Remember When You Were Little
Severus Snape, the Head of Slytherin House and the well-known snarky potions master at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, was brewing a potion in his lab as he always did if he had enough time after grading papers.
It was Halloween, the worst day of the year, when the students gorged themselves on sweets and the Great Hall looked utterly ridiculous, along with the headmaster, who would be sat in his chair, in his outlandish different-colored robes, with that constant smile on his lips.
There was no peace of mind for him until he finally returned to the quietness of his lab in the dungeons, where his headache began to quickly dissipate.
Absentmindedly, he quickly skimmed through all the essays with red ink, leaving more than enough time for a potion to help relax his mind. After all, brewing was what always left him in a better mood than before, as well as helping to relieve any mental stress he had after teaching group after group of dunderheads in his classes each day.
He was beginning to feel calmer while in the process of cutting up some mandrake root, when suddenly, he heard his floo ringing, and Dumbledore's voice calling out to him.
"Severus, are you there my boy?"
"Yes, headmaster, I am," replied the grim potions master, annoyed that his potion would now have to wait.
"Very well, then you would not mind if I perhaps step through and chat a bit about some things with you? It'll only take a short while," answered Dumbledore.
Snape sighed, if the headmaster wanted to 'chat', then it was going to take longer than a 'short' while.
"No," he muttered, "I would not."
"Splendid!" and with that, Professor Dumbledore stepped out of the fireplace
Banishing the soot off his clothes, the old man with his long gray beard tucked into his robe and twinkling eyes behind half-moon glasses would look less like the expected person that was Head of the Wizengamot and Leader of the Light, as well as the most powerful wizard in all of Britain.
"To what do I owe the pleasure of your visit, headmaster?" asked Snape
"Now, my boy, just call me Albus, and I am only here in need of a small assistance from you."
As Dumbledore said this, with eyes twinkling madly, Severus arched an eyebrow, knowing that whatever Dumbledore needed from him was going to have to keep his potion waiting a little while longer.
"What is that requires my assistance then, Albus?"
"Well, as you may have already known, today is Hallows Eve, the 4th anniversary of James and Lily's-" Severus flinched, suddenly wishing to change this topic "-death, and so, as I have not the time to do this myself, I need you to go and check up on their son, Harry Pot—"
"YOU WANT ME TO DO WHAT?"
Dumbledore's face remained neutral, although there was a hint of disappointment in his eyes as he continued speaking.
"I wish for you to -," he started
"Check on the Potter's devil spawn, yes I heard you the first time! And no," when Severus saw Dumbledore starting to object he continued, "I will NOT go and check up on the brat to no doubt see him stuffing his spoiled face with candy like a pampered prince!"
"Now Severus, you haven't even met the boy, let alone seen him. He's only 4 years of age—"
"And the most spoiled child, he's even as worse as his father." Severus spit out
"Severus," warned Dumbledore in a stern and cross tone.
As Dumbledore looked over his glasses and spoke to him in such a way, it made Severus feel like a 3rd year again as he quieted and listened to what the headmaster had to say.
"I understand that you and James have had a few trifles against each other," Severus fought to keep from rolling his eyes and objecting while Dumbledore continued, "however, that does not mean you are not required to help carry out this task in which I have politely asked you to do."
"Albus, please, isn't there anyone else in the castle that is more willing to check up on the boy than me? What about Minerva, Hagrid, or by all means, even Filch would be a better candidate than me!" Severus pleaded
"Minerva and the other heads of houses are all busy with classes and such, I'm surprised you still have some free time on your hands. While Hagrid is actually away and taking care of other businesses of mine, I sincerely hope you are only joking about Filch." Dumbledore said sternly
Snape mentally cursed himself for not marking thoroughly and keeping a slower pace on the essays while he retorted back, "Then what is the reason of your absence in taking part of your own duty?"
No sooner than those words slipped out of his mouth did he realize his grave mistake when Dumbledore's eyes flashed with disapproval.
"I, have a meeting in the Department of Ministries, one which I MUST attend in exactly 1 hour and which will last for quite a while."
Severus looked away as Dumbledore continued, "I am disappointed in you Severus, I would think you would be more reliant and responsible to be assigned this task. But now, you no longer have any choice in this matter, and I implore you leave as soon as possible. Goodnight Severus," Dumbledore ended his speech as he went back through the fireplace in which he came from, returning to his own office.
