Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling owns everything related to Harry Potter.
A/N: This story is a result of a conversation in the Potions And Snitches chatroom. :D
A man with shoulder-length black hair sighed as he stirred his potion counterclockwise for the hundredth time. He didn't know how to explain the feeling rooted deeply in his gut, but he sensed that today would suck a royal Hippogriff. Glancing into his simmering cauldron, he sighed. He had meant to brew as means of distraction. However, his distraction was in need of another. Shaking his head, he decided that it'd be best to do a little experimental brewing. It wasn't something he usually did, but today was the perfect day for it. He was in the mood for a little excitement in his mediocre life.
Ensuring first that his cauldron wouldn't explode while he was away, he walked towards his private stores. He glanced all around the small room before finally finding the jar of ingredients he wished to use. Sparkling from the little light allowed in by the window, he noticed it on the top shelf. Quickly, he ascended up the ladder. However, as luck would have it, the fifth wooden step collapsed under him. He attempted to grab onto the side of the ladder, but his hand only hit air.
Several hours later, a terrible smell woke him. His hand immediately went to his aching head as he found himself surrounded by the white pristine walls of the Hospital Wing. He hadn't felt this awful since that bastard Potter shoved him in a cupboard his first year. One of these days, he'd get that arrogant git back. However, something off to his left gained his attention. His dark eyes glanced towards the eyes watching him.
He had this nagging feeling that he knew this redhead. However, he couldn't place it. He then nearly did a double take when he noticed that there were TWO redheads staring at him. Unable to recall just how he knew them or what house affiliation they were, he allowed them to speak first as he folded his arms in his usual manner.
"How are you feeling?" one of the redheads asked.
"About as well as I look, I'd imagine," he replied emotionlessly. He instantly noticed the boys glancing at each other. He knew that look all too well. Potter and his gang of rejects always had that same predatory smile on their faces also. He instantly went on his defensive and attempted to search for his wand discretely. However, as always, it seemed that infuriating Mediwitch stole his damn wand again. As if he didn't have enough things to worry about, considering that he had no memory of why he was stuck in the damn Hospital Wing again.
"Oh, well, your son wanted to speak with you this morning in the Great Hall," the redhead said.
"My son?" he replied. "What in Merlin's name are you going on about? I don't have a son!"
"Yes, you do, Professor," the redhead argued. His brother, however, looked slightly sick. "I don't reckon you remember a lot because you hit your head pretty hard. You do have a son, though. His name's Harry." The brother became even paler. "He's a Gryffindor."
Desperately trying to keep the sneer from etching into his face, the hook-nosed man glared at the wall across from him. His son was a Gryffindor! It was absurd. A thought then came to him. There was only one way his son could ever be a Gryffindor.
"Everyone says he has his mother's eyes," the redhead spoke with a soft smile.
Within seconds, all the suppressed anger vanished. Lily, he had a son with Lily. Still not trusting either redhead entirely, he kept his smile hidden. He couldn't wait until he saw her again, his beautiful Lily petal. It felt like a lifetime ago when he had last seen her.
"It's a shame about what happened, though."
"I don't understand."
"Oh, sorry, um…" The redhead then tugged on his collar before glancing down towards the ground. He looked up a few seconds later with a look of hesitation. Lowering his voice, he whispered, "You-Know-Who killed her fourteen years ago." He then swallowed slowly. "You remarried, though. Actually, you just married Professor Sinistra a few months prior to the new term."
"Mr. Weasley," snapped the matron as she quickly rushed over to them. "What on earth are you two still doing here? Get on with you, both of you," she said, shooing them out. "I apologize, Severus. Now, how do you feel?"
Sighing, he glanced down at his bed sheets. He hated the Hospital Wing, absolutely hated it. Drawing in a breath, he decided he'd do whatever it took to escape to see his son and wife.
George Weasley, seventh year Gryffindor, sighed heavily as they rapidly made their way out of the Hospital Wing. He couldn't believe Fred had told Snape that. Then again, he couldn't believe that he had stood by and allowed his brother to. Just before they left, he glanced back towards his Potions professor. As Pomfrey examined him, the man looked so hopeful.
