"Severus Snape you are sentenced to five years without magic. Your powers will be bound as a consequence for your role in the death of Albus Dumbledore."
Harry stood outraged, "Minister you saw the same memories I did, Dumbledore made him do it, he was already dying. This is ridiculous, without Professor Snape I would have failed miserably."
"Mr. Potter the Wizengamot has made their decision, five years without magic. Court is adjourned." Kingsley Shacklebolt the new minister looked apologetic but stood by the Wizengamots decision.
Harry was about to protest again when a hand on his shoulder stopped him, "Leave it."
"It's not fair Professor."
"Many things in life aren't fair Harry. I learned that a long time ago. The fact that I'm alive is a miracle. I'll survive five years as a muggle." He said quietly.
"But how will you live, what will you do for money?" Hermione was concerned about her former professor.
"For twenty years I worked and lived at Hogwarts at very little expense. I have a savings and some muggle investments and the money from several patents. My money is not in Gringotts but in the muggle banks, I'll be fine. I may travel a bit and visit my father's family in the states, it's been a while and unlike my father my aunt and uncle are pleasant, good people." The former Death Eater nodded to Hermione, Remus and the newly returned Sirius who were there with Harry for the hearing and walked out of the courtroom. That was the last anyone had seen of him for five years.
The decision to leave England was an easy one for Severus. He was not as detached from the muggle world as some thought. He had made some smart investments when he was younger and they paid off handsomely. One of the first things he did was to get a passport and visa to visit and work in the states. It was fairly easy for him since Kingsley offered to help feeling guilty that he couldn't sway the Wizengamot. Kingsley had a decent relationship with the muggle Prime Minister who was able to help Severus's paperwork be expedited. So Severus Snape had a work visa for the United States for six years. He already called his aunt in New York and asked if he could stay there until he was settled. She was thrilled to have her nephew stay for as long as he needed to. Finding a job to satisfy the requirements of the visa would be his main focus, he didn't need the money to survive but he did need a job to be able to stay.
Selling the house in Spinners End was easy enough. There was a developer who wanted to turn the old area into the newest trendy neighborhood so Severus sold the old house for a decent sum that he added to his account which was now in an American bank.
The next thing he did before leaving for the states was to freshen up his muggle wardrobe. He was done with robes for a while and bought several pairs of jeans, slacks, button down shirts and some casual shirts. Then he got a haircut, not a trim but a short haircut that made him look years younger.
On a crisp November day Severus Snape said goodbye to England for a while. He knew he had to go away to deal with losing his magic for five years. He wasn't looking forward to the trip. The last time he was on a plane was when he was thirteen and went to visit his family; he hated it then and didn't care for it much more now. When he landed at JFK airport he was met by his Aunt Grace, Uncle John and their spouses. He followed them out to their car and began life as a muggle.
Getting a job was much easier than he thought. His uncle was well aware of Severus's past and his work for the order and hired him as a consultant. Jonathan Snape had immigrated to America when he was in college and became a citizen, he was a retired FBI agent who is asked to consult on many cases involving serial killers and missing persons. He was also a noted author of suspense novels and asked Severus to work with him as a consultant. Within a year Severus was asked to consult on some cases with the bureau by the director who was also privy to Severus's past. Americans are much more progressive in the Wizarding world then the British. Their top government agencies were well aware of the existence of the magical world and knew about the events in Europe. The American minister himself had contacted Severus and told him he completely disagreed with his sentence and knew it was a purely political move. Though Severus could not use magic he was well regarded for his intellect and it was his intellect that had him working with the top agents in the FBI as a behavioral analyst.
Severus Snape fell into a comfortable life in America, he spent a great deal of time with his family and adored his younger cousins. Uncle John's children Alexandra and Daniel were both younger, Ally was thirty when Severus moved there and Dan was thirty-two. Both had interesting careers, Dan was a lawyer and Ally was a freelance writer. His Aunt Grace and Uncle Richard had three children, two boys and a girl. Thomas, Brian and Victoria were thirty, twenty-nine and twenty three respectively. The two boys had followed in their father's footsteps and became doctors; one was a neurologist and the other a cardiologist. Victoria was working on her masters in forensics at NYU and was looking forward to working in law enforcement. They were definitely a family of high achievers.
He had been surprised when Hermione Granger had sent him a letter with her address. He had not intended on staying in touch with anyone from the Wizarding world, but seeing her letter brought a smile to his face. He wrote back with his address and sent it the conventional way. Before he knew it they were writing back and forth at least once a week. Harry was living at Grimmauld Place with Sirius, Remus, Tonks and Teddy. Hermione had stayed there briefly until she was able to retrieve her parents and bring them back to England.
