A New Place To Stay
Harry jerked awake at the sound of a child's cry, blinking sleepily he grumbled to himself as he slid out of bed. The cries of his daughter had woken him up, as they did every night, shivering slightly as he got to the door he looked back at his warm bed and sighed wistfully. Muffling another yawn as he walked quickly down the hall, he didn't have to worry about her wakening her brother at least since the silencing spells prevented it. The door to his daughter's room was open, Harry peered inside, a huge smile spread across his face it didn't matter how many times he saw them together it just made his day or night as it was right now.
"Go back to sleep," said Severus, knowing Harry was there by the small creak of the floorboards. Despite the fact he hadn't been a spy in over ten years there was just some instincts that would remain. He didn't mind too much, he would rather always be aware of his surroundings.
Harry didn't listen; instead he entered his daughter's room, suppressing another yawn. He took a seat beside the window in the niche he always used. His wife and his dad used the chair, but to him it was too uncomfortable. He missed her something crazy and wished she was here, ironically enough she'd only been gone a few days. Her dad was sick, very sick actually they didn't think he would be around much longer. So the immediate family had gone to see him, Serena didn't want the kids to be around that, especially Caspian, his six year old son it wasn't something he should see. So she'd chosen to go alone, not wishing to inconvenience Severus for however long they could potentially end up away.
Caspian Severus Potter-Snape, named after both his grandfathers, he looked like neither of them though, and in fact he was convinced he looked like his mother. Same blonde hair, same dimples, although Caspian had his green eyes. Talia though had red hair, like Lily, his mum, and the green eyes, he'd thought it might be too difficult for his dad to see but his worries had been for nothing.
"How is he?" Severus asked, as he continued to feed Talia, her first little cry had woken him up before Harry realized what was happening. Harry was a deeper sleeper than him, so it didn't really surprise Severus.
"Bad," sighed Harry, "I hate the thought of her going through this alone."
"There are just some things people prefer to do alone, Harry, when she needs you, she'll let you know." Severus told him solemnly. Serena was strong, one of the strongest women he knew, and he'd approved of her. Harry had met her on holiday; they'd been drawn to each other right away. After the holiday they'd continued to write to each other eventually she had visited him and ended up staying. Five times a year they had gone to visit her parents…up until now. She hadn't known who he was, that's what had drawn Harry to her, even when she learned she hadn't realized the extent of it until she moved into Prince Manor.
Harry nodded, knowing he was right, but it didn't stop his worry or sadness for her. He hadn't had a dad as half as long as she had, and he definitely couldn't imagine life without him. He didn't even want to think on it, if he was honest, for he knew without a shadow of a doubt with his dad he would never have survived the war. His dad had often said the same thing to him, but Harry didn't believe that.
"What time did you get down to sleep this time?" asked Severus, as he moved Talia and began to pat her tiny back. Merlin he could remember when Caspian had just been born. He hadn't wanted to touch him for fear of hurting him. He'd never been around anything so small in his life. Harry had been determined, but what had caught him and left him speechless as the child had been placed into his arms was his name and what he'd been called. He'd given the child his name; middle names in the magical world were always for the father's name. Added to the fact the child was officially Potter-Snape. It looked as though despite the fact he had no blood children his name would continue. He hadn't cared much for the name as a teenager, yet as an adult, with a Mastery under his belt and everyone knowing him. Nothing had prepared him for being a grandfather - being called granddad.
"Quite early, I finished it quicker than I thought I would." Harry told him wryly. He'd been unable to choose a single career, instead he did different things. Drawings and paintings of landscapes and portraits, magical portraits of people and in their chosen settings. Then there was the books he wrote, not only on Basilisks, so far he'd written two. One on how to care for them as an egg and then once hatched, and everything he realized about them. Then there was the second one about how big they got, how their personalities changed just as adults did, and how protective they were of their chosen owners. Then he wrote books on the animals Luna saw in her line of work, as a Magizoologist or as she preferred magical naturalist. She documented on everything from Thestrals to magical animals that she named - that he hated saying because of the ridiculousness of them. She'd unfortunately never found the Crumbled-Horned Snorkack but with her husband Neville and her friends - she'd come to realize some things either just didn't want to be found (much like the Lock Ness Monster) or didn't exist. She wrote real documents on them and Harry made them into books for children to enjoy - it had been at her encouragement. His books just made Luna's documents more popular so both of them got a great deal out of it.