"Maybe we should go back and tell him that you made it up." At the sight of his brother's 'Are you nuts' face, George sighed.
"Don't be such a worrier. There's no way that Pomfrey will let him leave thinking that."
George, however, wasn't so sure. However, he hoped for their sake that she did at least keep Snape overnight to ensure that the man knew who he was before leaving. Otherwise, the Weasley twins were going to be spending a lot of time down in the dungeons again.
"Are you experiencing any soreness anywhere?" Madam Pomfrey asked as she gently massaged his neck in efforts to find any troubled spots.
"And how is your headache?"
"You'd say that if you had your head ripped off by a pixie, wouldn't you, Severus?" she asked with a mild amusement.
"Seeing as how a pixie does not possess the necessary strength to accomplish such a feat, I am unable to see your logic."
"After all this time, Severus, you still refuse to laugh at one of my jokes." She then sighed as she waved her Lumos-lit wand in front of his eyes. She watched him attempt to follow the wand, but he had mild difficulty. "Well, it seems you hit your head rather hard this time. Perhaps you'll finally ask Albus for a new ladder, one that isn't so dangerous?" she pointedly asked.
"It is perhaps high past time that I do so."
"Really?" she asked rather surprised.
"Of course, Madam," he responded. "I am unfortunately wasting your time with my foolish accidents with a ladder that clearly has attempted to kill me more than a few times." He ensured that she was looking him straight in the eyes as he lied to her face. He felt rather guilty about it, but he needed to get out of there to see his family, namely his son with Lily.
"All right, just a few more questions left, Severus," she said with a smile. "I know how much you hate being here." She drew in a slow breath. "How old are you?"
"Thirty-five," he replied with no hesitation. It, however, did feel odd to say it, though. He certainly didn't feel like he was thirty-five.
"What do you teach?"
"Potions," he answered again immediately. Honestly, it'd be about the only subject he could teach. After all, there would be no way Headmaster Dumbledore would ever give a Slytherin the Defense against Dark Arts position. That was pretty much like saying 'I do not believe in the Dark Lord's plans for world domination so I'm going to teach these kids to defend themselves against him.'
"And you're the Head of what house?"
"Slytherin," he drawled. He couldn't believe the stupidity level of her questions.
"Very well then, I see no reason why I can't release you to your quarters. However, Severus, you are not to be anywhere close to your labs and classroom for twenty-four hours. Is that understood?" She sighed softly when he nodded curtly. "Take this opportunity to relax, Severus."
"As you wish, Madam," he replied politely.
Resting a gentle hand on the young wizard's shoulder, she sighed. She could see it in his dark, mysterious eyes that he wouldn't listen to her. Then again, he usually didn't. She just hoped this time she wouldn't have to deal with the hysterical house elf crying that Mr. Dark Wizard had tried to kill himself in his storage room. She had enough house elf snot to last a lifetime and then some. Pulling back ever so slowly, she watched him swing his legs off the side of the bed before rising. Some days she just wanted to stick him permanently to a cot in order to keep him safe. However, she knew how he'd react.
Five minutes later, Snape briskly walked towards the Great Hall. One of the redheads had informed him earlier that his son would be there. The only issue was trying to find the boy. However, the redhead had said his child had his mother's eyes, Lily's beautiful emerald orbs that Snape used to spend hours daydreaming about in numerous classes. He would know those eyes anywhere. They were the first things he saw in the morning and the last things at night.
Pushing the large oak door back, the onslaught of loud chattering instantly slammed into him. His headache roared to life, but he blocked it. He had to see his son, to be near his and Lily's child. As he walked up the aisle searching for the familiar green eyes, he felt a nervousness fall over him. How would the boy react to seeing him this morning? Perhaps his son didn't appreciate his attending the same place his father worked at. Numerous children didn't. Scoffing, he realized all of his fears were absurd. This was his son. Why should he be so nervous about speaking with him? He probably had done it numerous times throughout their lives together.
