Because my day went pear-shaped, I'm posting something light and fluffy. Ish. and wow, I wrote a story under 6k. This is mentor!Snape and not completely epilogue compliant. They're Harry's really random thoughts, noted down once a year on a special date.
The November 9th Letters
aka, notes to my second son.
Welcome to the world, my little man. You were born at ten after six in the morning, on the ninth of November. A cold but clear morning, one that matched your green eyes and dark hair perfectly. You weighed 6lbs 2oz at birth, and were 19 inches tall.
I love you more than I thought possible; from the very moment I laid my eyes on you. Your mother and I chose your name very carefully, and prepared for the backlash from our family and friends. Albus Severus Potter, some people think you have very big shoes to fill. I think instead that you will have very strong mentors.
Your first name is from the former Headmaster of the school, Albus Dumbledore. He was a great man, if a little eccentric, and I suspect he loved me like a son. He mentored me all through my schooling, and was the true mastermind that brought peace to the wizarding world. Albus Dumbledore commanded power, and gave his life to the school. Your second name is from the bravest man I have ever known. Severus Snape was a poor boy that was your Grandma Lily's best friend as a child, and he grew into a troubled young Slytherin. Professor Snape made some mistakes in his life, as we all do, and spent the rest of his years atoning for them. Professor Snape is the only reason I am alive today, and as much as Albus Dumbledore spearheaded the war effort, nothing would have worked had it not been for Professor Snape. You carry his name, because he is a silent, self-sacrificing hero, who deserves to never be forgotten. You are named after these two men in their remembrance, but also because they were two of the best wizards I have ever known, and it is an honour to have their names.
That being said, if you wish to change your name at a later date, I will understand. So will your mum, but don't let her make any suggestions. She wanted to name you Bertram, of all things. Blech.
It's 2005, and it's been seven years since the war ended. Kingsley Shacklebolt is still Minister of Magic, and Diagon Alley has a whole new side street. Your uncles Ron and George opened a second Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes in Cardiff last year, and your Aunt Hermione was promoted within the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. The Ballycastle Bats won the English Premiere Quidditch Cup, and the main story on the Daily Prophet on the day you were born is about a recluse who has invented a cure for dragon pox.
Your godfather is a man named Robert Evans. He is part of Grandma Lily's family, although he only came back from living in South Africa two years ago. I met him not long after the war, finding out that the Evans family had more than just my magical mother in it. I'm sure Uncle Robert will have many strange and exciting stories to tell you as you grow up, and he's a brilliant man so I'm certain he will be teaching you all sorts of interesting things. He also gave you a large Paddington Bear teddy, and it will sit on your bookcase in your room, until you're ready to hug it.
We wrapped you in a blanket that has blue stars and a bright yellow moon on it, and you snuggled right in. Your Mum draped it across her belly while she was pregnant with you, so it must smell like her and comfort you. Unlike your brother, you were a quiet baby on your first day, bundled up in your blanket until your spikey black hair and piercing green eyes were the only things that stood out from the knitted yarn.
In the afternoon you met the rest of your family, and you looked very uncomfortable at the hoard of attention from your two-year-old brother James and the whole Weasley clan. Your eyes darted back and forth, and you fought sleep to take in as much of the action as possible. I have very little doubt that you will inherit some personality traits from the wizards you were named for.
You are a quiet little guy, Albus, and I am proud to be your father.
Wow, what a year! It's November 9th, you are one year old, and you're already almost running. You are a very curious little boy, and I'm sure your mother won't ever let you live down the day she found you in the kitchen, sitting in the spaghetti pot and covered in flour. You haven't started jabbering much, but you like to sing baby non-sense when people aren't looking. Somehow you have trained our two kittens, George Elliot and Oscar Wilde, to fetch toys for you from under the couch.
You have all the markings of a Slytherin, Albus Severus.