Through Hermione Severus was able to write to Minerva, and the marauders. They were the only people he really cared to keep in touch with. He was grateful to Harry for saving his life. Harry had returned to the Shrieking Shack with Fawkes to heal him. That was just before Harry took off into the forest to face Voldemort. Severus took a few potions and when the fight broke out again he joined in saving Remus's life and shielding Fred Weasley from a curse that would have killed him. The Dark Lord was shocked to say the least to find Severus Snape alive and fighting on the side of the light. Since then they talked primarily about Lily and how much she loved her son.
In the months following the war Severus, Remus and Sirius were able to put the past behind them and work towards a friendship. That was before the trial, before the Wizengamot had decided to put Snape on trial after they had called him a hero. It was because the press, namely Rita Skeeter had wondered how the authorities could allow Dumbledore's murderer to go free. Severus accepted the hand of friendship from the marauders and began to move away from the scowling, snarky man he had become in order to fulfill his promise to Lily and Dumbledore.
He sent a letter to Harry and one to Remus in Hermione's care and was surprised when Harry sent him a letter with a PO Box number. He didn't realize he would enjoy hearing from these people but he did. He tried to advise Harry about his Auror training, Remus with his lycanthropy and Hermione with her studies. Sadly Remus wrote to him to tell him that he and Tonks were divorcing, she had an affair and he couldn't forgive her. Sirius wrote that Tonks had an affair with another woman and Remus was not handling her rejection well. Hermione wrote about her classes, she was going to Cambridge to study political science, Kingsley offered her an internship at the ministry in his office and once she graduated she would work as a liaison between the two ministers in almost the same capacity as he did.
Severus knew Hermione would be a success; she was the consummate over achiever. He tried to be happy for the beautiful Gryffindor when she told him she was engaged to Ron Weasley and had moved in with him, then two years ago when she wrote that she and Ron broke up because of his infidelity he was sad for her but secretly glad it happened before marriage. He began to find himself becoming more and more enamored of her and wondered if she was still single when he returned if she would be interested in an older man.
It wasn't as if he didn't date, he did. He never dated anyone seriously because he knew he would be leaving to go back to England eventually. He loved New York and his family but he was English and he missed it.
Five years later on an October day he received an owl that stated as of November first he would be given back his wand and his powers would be unbound. He knew the day would come when he would have his magic back. He tried to prepare his family for his inevitable departure. There were tears and promises to keep in touch and Severus being able to use his magic told them it would be easy for him to visit more often by port key. He promised to return the following June for Brian's wedding.
Resigning from a job he truly loved was the hardest. He was flabbergasted when the director told him if he was interested in putting together a similar unit in England he would give it his full support.
He wrote to Hermione who had since moved back to Grimmauld Place. He told her he was returning to England and was looking forward to seeing everyone.
Severus did not return to England until after spring, his aunts insisted that he stay for the holidays. He agreed and in May he was taking a port key from the American ministry to the Ministry in London where he was greeted by the Minister himself.
"Severus welcome home, you have been missed." Kingsley Shacklebolt said as he ushered Severus to his office.
"Minister, I want to thank you for all your help, it made my transition into the muggle world easier." Severus said as he took a seat.
Kingsley looked at the man who risked so much for their world and was punished because of politics. "Please no formalities between us, its Kingsley as it always was. Now do you have a place to stay?"
"I have a hotel room for the next week until I can finalize my lease on a flat in the city."
"Are you going to live among muggles still?"
"I like the technology." He smirked as only Snape could.
"Severus I have been told by the American minister that you worked for their FBI as an analyst, is that true?"
"Yes it is, I started working for them as a consultant with my uncle, eventually I was hired as part of a team of analysts. We worked on cases involving serial killers."
Kingsley looked at Severus, "You made quite an impression Severus, the Americans were sorry to see you go. Now that your back I was wondering if you would consider forming that sort of team for us."
Severus knew something was wrong, "Why?"
"There have been incidents lately." Kingsley looked at Severus.
Snape raised an eyebrow, "Care to elaborate?"
"Three murders in a month's time, a wizard in Diagon alley, a witch in Hogsmeade and an older wizard in Godric's Hollow. All of them were murdered by muggle methods but the places they were killed were…"
"Not visible to muggles unless they were with a witch or wizard. How were they murdered?"
"One was a gunshot to the head, a stabbing, and the last one was strangulation. Severus we don't know how to investigate this. Harry has been working on the case and insists we need someone from the muggle world from a CSI unit to help, whatever that is."
"Crime Scene Investigators, they use DNA and…" Severus stopped at the confused look on the minister's face. "Harry is correct in his assumption; the muggles know how to investigate these types of crimes better than wizards."
"Severus I am offering you a job, with complete control over who is on your team, you can even bring on a muggle investigator. We need to find the murderer before he strikes again. People are getting scared."
Severus told Kingsley he would investigate these murders, as far as it being permanent he would let him know. He said good bye and agreed to meet again on Monday. His next stop was the realtors and then on Saturday he was going to Grimmauld Place.