When his dark eyes found those lovely emerald eyes, he nearly leapt back. The child's hair was not like his at all. In fact, it stuck up a bit like that arrogant Potter's hair. Round-rimmed glasses then came into his notice, just as that arrogant, conceited jerk Potter wore all the time. It was as if he was staring into the face of his childhood tormentor all over again. However, this time Lily's eyes were in Potter's face as if to taunt him.
Snape shook his head violently. He then gazed at his son again. No, no, Potter's hair wasn't there. It was a bit messy, yes, but perhaps the boy just forgot to comb it this morning. The round-rimmed glasses perhaps were the result of the boy inheriting his maternal grandfather's terrible eyesight. One could explain the rest of the boy's face away as him receiving the only good-looking genes from his father mixed with all of his mother's beauty. This was his son on second glance. It had to be.
Walking towards the young Gryffindor, he just barely kept the smiling from reaching his lips. His son was the perfect blend of him and Lily. Once he reached the unsuspecting boy, he gently put his hands on young man's shoulders. Almost instantly, he felt his son's shoulders haunch up as if to expect an attack at any moment. Snape, however, said nothing. Harry's reaction was understandable. He hadn't alerted the young man beforehand to his presence.
"Son, we need to talk," Snape spoke rather hushed.
Several things then happened at once. Harry released a sound that sounded like a strangled cry. The young redhead (honestly, how many damn redheads were there in this damn school) next to his son dropped the cookie he had previously been eating. A bushy-haired young woman on Harry's either side slammed shut her book, staring up at Snape as if he had grown a second or third head. And another young man near them fell backwards off the bench after fainting. In short, the majority of the Gryffindor table started to drop like flies one by one.
"Have I said something wrong?" he asked completely perplexed as to why the Gryffindors were acting such a way.
"Is everything all right, Severus?" Albus Dumbledore, a white bearded wizard in majestic silver robes, asked as he glanced from the Head of Slytherin to the Gryffindors.
"I am unsure," he answered honestly. "I only wished to speak with my son, and that occurred."
"Ah, I see," replied Dumbledore with a soft chuckle. "I can understand why that would have such a reaction." He then rested a gentle hand on Snape's shoulder. "Perhaps you and I should speak with Poppy again, my boy?"
"I feel fine, Headmaster. I do not need to be coddled anymore by that woman." Snape then caught a familiar looking witch standing off to Dumbledore's side. He remembered one of the redheads informing him that he had married Aurora. Without a doubt, he knew that had to be his wife staring at him with so much concern etched into her ashen face. The years had been good to her from what he currently saw. He scoffed softly. Of course, the years would be good to her. She was an obedient pureblooded Slytherin witch. There hardly were any ugly ones of those around. "However, perhaps you are right. Perhaps I should just retire to my quarters for the afternoon with my wife." Slyly, he smirked. He could think of several things they could do together to whittle away at the time. While he'd always love Lily, he'd admit that he also felt something for Aurora now.
The curly dark-haired witch always had a silent strength about her. Aurora was somewhat reserved in nature also. However, if someone pissed her off, he or she was sure to feel the brunt of her revenge not too long afterwards. He had several marks from past duels with her that proved that. Though, she also had a bit of an emotional side when it came to dueling. But she seemed only to show that near him. He couldn't count the number of times that she had nearly burst into tears after hurting him. It was rather odd at the time, but now he perhaps could understand why that was. The witch had fancied him, and it clearly had to have been for a long while.
"Forgive me here for asking the obvious, Headmaster, but just who the hell is he talking about by saying his wife?" a light-brown haired witch with deep green eyes asked.
Snape was utterly confused now. Wasn't he married to Aurora? He then glanced down towards his son, or whom he had to believe was his son. What in Merlin's name was going on? Closing his eyes, he felt his heart clench.
For at least fifteen minutes, Snape's life had seemed bearable to the point of being almost pleasant. He could live with raising his son without Lily. He wouldn't enjoy it by any means, and he'd always wish that she was there with them, but he could live with it knowing that Harry was their son. He could also live with his marrying Aurora. It didn't seem like he had rushed things by any means. There also hadn't seemed to be an animosity between Harry and Aurora. However, his entire life that he had imagined having was a big, fat, terrible, vicious, and horrible lie. He swore if he ever found those wretched redheads, they'd be begging and pleading for their lives by the time he was done with them.