Your cousin Rose Weasley was born early in the year, and you seem to be fascinated by her. James has discovered that you are very ticklish, and Grandma Molly likes when you help her baking in the kitchen. Uncle Robert likes to hold you when he visits, and I've often caught him reading quietly to you by the fire at night. He has already begun your lessons, though you think matching planets on playing cards is a game. Paddington Bear is still too big to fit in your own lap, but you drag him with you everywhere. Even though Uncle Robert grew up mostly in South Africa, he says that you remind him of your Grandma Lily when she was a little one.
This year the Holyhead Harpies won the Quidditch Cup, and your mummy yelled at the wireless throughout the entire broadcast of the game. Minister Shacklebolt is thinking of retiring, and the top news in the Daily Prophet is about a new nursery opening up in Diagon Alley for wizarding children. You won't be going there, as Mummy and I haven't checked it out and are having too much fun at home with you.
I quit my job as an Auror in order to start writing a book, and Mummy is almost a fully-licensed mediwitch. What will you be when you grow up, my little prince? You are certainly a smart little guy, and have a strong desire to see how everything works…
Happy second birthday! For a quiet little boy, you certainly don't sit down much. Not only did you master walking and running this year, but somehow you managed to steal your brother's training broom at six in the morning and wake us all up by flying around the house! I don't think the cats came anywhere near you for a week. You also have remarkable skill at obtaining Mummy's or my wand. James has always accepted magic as a part of life, but you, Albus, you want to see how magic works. At this point, I think I shall have to warn Headmistress McGonagall and Hogwarts itself to hide anything they don't wish dismantled.
The other day we had a party for your Aunt Hermione, because she has become the youngest fully-licensed wizarding attorney in history. It must have been running late, because you came downstairs to tell us all to shhhh! You were holding Paddington Bear, and it was past bedtime. Oh Albus, I hope you never change. Your brother James used the noise as an excuse to stay up late and play.
Uncle Robert took sick earlier in the year, and you were a very helpful little boy. We spent a week helping Uncle Robert with his treatments, and you sang several songs to him to make him feel better. I must admit I was very surprised – I didn't think any Potter could carry a tune. Uncle Robert moved up the street, he says its to keep an eye on you, but it's also to make sure we can help him if he gets sick again. In Africa a strange insect poisoned him, and he says it affects his nervous system at random.
I am busy doing research for my book, and can often find you curled up in the library chair for your afternoon nap. You seem to be fascinated by pictures of your namesake, Severus Snape. Mummy is still working at St. Mungo's, but will be staying home after Christmas to look after James, you, and herself. You are going to be a big brother next year!
Yesterday, you were just tall enough to reach the third shelf on the bookcase. I spent two hours re-organizing it again, to keep the dangerous books out of your way. When you want something, you are a man on a mission.
You now run to me when you have a boo-boo, and accept that kisses make it almost all better. I hope I don't ever break that trust you've given me.
Look who is three! You really surprised Mummy and I earlier this year, when you declared that you wanted to be called Severus. Every May we hold the story telling of the Great War, but this year you were quite firm when you insisted 'me Sebrus.' James always likes to pretend he's me, but you sat quietly and saw how brave your Severus was as well. I know you will carry the name proudly; Mummy and I have noticed that you share some of your namesake's personality traits. You are a strong willed man, my little prince, and as Mummy said, every underdog needs a champion.
Today in the Daily Prophet there is an article about a new set of Chocolate Frog cards, released in the 10th anniversary year of the war. Neville Longbottom, our friend from Hogwarts, became a professor this year. He now teaches herbology at Hogwarts, and is helping out with Head of House duties for Gryffindor. Aunt Hermione looks to soon be on her way to being Minister of Magic, but she is expecting again, so you will have another cousin soon. You still get along very well with Rosie, and both you and your brother love your baby sister Lily. I do think you are a little jealous of the attention she gets though, as I know it was you that covered her in plasters that one day this fall. James doesn't have the patience or the desire to line up all the plasters evenly to get full skin coverage.
Grandma Molly and Grandpa Arthur took you and James to Disneyland this year in Paris, and you seemed to laugh at everything. Uncle Robert taught you how to write your name just last month, Severus, and he is trying to teach you how to read. He doesn't believe that I can teach you well enough. Your hair is getting longer, it's almost covering your ears, but you cry every time we try to cut it. You like plain clothes, in earthy-shades, unlike your brother. James prefers bright colours and loud designs. Your favourite book is Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? and you can sing the alphabet song perfectly.
