Disclaimer: Sadly, I don't own the Harry Potter Universe, but I do lay claim on my ideas. : )

Author's Note: Just a warning, I don't have a beta so any mistakes are my own. Hopefully there aren't many! This story…well I'm not sure how it will turn out. Bets is finished, even as I'm posting it with minor changes, but this one is still under construction. So we'll see how it goes. But, lovely readers that you are, leave me some reviews and tell me how you like it and if I should continue! Oh, and, this story basically ignores everything post Ootp. Enjoy!

Prologue

Headmaster Severus Snape sat at his desk eyeing the paperwork that covered the desk. Why had he decided to be Headmaster again? He sighed, and looked out the window. The professors were having one of their romantic Saturday picnics again. Severus bent his head, rubbing his thumb and forefinger across his forehead. It was his own fault really. What had he been thinking? Somehow he had ended up hiring everyone and their significant other, and more than enough of his former students.

After the war, the professors at Hogwarts had slowly begun to retire, ready to leave the site of war. Minerva was the first to leave, unable to stay at Hogwarts without Albus for any longer. Then Filius, Pomona…until Severus had been left to replace all of his teachers. And as last minute decisions always are, Severus hadn't realized the consequences of his actions until it was far too late.

Professors Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy had taken over Potions and Charms respectively. Professor Draco Malfoy Ancient Runes whose wife Ginny Weasley-Malfoy shared Quidditch duties with her brother and fellow Quidditch player Ron Weasley. His wife, Professor Hermione Granger-Weasley, taught History of Magic (a wasted talent if you asked Severus). Severus had even hired Neville Longbottom for Herbology, and his eccentric wife, Luna, for Divination, which she shared with Firenze. Thank goodness Hagrid had stayed to be Gamekeeper and teach Care of Magical Creatures, where would Severus have found a teacher for that? Poppy had wanted an assistant, so Healer Pansy Parkinson Zabini had joined staff, her husband Blaise teaching Arithmacy. What a wonderful mélange of teachers. Now all Severus had left was Astronomy. Oh, he'd forgotten the last pair. Professors Harry Potter and Remus Lupin, of Defense Against the Dark Arts and Transfiguration respectively. A couple. One that caused Severus far too much pain. How was he supposed to handle watching the man he loved with someone else? You should have thought of that sooner Severus.


Chapter 1

Harry laughed as he watched Remus lick his fingers from a bowl of chocolate covered strawberries.

"Remus, you and your chocolate…" Harry smiled as Remus winked at him. Harry's gaze shifted to the castle that he had always considered home and frowned.

"What is it Harry?" Remus asked glancing up at the castle as well.

Harry sighed and nodded towards the Astronomy Tower. Visible just barely, standing in the open tower gazing out at the Hogwarts grounds, clad in all black, his robes slowly dancing around his legs, stood the Headmaster of Hogwarts, Potions Master Severus Snape.

"I just wish we could do something. He never comes down to the picnics with us, we only really see him at meals in the Great Hall or if we go to his office. What does he do inside all day?" Harry sighed looking back at the grass. Severus and he had become friends during his training his sixth and seventh year. Now, he couldn't help but worry about the man's solitary existence.

"I agree. Severus spends far too much of his time in that office," Lucius added from where he sat with his wife a little distance away. "However, there's not much we can do. You know Severus, he'll never listen to anything anyone says, not anymore. He's his own master now. It's a freedom he enjoys, albeit a bit too much sometimes."

It had been revealed that Lucius had been a spy for the Light, turning after seeing Draco tortured during his fifth year and finally seeing Voldemort's descent into insanity. Severus had brought him over to the Light side, interrogated him, and Lucius and the rest of the Malfoys had slowly become integral to the Order's mission and Harry's own destiny.

Harry nodded but couldn't help but feel like there was something wrong. Severus had been….well off, lately. He wasn't sure how to put it…

"Harry, we'll talk to him later. Besides, he is the Headmaster, he has quite a bit of work to do," Remus soothed rubbing a hand on Harry's thigh. Harry took Remus' hand in his own and squeezed it lightly, leaning against his lover's cardigan covered chest.

"I know. I just worry. I mean, he loves potions, I still don't understand why he took the job."

"Harry. You know exactly why. Because Albus asked him, you know that. Albus and Severus were like father and son, Severus couldn't deny him."

"I know, I know."

Suddenly a house elf appeared on the grass. Mippy turned towards Lucius, "Professor Malfoy sir. The Headmaster is asking Mippy to tell him that he be leaving for the Ministry and that you is in charge until he returns." Here Mippy turned a bit red, "And…and he is saying sir, that you…you is not to be ruining his school while he is being gone." Mippy turned even more red and quickly popped away.

Lucius raised an eyebrow at where the elf had been looked up at the now empty Astronomy Tower curiously, "Why would Severus be going to the Ministry? In the middle of July?"


Severus Snape stalked through the Ministry of Magic, his characteristic robes billowing behind him. Damn Ministry, can't do anything. The second something wrong happens they come running to the Headmaster of Hogwarts. Damn you Albus, you never mentioned that this was part of the job description.

"Headmaster Severus Snape here to see Head Auror Kingsley Shacklebolt." Severus glided in, frowning.

"Severus! You made it," Kingsley smiled and shook Severus' hand. Severus scowled when he saw the golden ring glinting off of Kingsley's finger. How Nymphdora Tonks had snagged the Head Auror was beyond him.

"Of course Shacklebolt, now what is the problem?"

Kinglsey sighed and gestured towards his office. Closing the door behind them, Kingsley put up a number of wards. Severus' eyebrow rose at the number of privacy wards he had included. This was a very serious matter apparently.

"Something has gone terribly wrong at the Department of Mysteries Severus."

"I see."

"Something that is going to affect a number of people."

"…"

"Something—"

"Just get on with it Shacklebolt. Are you trying to be the next Minister? Whatever has happened? Another Unspeakable experiment gone wrong? Or did they discover how to bring the dead back"

Kingsley winced, "The last one…"

"…excuse me?"

"Well, not just any dead…Severus, the Veil spat people out. 25 wizards and witches have come out of it this morning. Apparently all innocent."

"Kingsley…you mean to say…"

"Yes. Sirius Black is alive."


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