Surrendering to his fate, Snape sighed heavily and hung his head. On second thought, there were worse places in the castle to be than the Hospital Wing. Perhaps Madam Pomfrey could admit him for the rest of the year.
Silently, Snape walked with Dumbledore out of the eerily silent Great Hall. No doubt, the minute they left the room, the hall would be afire with rapid conversations of how Snape finally lost his mind thanks to redheads. He should have known. He should have known that he'd never get that perfect life he had so longed for. He was a Snape, not a Prince, which meant he was destined to be a lonely drunk.
Glaring intently at the wall across from him, Snape sat in his large bed in the cold, dark dungeons several hours later. Madam Pomfrey had attempted to help him understand. However, it hadn't gone well. He frankly just didn't want to hear someone tell him that he lived alone as a miserable git who lived to make his students' worst nightmares come to life. Also, there might have been a slight incident concerning some idiot Ravenclaw thinking that he knew more spells than a Hufflepuff, which made Madam Pomfrey cut short the session to attend to that situation. However, anyway, one looked at it. He was alone yet again in his rooms.
He hated his life. He absolutely hated it. First, he learned that arrogant James Stupid Git Potter stole his Lily and conceived a child with her, a child that should have been HIS! Then he learned that the woman that he supposedly remarried wasn't his either. He had lost two women and a child in the matter of five minutes. If it weren't so pathetically sad or even the fact that it was his life, it'd be somewhat funny. It wasn't funny, though. It wasn't even remotely funny. Well, perhaps the fact that he scared all of Gryffindor witless. He'd admit that part was somewhat funny.
A noise suddenly gained his attention. It sounded as if someone had used his Floo. He thought about getting up and giving that person a piece of his mind, but decided that required too much energy. Whoever the idiot was would leave after all. Plus, it wasn't as if he had anything valuable in his sitting room anyway. Wise enough, he knew to hide his album of Lily and him, his bottle of Felix Felicis that he won his sixth year from Slughorn, his wedding robes that he'd never wear, his black pendant that currently was around his neck as always, and his matching wedding rings that would never be worn. The doorknob turning slowly made him glance towards it. Once again, he allowed his indifference to reign.
"What? No hexes?" Aurora joked as soon as she had opened the door fully. She quickly pocketed her silver wand with a soft smile. "Just how hard did you hit your head, Severus?"
He stared at her in disbelief as she bravely crossed the room and perched herself up next to him in bed. Idly, he wondered if he was now experiencing hallucinations on top of everything. However, the glittering silver on her finger made him slowly draw in a breath. He silently reached for her hand and nearly sighed when his hand felt her warmth. Perhaps he wasn't hallucinating on second thought. Oh, this was excessively confusing by now. Was he married or not to the witch?
"You can relax," she quipped quietly as she stared at him with hidden amusement. "In all actuality, we are married, Severus. You're not doing anything improper."
"Is your son," she replied with a lop-sided grin. "However, you weren't exactly supposed to reveal that at lunch, though."
"I don't understand," he sighed before massaging his temples. He stopped for half a moment when he watched Aurora motion that she'd massage his temples for him.
"After graduating from Hogwarts, your lovely Lily married James Potter, Mr. Arrogant Ass himself. Out of either annoyance or desperation, Lily decided that she didn't or couldn't love James anymore, so she contacted you. You two somehow ended up in bed together and conceived Harry as a result. Loving Lily as much as you did, you realized that it'd be too dangerous for her to be your lover. Therefore, you altered her memory and sent her back to James, which you've regretted for most of your life and will probably regret to your dying day."
"How do you know all of this?"
"Three hours after you sent her back to Potter, you contacted me."
"Because you needed someone to prevent you from taking that plunge off a cliff," she answered.
"And then we became a couple?" he surmised.
"No. I wouldn't have taken advantage of you like that," she replied quietly. "I'm a patient snake. I waited until you were ready to move on."
"And I have now?" he asked.