George Eliot and Oscar Wilde follow you around the house usually, and your first incident of accidental magic included them. Most children's magic expresses through strong emotions, but not yours, Severus. You raised a pillow over the living room floor and ripped it open, causing feathers to fly everywhere. I found you sitting calmly on the chesterfield, giggling as the cats crazily chased the feathers throughout the room. You never seem to have trouble entertaining yourself when left alone.
Happy fourth birthday, my little prince! It's amazing how fast you are growing. Your hair is long enough that it covers your ears fully, and you like to swing it forward to hide yourself behind your own personal curtains. You gave the whole family quite a scare this year, breaking your leg by falling off a swing. I thought my heart had stopped when I watched you fall, but Uncle Robert kept me from going crazy. You were a very brave little boy though, and did not cry once while Mummy healed your leg. You have a small scar leftover on your knee, but Uncle Robert showed you his surgery scars, and you thought they were very cool, just like my lightning bolt.
This year we realised two very big things about you. Sports are not entirely your thing, Severus, but you can sing like no one else. You sang a lot as a toddler, but now that you know the words, you're singing along to the radio and impressing the pants off of Mummy and me. Maybe singing is something you'll want to pursue later in life. You also taught your baby sister Lily how to play peekaboo, and you're very proud of this.
You like spending time at the Burrow with your cousins and your brother, but you are a homebody, Severus. Mummy and I decided to give you the corner bedroom in the house, and you choose dark blues for your walls, that matched your baby blanket. Uncle Ron and I built you your bedroom furniture, but you weren't allowed to watch because Uncle Ron has some colourful additions to the English language. Instead, you spent your time watching over Rosie, Lily, and baby Hugo, singing to them while your brother danced. When your room was finished, you made sure that Paddington Bear sat on the night table by your bed.
In the news today is a story about the heavy muggle influence of wizarding culture, and whether it is destroying part of the wizarding world. You spend your days wearing muggle clothing, Severus, playing with muggle toys and living in a magically-enhanced muggle house. You regularly talk to plants that seem to listen to you, your mirrors talk to you, your Uncle Robert visits through the fireplace, and you have learned how to summon some of your toys. I don't think you have to worry about losing any part of the wizarding world as you grow older.
I can't believe you're off to school already. Year one at the local Primary; you're six years old now and a very big boy. You've grown a lot taller, you are taller than my waist and James is a little annoyed that you're the same height as he.
I have your picture framed on my desk; you dressed up in your little suit with your green bowtie on your first day of school. Mummy knew you'd have the teacher eating out of your hand by the second month, and you proved her right. She's so very impressed with you Severus, knowing how to write your name, James', Lily's, Mummy's and mine. You told lots of stories about Uncle Robert and how he was your 'favouritist godfather.' He is your only godfather, but don't tell Uncle Ron that.
You have turned out to be a very good seeker, my son. Not in the Quidditch sense, as we have discovered that you have very little interest in sport. You're very good at finding pictures and papers I need for my writing research. I am still writing a story about my life at Hogwarts, and you always seem to find the perfect anecdotes to include. You're still very fond of your namesake, and eagerly point out the many passages that mention the professor. Uncle Robert has taught you how to read quite a few things, and your name is at the top of the list. Uncle Robert has also formed the opinion that my story is more the Influence of Severus Snape on the Life of Harry Potter, but I like to think he's talking rubbish.
The Quidditch World Cup was held in Luxembourg this year, and the Dutch won. In the news is a press release of the newest broom to come to market, an Aero-root 5200. Your brother is drooling over this broom in the catalogues, but you have zero interest in it. In a move that completely surprised your mother, George Eliot had kittens and Oscar Wilde avoided her and the kittens for an entire month.
You have trained James to stay out of your room when you're not there. However did you manage that, Severus?
Happy 9th birthday, my little prince. You probably won't ever realise how much you keep me at peace, but it seems to be a special gift of yours. This year not only did you enter year four with the highest grades in class, but you read the first chapter of Aunt Hermione's arithmancy textbook and understood it.