Severus was shocked. He had, for once, truly angered the headmaster, who was very rarely annoyed or irritated - unless his task was truly important enough to Dumbledore that he would become so, displeased.
Without another thought, Severus turned away from the fireplace, now ignited with its original orange flames, and continued to work on his potion.
In the end, Severus decided to retire to his bed, knowing that any more brewing of potions would not help relax his vexed mind.
Speaking of vexed, while lying in his bed, his mind was currently thinking up of every curse he knew of so that he could start cursing the little Potter menace for causing him all this trouble!
Why, if the boy hadn't been such a famous and doted-on child, Dumbledore would have no need to check up on him, thus making him, Severus Snape, given a night to freely brew a potion!
But no, Potter's spawn just HAD to cause some trouble for him, when he hadn't even stepped a foot inside the school yet.
He would rather be grading papers and brewing new potions than to spend his time acting like a babysitter checking-up on a child, for merlin's sake!
Severus sighed deeply as he summoned an uncorked a bottle of Firewhiskey and poured himself a glass.
No, he would not be checking up on Potter tonight, not in the mood he was currently stewing in, he thought to himself as he downed the drink. He didn't want the headmaster after him if he 'accidentally' threw a curse at the spoiled brat.
He would wait till tomorrow. Yes, that's what he'll do. And besides, tomorrow was a Saturday, plenty of time. And if Dumbledore were to ask for a report, he could always say he had been busy with a potion and decided to check on the brat the next day.
With that reassuring thought in mind, Severus climbed into bed. His last thought, before he succumbed to sleep, was that today marked the four year anniversary of his beloved Lily's death.
He was suddenly dreaming, in a large meadow that stretched far across the horizon. He wondered why he was there until he heard a voice that he hadn't heard from in almost 16 years.
"Severus," she said as Severus immediately spun around facing her, the woman he had loved, the woman that had died that fateful day on October 31. There was Lily Evans, standing not too far away from him, looking as she just had in all her beauty before she passed away.
Her red hair and green eyes were all too painstakingly familiar, to real to be true. Even the dress she wore… he remembered her wearing it when the two of them were still close friends.
"Sev," Lily called to him again.
He knew this all had to be a dream, albeit the most wondrous dream he'd ever have, yet he couldn't stop himself from reaching out and gently stroking her hair.
"Lily? I-is that you?"
She laughed, a beautiful laugh that sounded like wind chimes to him and said, "Yes, it's me, Sev. I've missed you too." Again she flashed him another breathtaking smile.
"Why are you here Lily?" he asked. Was this finally his chance? His chance at fixing everything with her, even if through a dream, but even the deeply scarred pain in his heart after all those years? Could he finally apologize to her?
Her smile suddenly faded away, as did the glowing sunlight that had been shining on the meadow, as if a cloud had just passed overhead.
"I came to ask you to help my son." Her eyes became clouded and distraught as she looked at him. "I need you to help him, he needs help right now, please. Have you "
Severus couldn't say anything. So great was the shock of seeing Lily Evans of all people in his dream and becoming so sad, that he would do anything for her. Forgetting the anger and resentment he had had over the imp a while ago, he personally decided that he could care less about a spoiled Potter brat then doing what Lily wanted him to do, anything for Lily. He had also almost forgotten the promise he had made to protect her son, and if she wanted him to go, then so be it.
"I'll do it. I promise, always." He said to her as he held her hand.
Already the dream realm was beginning to fade out, signaling the end of his experience.
"Thank you, Sev," Lily said, as she too, faded into darkness.
And Severus, I forgive you
Severus heard the last of this before he woke up with a start in his own bed. He put his face in his hands as he thought back to the dream he had just had.
Was this a sign? A warning of some sort? Or just his own guttural instinct to follow Dumbledore's instructions and just get the job done already. It couldn't be that hard right? All he had to do was just check on the boy and then he could return to his potions again, simple as that.
He hurriedly dressed in his hooded travelling cloak, suddenly noticing the down pour outside, and also cast a water-proof charm on his clothes.
Whatever reason he was doing this out of, he thought as he threw in the floo powder, it was all for Lily.
"Arabella Fig's house!"
Sorry for the wait, I originally wanted this chapter to come out on Halloween, but I was busy….again….But at least I made it to 11/11/11! XD I bet some of you guys wished for this story to update, right…? Ah well, at least review, it'll at least make me update faster.