Chapt 41 Future of the Dark Lord Epilogue
Time passed and the news of their return was relegated to the back pages of the Prophet before finally being stopped all together as when they were interviewed they refused to talk of their life of double agents instead holding Harry's book written years ago saying everything that needed to be known was in it.
Six month's later found Severus sitting at the Potter's the evening before William's marriage to their daughter as Ginny and Hermione busied themselves in the kitchen preparing food for the reception.
"They'll be in there for hours Severus." Harry spoke handing him a drink before sitting down himself. "It's funny when I look at you. Time stopped for you in the portrait and now we are about even in age and I am older than Hermione."
Severus chuckled for while not close knit friends he counted the wizard as the closest he would allow most. "I promise you that being stuck in a portrait for about twenty years is not the answer to the Fountain of Youth."
"I suppose not." Harry murmured as he sipped his drink. "Tomorrow I will lose my little girl. I knew the day would come, a bit delayed considering the Wizarding trend to marry a few years out of school but still…."
"You're being morose Potter." Severus replied and sipped his whiskey as well.
"I suppose I am but you only have a son. It's different because you never worry about them as much as you do your daughter. Men can take care of themselves but women are different. You worry about what man they will end up with and opinion of most fathers is the man will never be good enough."
"You better hope that Hermione does not hear that. Either one of them for they are both headstrong witches and I think they would disagree."
"True enough Severus. Don't mind me. They are good for one another. You'll understand if you ever have a daughter."
Severus remained silent and allowed Harry to reminisce about his daughter.
Hermione watched her William marry Hermione Potter and smiled when they kissed and presented as William and Hermione Snape. In the time that passed her family grew close as William visited for a while before moving in until he married.
She watched as Severus danced with Hermione, smiling when William pulled her up and led her and led her to dance next to the solitary couple as expected.
"William, I will miss you in the Manor." Hermione whispered as her son danced sedately around the floor keeping the slow tempo as he led her.
"Mum I will always be here for you. I'm not about to forget you." William murmured. "Both of you here in the flesh gives me peace."
Hermione looked to her son. "I'm glad for that William.
Soon the required dance ended as other couples moved to the floor as Hermione moved until she was next to Severus and watched her son continue to dance with his bride.
Severus merely wrapped an arm around her as he watched the room.
"Hermione there is a new guest." Motioning discretely when he found an old witch standing against the wall watching William and Hermione dancing in interest.
Hermione followed his gaze and found Dao Zing looking to her with a smile, nodding that she knew that she was being observed.
"It's okay Severus. But Dao Zing's arrival brooks a bad wind Severus."
"The witch that you almost lost your life to when you went with Lucius?" He snarled out started to pull out his wand as she quickly held his hand down. "You'll make a scene." Hermione whispered. "Leave her until everyone leaves."
After another hour William and Hermione announced their farewells and Apparated away with a crack as the guests clapped and cheered at their departure.
Hermione mingled as Severus sat the bar sipping his drink and observed the old witch noting the wizards and wizards pass by her but some stopped to talk to her. He noted a pattern after a while it was all of the old Order of the Phoenix that Minerva led long ago. Minerva was the last to talk to the old witch before the reception ended.
Hermione whispered that she was going to escort Harry and Ginny home and that he should not worry as the old witch was gone. She pecked him on the check and left him sitting at the bar.
Severus watched the old witch walk up. "You Confounded your agent of Light of the past? Why?"
Dao looked to him for a moment before she replied. "It has only been a short time that you have come back into reality but years have marched on. Look to Harry Potter. He recently remarked of the time that has passed by you both. After your son left Hogwarts did stand still as swirls of paints affected you. Darkness is building here but not enough to garner my husband's notice of yet."
"Your words do not explain your arrival witch." Severus muttered.
"You know why I am here Severus Snape and you are right in your reasoning. Yin and Yang kept apart but now together. A child was born of Yin and Yang combined from the both of you. Light and Dark combined and that has never occurred in the time that the universe was created and I and my husband came into being."
Severus snarled out. "You are saying that William will be the next Dark Lord? I can't believe it because he is good. I feel it."
"He could be the next one Severus Snape. It is up to you to act at the pinnacle where Dark and Light meet before one takes over the other."
Severus stood silent thinking. "Again Dao Zing you know what you ask?"
"Darkness sacrificed the last time and now it is time for Light to do so as the cycle continues. The little witch grows within your wife will not be affected nor the other three that spring from your loins as you both are equal and not as what it was in the past. I have given you forewarning. Who knows how it may go. Whatever happens, the Fates will consider your penance paid in full."