This has been a difficult year for me, and you have kept me together. You went with James, Uncle Robert, and I to the graveyard this year for the May remembrance day, and paid tribute to Grandma Lily and Grandpa James. Your Severus is in the same cemetery, and you went to visit his stone as well. You told Uncle Robert all about your Severus, and all the brave things he did in the war. I wonder if you know that you have the very freedom your Severus never had. You are a brilliant little boy, and neither your Mummy nor I will hinder you from achieving your goals.
Your brother went to Hogwarts this year, and you acted like a very mature boy at the train station. James will do well in Gryffindor, but for all his teasing, I think you know that it is not the house for you. I have an idea where you will end up, but it is all between you and the sorting hat, Severus.
Speaking of Hogwarts, this year for your birthday Mummy and I put through all the paperwork to legally change your name to Severus Albus Potter. That is who you are after all, and when the owl delivers your Hogwarts letter, it will be addressed properly. Your next challenge is to remind George Eliot and Oscar Wilde that they are not to chase the owls.
My story was finished this year, and your name is on the very front of the dedication page, right after your Severus'. Mum is quite pleased at how helpful you were with the manuscript, and thinks you'll have a fine career in publishing one day if you want. For now you seem to be content with Aunt Hermione's arithmancy, the plant garden in the back, and your singing.
You're in year five at primary now, and still have the top grades in class. I think you enjoy the challenge, and are a math whizz. You're also much better than your brother at keeping the secret of magic, as we've only had to obliviate your teacher once this year. James' teachers had monthly visits.
Uncle Robert gave you guitar lessons for Christmas this year, with a teacher in town. You've proven to be a natural at it, much to the annoyance of your brother. James is very jealous, but I must say, I am quite impressed at your lack of gloating, Severus. And it is very sweet of you to sing to your sister and younger cousins.
Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione took you and Rose to Paris this summer, and you had a great time visiting the museums and tasting all the different foods. Rosie loved the language, but you were much more interested in the Parisian street performers and visiting the houses of famous French arithmancers. Aunt Hermione was absolutely delighted, and took you to see the places where they lived. Uncle Robert questioned you about all the places you'd been when you'd gotten back, and got you a few more books on numerology for 'rainy day reading,' as he put it. Sounds like some bizarre inside joke between you two.
It is your twelfth birthday, and your first year at Hogwarts. You have absolutely no idea how proud of you I am, Severus. I was there for the sorting ceremony, in my invisibility cloak, and I watched you walk with your head held high when your name was called. I heard the whispers about your first name - you've known all your life that ignorant families never forgave Professor Snape for his actions in the war. I know it's not easy being a Potter either, but you have always been your own boy, and I suspect that you still will be, in Slytherin (and yes, James was grounded for yelling "Severus Snake" when the hat proclaimed your house). I showed the memory to your mother, and she smiled brilliantly when you walked to the Slytherin table to meet your new friends. Your Uncle Robert had a large smirk on his face, which seemed to be his way of saying I told you so. I must admit, when you told me the Hat considered Ravenclaw for you as well, I smiled in my mind. One is not supposed to judge their children, but I believe all three of you have your own special skills, and Severus, you have always been keenly intelligent. You would have done well in Ravenclaw as well, and I know you're absurdly proud to be a Slytherin.
All I hope is that you have the time of your life at Hogwarts. James can be the quidditch star, but I spoke to Professor Flitwick and he is enormously impressed by your voice. Perhaps you shall be the Potter family musician. As shy as you are, don't ever downplay your talent, Severus.
Your Mum and I sent your baby blanket along with your school items in your trunk, not because we want to embarrass you, but because I know you've never gone a night without the blanket. I find it, not quite sweet, but touching in a way that you love that blanket so much. Through all the use it has gotten, the yarn is so very soft now. You're normally a quiet, alert, intent, and independent boy, aiming for your mother and I in height, skinny and long-limbed. Every night at home, when I looked in on you while you slept, that blanket was draped across your shoulders. Mum and Grandma have teased you about putting the blanket away, but I know you've noticed that I never have. Severus, I would have given anything for a blanket of my own as a child. I won't take yours away. Paddington Bear is still sitting on your night table, waiting for you to come home for Christmas.
