was…"
"A family," Evan finished in agreement. "Me too."
Evan remained at Hogwarts with Harry for the next few weeks, helping him catch up, or rather keep up, with McGonagall's work load. The brothers planned on going back to the Burrow afterwards. Harry had sent an owl to Ron, Hermione, and Ginny, telling them they he was bringing someone for them to meet, and Evan had sent an Owl to Charlie, asking him to meet him there. Evan and Harry decided that they would tell them together. Harry was now in the Head's office with Professor McGonagall.
"Harry," Professor McGonagall said, on the last day they were to be there. "You've been spending a great deal of time with Mr. Prince the last few weeks. Are you going to tell me why? You see, I knew Evan, he was in my house you know, when he was at Hogwarts. I never got the impression that you two had much in common."
Harry smiled. "We do, actually. I helped Evan find out who his parents were. He never knew – well he knew who his dad was, but not his mum."
Professor McGonagall looked interested. "Yes, Evan was always keen on finding out. He badgered me about it quite a bit, but I had no idea. So who were they?"
Just then, Evan walked in the room. "You ready Harry?"
Harry grinned. "Professor McGonagall was just asking about why we've been hanging out."
Evan grinned right back. "You tell her?"
"I was about to, but why don't you do the honors?"
Evan nodded, and turned to McGonagall. "Harry's my little brother, Professor. We have the same mum."
"Impossible!" McGonagall said. "Lily was, what, sixteen when you were born. I would have known if she had had a child."
"Madam Pomfrey helped her and my dad hide it. Then she took me to the orphanage I grew up in." Evan explained. "It's true."
"Who the blazes is your father then?" McGonagall inquired, and Harry knew that she still did not believe them.
"It's true, Minerva," the portrait of Severus Snape spoke up. "Evan and Harry are both the product of Lily Evans."
"Oh?" McGonagall snapped at Snape. "And how would you know this, Severus?"
"Because, I was there," Snape said. "I am Evan's father."
"Hey dad," Evan said to Severus. "Long time so see."
McGonagall looked like she'd been hit with a stunning spell. "Severus? And Lily?"
Snape ignored her. "Evan, I assume by the fact that you have not attempted to rip my portrait off the wall, that Harry has explained it all to you. About why I couldn't tell you about your mother?"
Evan nodded. "Yes sir. I'm sorry I ever doubted you. You were only trying to protect me."
"And Harry," Snape agreed. "I do wonder, now that you are more than free to speak of your parentage, if you are going to continue to use the surname 'Prince'?"
Evan shook his head. "Nah, I figured I'd go by Snape now, since it would be weird to go by Evans. Besides, when I went to St. Mungo's to get it changed in the records, the blank space where my parents names should have been were already filled in. They couldn't figure it out."
Snape smiled. Your mother and I wanted to be sure that you would have a way of finding out the truth if we never got the chance to tell you ourselves, so Madam Pomfrey enchanted the birth certificate to keep the parents names invisible unless both Lily and I had died."
"Oh, cool." Evan said.
Evan, Harry, Snape, and McGonagall chatted for a few more minutes and then Evan and Harry were off. They stopped down at Hagrid's Cabin to tell him (and he took it quite well), and then they Apparated to the Burrow.
Charlie was out front, waiting to greet them. "Hey Evan! Harry. What's all this about. I got your Owl and then I got here and Ron told me that Harry was bringing someone for them to meet…what's up?"
Evan embraced his friend. "Harry and I will explain, to all of you. Let's go find the others."
Before long, Harry and Evan were in the garden with Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, and Charlie. Percy and Fred were both at work, and Bill was at home with his wife, Fleur. Harry thought the garden was the most appropriate place to tell everyone, since this was where the journey had started for him, only weeks before.
"Oi!" Ron said when he saw Evan enter the room. "Anyone ever tell you that you look a lot like Professor Snape?"
Harry and Evan looked at each other and laughed.
"Oh my," they heard Hermione gasp. "Harry…oh my. Harry this is wonderful."
Everyone looked at Hermione. "What?" Ginny asked.
"That'll be Hermione, right?" Evan asked Harry. "Looks like she's way ahead of everyone else."
"What?" Ron asked, looking anxiously at Hermione and Harry.
"Ron you prit," Hermione said. "Look at their eyes. Harry's and Evan's."
"Oh my," Mrs. Weasley said, catching on. "How did you boys…of course, that box Severus left Harry."
"WHAT?" Ron shouted.
Harry laughed. "Guys, Evan is my brother. We have the same mum. Snape was Evan's dad."
"OI!" Ron yelped. "How the bloody hell did that happen?"
"Oh," Hermione said softly. "They must have been younger than we are now."
"Yeah, they were," Evan said. "Only about sixteen. That's why I was raised in an orphanage."
"And we both get the one thing we always wanted, " Harry injected.
"Of course," Hermione said softly. "Family."