"Have you sent it out?" asked Severus, remembering the last time. Harry had made a portrait and forgotten to send it for a week. He'd been so immersed in getting his new book out that he'd totally forgotten. This one was of Aberforth Dumbledore, which Harry had done a great job on it if he was honest. He wanted to make sure he had a portrait beside his sister before he passed on.
"I'm heading there tomorrow," said Harry, Aberforth's magic had to be poured into it so it would come alive so to speak upon his death. Once that was done he would receive his money for it and that would be it.
"Good." stated Severus, staring down at Talia who had fallen back asleep. She was stunning, even at four months old. Serena called her a miracle child; both Harry and she didn't think they'd have another child after Caspian since they'd been unable to conceive for three years of trying. They'd wanted to give her the middle names Lily and Eileen, but he'd drawn the line there. He didn't want Harry to name his child after his mother. It was nothing to be proud of being named after his mother, she had been weak not just as a witch but as a mother. So they had given her just the name Lily. Talia Lillian Potter-Snape. Now that was something to be proud of, Lily hadn't just been one of the most powerful witches he'd known but the best too.
"How's the potion coming?" asked Harry, as he picked up his daughter, kissing her on the forehead. Smiling at her angelic face, he placed her back in her cot, and placed the covers over her sleeping form.
"Not how I would have liked, but I always knew going into it that it might not be possible - so it does stave off disappointment." replied Severus, remaining sitting. This was a routine they both did once in a while. They were too busy during the day, and dinner time was hectic, so at night was truly the only time they got to have an honest conversation. At least one that wasn't hurried and quick before something interrupted them at any rate. Night time was the only time Serena and Harry got time to themselves. So two months after Caspian was born, he'd gone to feed him to give Harry and Serena time to themselves and Harry had joined him. It went on from there really. He was lucky; he got to see them every day not just once in a blue moon at the odd weekend.
"If anyone can do it, dad, its you." said Harry having nothing but belief in his abilities. He was trying to all out cure werewolves of their cursed lycanthrope. It wasn't something they were going to let the public or even friends know about. They sort of had a…truce with the werewolves, not only had Greyback withdrew all werewolves from the battle and under the Dark Lord's thumb, Harry had been working on getting them more rights. His arguments were so sound that they were unable to deny him. First it was just allowing them jobs…then getting them more freedom until he had basically stricken them off the dangerous creature list. So far his dad believed he had a potion ready for testing, he just wanted to 'tweak it' a little bit.
"Hopefully," mused Severus, thoughtfully.
"Did you speak to Remus about doing it?" asked Harry, he knew his dad would find it difficult to ask Remus for anything. The kids had no idea they were anything other than amiable towards each other, but there would always be that history that prevented them from truly getting on well. Teddy (who was a Metamorphamagus) and Caspian were good friends, along with Neville and Luna's son, Kallan and Jaren, and Ron and Hannah's son and daughter, Heath and Sara. Although they were by no means as close as Neville and himself, he'd still proved himself sorry for what happened and they were friends.
"I'd rather ask Greyback," snorted Severus, and that was the truth. He'd rather face the werewolf that had savaged millions than ask Remus Lupin for anything.
Harry laughed softly, remembering himself in time so he didn't end up wakening his daughter. Some things just didn't change, he avoided having Sirius and his dad in the same room long, and it was just too dangerous otherwise. Although Sirius had changed, he had seen a mind healer for five years before he stopped. He'd obviously realized the benefit of them. The reason he'd stopped was because his healer and Sirius had ended up dating each other, both were adamant nothing had happened while they were patient and healer, and were willing to prove it under Veritaserum so that Arai didn't lose her job. They had a two year old son, Regulus Alphard Black, after his innocent brother and uncle who had given him money before being promptly erased from the family tree for helping him. "I'll ask him." he told his dad.
"Its fine," insisted Severus, he would do it, Lupin would jump at the chance to be free of his wolf.
"Alright," agreed Harry, grinning in amusement. He liked that something's remained the same when so much changed.
"Goodnight, son." said Severus, standing up squeezing his sons shoulder before he left the nursery and across to his own bedroom.
"Night," murmured Harry quietly, looking down at his daughter, he stroked her baby smooth cheek before he too stood up straight. He heard a quiet pop and looked over to see Dobby picking up the nearly empty bottle up. It must be his turn tonight, looked like Kreacher was getting the long lie in. Giving him a small nod, he closed the room door, as he passed in looked in on his son - he was still sleeping soundly so he closed the door.
He was just getting back to his own room when his wife appeared in his bedroom, a Portkey in her hand. "Hey, is everything alright?" asked Harry concerned as he made his way over to her.