In family news, this year your cousin Victoire and your almost-cousin Ted got engaged. They've asked you to sing at their wedding next year, and did your face ever turn red at the suggestion. I can tell you're very pleased with yourself though, and Uncle Robert said you told him immediately after. I know he's quite impressed by how much you've learned in your guitar lessons.
Happy fifteenth birthday, my son. I suppose I can't call you my little prince any more, as you're now an inch taller than I am. You have grown up to be a fine young man, even though your grandmother threatens to cut your hair every time she sees you.
Let me tell you, Severus Albus Potter, you have been a real test of my patience this year. I'm not sure if it's just growth hormones that are making you and James fight, but I am very glad that you're in different houses at school. Your sister is entering her teen years and acting quite sarcastic, your brother is seventeen and trying to act cool to attract a girlfriend, and you, I'm not sure what's going on in your mind. You've not shown much interest in women, though I know you're just hitting puberty now. I know you hate your voice, how it keeps changing in pitch, but it'll settle very soon, Severus. I'm glad you're fastidious about shaving the random sprouts of hair off your chin, as your brother didn't and looked like a bit of a twit.
I never experienced the rapid growth spurts you're going through now, but Uncle Robert did and he says that the pains will go away soon. He's also trying to find a good cream to use to get rid of the stretch marks across your shoulders.
Back to the trouble though. I feel that I need to write this down, because I know some day in the future I will need to prove that your trouble was of a different caliber. You are a good son, but you're also ridiculously good at not getting caught at things. If you'll remember, you went into James' room one day and found a stash of adult magazines. I have yet to figure out why you were in the room, and James won't be telling me any time soon. In any event you were there, and found the magazines. This is what separates you from your Gryffindor brother and your Ravenclaw sister. You did not tattle on James, nor did you tell him off for having them. You hid them between James' mattresses, and never said another word.
You know, your mother has yet to figure out why James acted like such a well-behaved boy for the rest of the summer hols. Nor does she know why James tore apart his room looking for 'his keys' (which you helpfully found for him in twenty minutes, what a sweet brother you are). Of course, James couldn't ask you or Lily if you'd taken his magazines, because you'd get him in trouble, and he certainly couldn't ask if your mother or I had found them. He spent the rest of his time at home afraid that we were just delaying his punishment.
I'd hate to see what you'd do to James if he really ticked you off.
Our neighbor a few houses down seems to have set her sights on you. I wonder if you've noticed? You're rather focused on your singing at the moment, as well as some of your studies. Not all of them mind, which you should be working on, Severus. Even still, Mum and I have heard you singing in your room at night and we don't mind that you're spending time writing songs and practicing. Have you considered a musical career? You have a beautiful voice, and I think you would do really well in the wizarding world.
Uncle Robert also tells me that you'll stop tripping over your feet once you grow into them. I've noticed they're huge, how big do you plan on growing? Your blanket barely wraps around your shoulders anymore. George Eliot has taken over your bed. I'm sure Oscar sleeps in there too, but I've yet to catch him in the act.
... ... ...
Harry sat in one of the corner booths of the Three Broomsticks, drinking rye as he surveyed the bar. Robert Evans sat beside him, his glass filled with a murky green liquid. The bar had been shut for the evening, various students sat around the tables, and random Weasleys wandered about, laughing and mingling. In the front of the room, Severus Potter sat on a bar stool with a guitar resting in his lap. His hair was neatly trimmed, skimming just past his ears, his dark green eyes shining as he chatted with his friends, and his chin full of stubble from a day of not shaving.
Around his neck was a leather cord, with a small water-drop shaped pendant that contained a phoenix's tear in it. Harry had given one to James on his 17th birthday, and would give one to Lily as well. A note, 'in the hope that you will never need it', had accompanied the pendant.
"I think he's done well," Harry said, the cheer he felt having very little to do with the alcohol he'd been drinking. Robert gave a short nod to Harry, sipping from his glass.