"Not fully, but you're getting there." She then laid her hand atop of his. "But she's always going to be in your thoughts and heart. I'm just your second choice, but being second isn't so bad." Pressing a gentle kiss against his cheek, she transferred a bit of her love. "Now, lay down, Severus." She softly laughed when he gave her a confused look. "Well, I do believe you did inform everyone that you were going to have your wife take care of you earlier, didn't you?" Her eyes were full of amusement. However, a movement near the door caught her attention. "I was beginning to think you weren't going to come, Harry. Don't just hover in the doorway. Come in."
"Sorry. Ron took forever to fall asleep, so I couldn't sneak down earlier," said the green-eyed young man. For a split second, he hesitated before finally entering the room and walking closer towards them. "How are you feeling, Dad?" he asked with a wide smile.
"Confused," admitted Snape quietly.
"Yeah, well, Pomfrey told me that you hit your head pretty hard this morning, so I don't doubt it." The young man then laughed awkwardly as he glanced down at the floor. "She said that's why you called me 'son' in the middle of the Great Hall. You know, Dad, you scared all of us to death when you called me that. I mean, you were the one who snapped at me for accidentally telling Ron and Hermione about us. Then there you are telling the entire school at lunch that we're father and son. It was somewhat bizarre, Dad. I didn't know whether to laugh or be worried."
"And you chose the latter of course."
"Well, the funny thing about me is that I inherited my dad's wicked self-preservation skills," Harry joked before sitting on the edge of the bed.
"I believe it's more of your mother's ability to love than me, Harry."
"Eh, you say it's Mum, and I say it's you. Either way, it doesn't matter because I have both of you in me." Harry then sighed before glancing between both adults. "You don't have an issue with my spending the night tonight, do you, Dad? Before you ask, Professor McGonagall already assumed that I'd be here, so she isn't concerned. After all, we all know how the son of the Head of Slytherin isn't stupid enough to sneak out." He then laughed. "Well, other than my sneaking down here to see you tonight, I mean, Dad." The young man then sighed. "By the way, Fred and George wanted me to tell you that they're sorry again."
"Fred and George?" replied Snape.
"Oh, right, um…they were the redhead twins that talked to you in the Hospital Wing."
Snape's eyes narrowed on his son. Those names were eerily familiar. It was as if he had yelled those names numerous times. In fact, he could almost hear himself yelling their names and watching their faces turn bright red. Gritting his teeth, he felt a well-known reaction in his gut that slowly reached his brain as he remembered something.
"Weasleys," he growled.
"Um, yeah, they're Weasleys," Harry said with a laugh. "I think he remembers."
"Yes, well, it's rather hard to forget about those two," Aurora laughed. "I can still remember the first time your father had the twins in class. Gryffindor was in last place until at least May when the Headmaster decided that he was being unfair and gave Gryffindor pity points. If it hadn't been for that, Gryffindor would still be in the hole to this day. I'm not quite sure what they did, but knowing those two it had to be them fooling around near your father's precious ingredients."
Snape glanced down at his bed sheets and sighed. He couldn't recall that particular incident, but Madam Pomfrey had stated that his memories would come to him in all good time. He just had to be patient, which people didn't ever associate with him. Of course, he knew better than to force the memories to return. It would only cause more damage and keep the memories out of reach.
"I've spoken with Fred and George, Severus. I've informed them that once you were well enough again, that they were to report to you for their punishment. I didn't feel it right to issue it, seeing as how it was you who suffered the most."
Snape nodded slowly. He wasn't quite sure how he'd punish either redhead. They hadn't exactly lied to him. He was Harry's father and married to Aurora. However, it seemed that he hadn't wanted to reveal it to the entire school for some reason. Perhaps once his memories returned, he'd have the perfect punishment in mind for them. After all, from what he had seen from the Gryffindors, the students didn't consider him to be a pleasant man. In fact, he had scared them witless by just saying that he was Harry's father, which was the truth. He drew in a breath. He'd deal with the redheads at a later date when he remembered. For now, he'd spend time with his family, enjoying the precious moments with them.
A/N: Thanks for reading. :D