"I'm fine," said Serena, hugging her husband tightly closing her eyes. "Mum just said to come home and get some sleep - dad would be there in the morning. If anything happens I have the mirror so it will be fine." she tried to convince herself as well as Harry.
"Good," said Harry letting out a relieved breath.
"How are the kids?" asked Serena quietly, "Isn't Talia due a feed in five minutes?"
"She's been fed, dad did it," said Harry honestly, he never lied to his wife. "You should get some sleep, you look shattered." both of them were tired actually.
"You don't look much better," giggled Serena, "Stay up late painting?"
"How did you know?" asked Harry, shaking his bemused.
"You have paint, here, here and here," said Serena, trying to wipe it off to no success, smiling at him half exasperated. The fact he worked so hard but didn't need to made her love him all the more, despite his hard working ethic he always, always made time for his family and made sure they got everything they wanted without being spoiled. Harry often spoke about his fear that they could turn out to be like his cousin Dudley Dursley especially the way he treated his parents.
Unbeknown to Harry Zar had actually gotten down to the dungeons and eaten the two caged rats…Severus of course had said nothing, he just found it ironic. Zar had protected Harry from Voldemort, not to forget him as well, and had dealt with the two disgusting humans who had hurt Harry growing up. All he'd done was create an underground labyrinth for him, that was kept warm all year around with cool spots at the furthest end if he wanted them. All on the grounds of Prince Manor, at the furthest end that hadn't been used in decades. It was all cornered off now so the kids didn't end up accidentally falling into the labyrinth. Not that Zar would ever harm them; they could still be hurt in the fall.
"You love it," teased Harry, flinging them both down on the bed causing Serena to squeal and clasp her hand over her mouth - despite the fact nobody could hear out of the room - it was just habit now.
"Did the kids behave?" asked Serena, unclipping her cloak since it was currently digging painfully into her neck.
"They were great, planned on taking them to the beech tomorrow after I took the Aberforth's portrait to him." said Harry thoughtfully, as he scrambled under the covers dragging his wife with him - nothing compared to her laughter.
"You should wait a few more months that way Talia could actually enjoy herself." suggested Serena.
"I promised Caspian I would," shrugged Harry, Caspian absolutely loved the water.
"You also promised him a dog when he grew up," sniggered Serena.
"I could just steal Sirius for a while," laughed Harry, his green eyes twinkling brightly.
"I doubt Aria would thank you for that." chortled Serena grinning widely. She was so tired but couldn't sleep yet, she wanted to talk to her husband.
"Merlin, I've missed you so much," admitted Harry, and not the slightest bit ashamed to admit it. He hugged her close, just relishing in her presence, the smell of her even.
"I've missed you too," said Serena burrowing into his shoulder as she shimmed closer, she could feel her eyes getting heavy - she wouldn't last much longer.
"Sleep," said Harry softly, seeing that she was exhausted. He pulled the covers over both of them, just enjoying having his wife close by his side. As always he couldn't help but think over what had happened in the past ten years. The Death Eaters had been rounded up and were serving out life sentences in Azkaban with no chance of ever seeing the outside of the prison again. That included Lucius Malfoy, who had evaded justice longer than all the others, but Sirius had finally caught him. He and Draco Malfoy still didn't get on, not even to this day; the blonde did come to the manor from time to time with his son Scorpius. He usually liked to avoid being around him so usually 'decided' to work.
It had been years since he saw Hermione Granger, she'd appeared in Hogsmeade a few times, and the Ministry trying to get work but for some reason she couldn't get employed there. Of course trying to get positions way up in the Ministry as a newly graduate was a stupid thing to do. She had refused to even contemplate a lower ranking job, probably feeling she was much to smart for that knowing Hermione as he did. Rumour had it she went to Muggle University and was now a lawyer. If she chose to have children, he had no doubt that child would attend Hogwarts. Hermione despite all her flaws was magically powerful; it didn't take a genius to figure out that the kid would be too. She'd tried getting in touch with him and Ron various times just after the war ended, wishing to make amends and visit. Harry had ignored them, he wasn't sure what Ron had done - they never brought her up since it tended to make them remember what had happened in the past.