"I'll grant his childhood was easier than yours."
Harry gave a sideways look to Robert, at the dark eyes that were surveying the room.
"No trolls to defeat, no sixty foot snakes, no murderous professors, no Dark Lord in pursuit. Really, if you weren't so bad at lying, I would protest your memoirs of Hogwarts as rubbish," Robert said, his voice slightly sneering.
At the front of the room Severus had started playing the guitar, the first few notes of 'Chasing cars' reaching the back of the room.
"This song came out a year after I was born," Severus softly said into the microphone. "It's still my favourite."
"Hogwarts is almost boring now," Harry mock sighed, taking another drink. He tapped his fingers on the table along to the beat, watching his son fall into the music. "I never made Head Boy, though."
"From what I understand," Robert scoffed, "your son followed the rules better at three than you did at sixteen."
A few of the kids joined in singing, some off-key, but not enough to completely ruin the song. Ron sat at the front of the room, drumming his fingers on the table in time to the music.
"You make him sound like a goody-two shoes," Harry complained. They sat in silence for a moment, watching as the impromptu concert continued.
"You're proud of him too, Severus," said Harry softly.
Harry didn't turn his head, but his eyes focused enough to catch the minute tensing of Robert's arm.
"My name is Robert William Evans," Robert said, in a tone that confirmed to Harry that it wasn't.
"Now it is," Harry acknowledged, turning to look at the familiar black eyes he'd always had watching over him. "But I'm still right, aren't I?"
Robert took another drink of his absinthe, his fingers raking through the short hair on the side of his head. It was a gesture he'd not out grown, even though his hair hadn't been its trademark Hogwarts length in over fifteen years.
It was said quietly, and Harry could tell that Robert was unsettled. Hell. Snape was unsettled. Harry could understand that, Snape had been pretending to be a relative of Harry's for more than fifteen years and had ingratiated himself into the family. Harry also figured that Snape wanted to let his old identity stay dead, as he'd built himself a life of anonymous freedom with his new name.
"You told me you'd grown up in South Africa. None of our family ever went there, and Aunt Petunia confirmed that she'd never even heard of you, much less met you. You can't tell an orphan that you're a long lost cousin, without that orphan doing a lot of research," Harry explained, keeping his posture relaxed and non-accusatory.
Harry smiled and waved at Victoire as she danced around Severus singing at the barstool.
"I suppose I underestimated your thoroughness in research," Snape finally acknowledged.
"Caught you by surprise?" Harry grinned. "But even before I checked your story, I knew it was you. 'Look at me.' I thought those would be your last words, and I…I will never forget your eyes as you looked at me then."
Snape appeared to be thinking that over, though he looked slightly gratified at something. Up at the front of the room Severus was finishing up his song, his eyes closed as he strummed the guitar. As always, Uncle Robert/Snape was the first to start clapping.
"I thought I was about to die. I should have died," Snape finally said, finishing his drink. He watched Severus take a bow and put his guitar down on the stage.
"For what it's worth, I'm very glad you didn't," said Harry quietly. He was looking at Snape, at the man who had joined Harry's family to continue watching over him.
"I know," Snape smirked. "You named your son after me."
He sounded ridiculously pleased at that, and Harry rolled his eyes as he straightened out the stack of envelopes in his hand.
"I haven't told Severus that you're you. But you may wish to consider it, knowing how smart he is."
Severus slipped into the booth with them, all smiles and rosy cheeks from his song. Harry saw out of the corner of his eye as Snape's expression changed, becoming the slightly more relaxed version of himself that had taken precedence over the past decade and a half. Uncle Robert was back.
"My godson; he of the brilliant mind and magnificent voice," Robert intoned, voice dry but praising. Severus grinned and ran fingers through his hair.
"You think I did well?"
Harry took the stack of envelopes and placed them on the table, in front of Severus.
"You tell me," Harry said. "You've got seventeen years to read through."
Robert sat back in his seat at the booth, watching the pile of letters be inspected with critical dark green eyes.
"Happy birthday, Severus," Robert said, a contented smile on his face.