Five years passed and Hermione sat at the small kitchen table with four year old Lily trying to feed her eighteen month old brother John. She was pregnant again and she would tell Severus today.
Severus arrived and sat down and watched John toss his green beans back at Lily. "Make it a game Lily or the floor will be a mess for Sassy to clean."
He chuckled as he heard his daughter laugh out "Choo-Choo." With a green bean and failed again as he opened the Prophet and read the evening news.
Whispers of a new powerful Dark wizard and bodies found murdered in horrific ways. The Ministry had no answers and did not tell of the pattern that he recognized of mid level witches and wizards of the Ministry. He knew who was behind it all and yet he did not say a word hoping it would stop.
He placed the paper on the table when William swept in holding two presents as Lily jumped out of her chair and rushed to hug her brother's leg. "Will!" She squeaked out.
William patted his sister brown wild hair. "I missed you too." Bending down and hugged her giving her a brightly wrapped box with a bright red bow.
Severus stood up and called for Sassy. "Sassy take Lily and John to their playroom."
Sassy looked to her Master sensing forlorn from him and gathered the children and dissappeared.
Hermione jumped up and hugged her son. "William it has been a while since you visited. Your job at the Ministry must keep you busy. How is Hermione?"
William hugged his mum fighting the Darkness that pulled him. "Sit down Mum. I divorced Hermione three days ago."
She allowed her son to lead her to a chair and sat down in shock. "You love her William!"
"I paid the Ministry lackeys and the papers well not to announce it. I do love her so and always will."
Hermione turned to Severus hearing her son's next words in disbelief. "I tried to fight it Father and I fail. It has almost taken me over despite our talks and training."
Hermione watched as her son shook.
"I fight it Father for being in the presence of traitors of the Dark compels me to kill you both. You know what you have to do."
Severus turned a coin in his pocket waited as Minerva and Neville arrived with Marchbanks and Harry.
"Keep an eye on him and I will be back in a few moments." Severus growled out and pulled his wife out of the hall.
"Hermione be quiet and listen to me. Go and sit with William. He needs to be with you. I will be back shortly."
Hermione watched Severus move quickly away from her so she could not notice the tears.
Hermione walked back in noticing William in his chair body taunt and refused to answer her questions.
Severus walked back in holding a phial. "I have here what you requested. William you can fight it."
William pulled his wand out pointing it to his father, arm shaking. "You know that I can't." He shouted out and broke his wand in two before throwing the pieces against the wall and sat back down, body tight. "I don't want to hurt or kill anyone else. I don't want to harm my brother and sister. But if Iive there will be a bloodbath for it has already begun and by me."
Hermione rushed to Severus realizing what the phial was. "No Severus!"
He pushed Hermione away and handed his son the phial.
William took it up and uncapped it. "It is how we discussed father? You know that potion that Voldemort gave me compels me!"
Severus grabbed Hermione as she tried to go to William and held her tightly so she could not interfere. "It is William."
"Thank you Father." Drinking down the potion and threw it to the floor.
They all watched as William shuddered before he slumped down and began to speak in a weak voice admitting his responsibilities of the recent murders and he was the new Dark Lord in the making. William spoke of the past, talking of his quest to free his parents and finding the witch that he loved in the process.
Hermione watched William's body twitch. "Mum! I see the Light! Oh my Gods I am free! No more Darkness and Light fighting within and only Light ...Tell Hermione I wait for her...I will always love her."
She heard her son gasp out. "She knows that…" Taking one last deep breath before he slumped down unmoving.
Dao Zing arrived un-noticed and watched the young wizard of Yin and Yang willingly die as his father and surrogate father fell to their knees and openly cried.
Hermione stood looking in disbelief growing angry that Severus did not share what they talked about.
Dao Zing laid a hand on the witch's shoulder. "Penance is paid and you and your children will not see or hear of the Darkness until you both die."
Hermione knelt down to join Severus. "Severus, we have a future because of him. William was always an image of you. Valiant and sacrificing for those he loved and he took his life before he could do more harm. The four of us have a future because of him."
Severus barely registered her words as he looked to his dead son. "Four?" He repeated out trying to focus on her voice.
She held him close as the others watched them. "Yes Severus. In eight months time I will bear you another son."
All remained silent as the two kissed and fell into one another's breaking the kiss and sobbed as they realized what their son's death gave them.
AN That's it sad and hopeful at the end.