After the war with so many children orphaned, Harry had actually put a great deal of the money he received from his first book (which was a lot, over nine million sold, with different languages of course) into building a property beside the Lovegood's and Weasley's in Ottery St. Catchpole in Devon, a children's shelter. Nobody other than close family knew what he'd done. It gave the children somewhere to stay until they came off-age, somewhere where they wouldn't have to hide they were magical as if it was something shameful. Molly bless hear heart, was always taking over baked goods, the kids were spoiled rotten by her. In the end she had taken a job as the matron and worked her way up to head matron, she taught the children how to cook for when they became off-age and learned to live on their own. Some stayed until they were eighteen instead of leaving when they were seventeen. That was people without an inheritance that still had a year of Hogwarts to go through. Ten years on, people were giving the money to the charity he'd set up, in their wills or charity boxes owners of shops had set out for that particular reason. Severus supplied the potions for the children's shelter each month, for whatever they needed. If there were Muggle-Born children who attended Hogwarts they were automatically referred to shelter - they already had five of them. He actually had plans to recruit someone to get the children from the Muggle ones and into their own world sooner - which meant getting the Ministry involved. He was actually thinking of asking Arthur to take that spot, for some reason he liked working at the Ministry so he would need to make sure he got more than he did for working there.
He kept in touch with nearly all the Weasley's, with the exception of Ginny. She'd had the gall to spit at his wife, insisting to her that he was hers. Serena had been so confused but didn't back down, it was before she realized just how…famous he was. They all still had their jobs, Charlie in Romania with the dragons, still single too. Bill stayed at Gringotts though, and never returned to Egypt, he married Fleur and they had had three children; Victoire, Dominique, and Louis Weasley. Percy still worked in the Ministry had married Audrey and had two daughters, Molly named after her paternal grandmother and Lucy. Fred Weasley co-owner of the shop and worked there had married Angelina Johnson and they had two children Roxanna and Fabian after Molly's brother. George Weasley still worked in his shop with his brother and married Katie Bell and also had two children twins Gideon and Gemma. Ginny had never married or had children; she still lived at the Burrow working as a reserve Quidditch player for the Holyhead Harpies when they needed her which wasn't often.
Ron was doing great as an Auror, despite the fact he hadn't gained the pass he needed for Potions. Unfortunately the war had decimated the Auror ranks so such tight restrictions weren't possible to maintain otherwise there would have been nobody to police the Wizarding society. Kingsley had lowered them, and accepted who he could but made sure they were kept up to scratch or they would be let go. As evident by the fact they'd let Sirius back when he clearly wasn't ready - at least mentally. Shacklebolt had asked to meet him a few times, begging him to come and work as an Auror even just for a year or two - trying to bolster the Ministries reputation and to try and encourage more people to be an Auror. He had refused, repeatedly, he'd seen enough, done enough in the past seven years - the thought of continuing it made him shudder to his core. No he had found something he liked doing, loved doing, that enabled him to spend time with his family and he wasn't giving that up.
People often wondered why he wouldn't leave Prince Manor, get his own place, Harry refused to answer, well to anyone except his wife. Truth was, he didn't want to leave his dad, he knew that he was antisocial, he would never go out, just constantly brew potions - and he'd just worry about him. His dad had helped him when he needed it the most, so it was his turn to take care of Severus - even if he didn't need it right now. Because of him he had the courage to write his books, no publish them; to this day he was still astonished at the acclaim the book had reached.
Sighing softly, he flicked his wand ready to turn all lights off in the room, when he looked at the picture on his nightstand. Everyone said Basilisks were dangerous, that they couldn't be tamed; they didn't know shit about how to treat animals. His son had the ability to talk to Zar, and enjoyed doing so. Taking great delight in spending time with the large serpent, the photo was a picture of Caspian hugged Zar as if he was an adorable puppy. Another reason he didn't get a different property - Zar was happy here - he could never drag him away from Prince Manor and with that the room bathed in darkness, as he closed his eyes to sleep.
Oh, and Dumbledore? Well Aberforth had taken pity on him, he had at least a place to sleep...in the basement of the pub. Nobody ever saw him though, he never ventured up anymore - when he had in the beginning he was met with jeers, people spitting on him glares of disgust even the occasional curse...Albus had filed charges the first few times it happened - unfortunately there was no evidence and nobody saw anything conveniently enough. To think it had been his decision that caused his outcome...his decision to send Harry to live with Severus. For without it many things would have occurred...including Dumbledore dying a hero's death when he clearly wasn't.
Harry's last thought as he fell asleep was tinged with irony to think it had started with Albus Dumbledore telling him he had a new place to stay.
There we go I hope everything you wanted was in it :) and its finally over :( I'm going to miss this one that's for sure right up there with Pretty Boy LOL! so for old times sake if you've enjoyed the story give it one last review and let it go with a bang :D please! so its a goodbye from this story thank you to those who have reviewed and stuck by it from the very beginning :)