During the feast opening the term after the holidays, Dumbledore stood and announced that the new Defense Against the Dark Arts would again be Remus Lupin, as Umbridge had vanished and no one knew exactly where she had gone.
Severus Snape had a pleased look on his face.
Harry Snape just stared at his father with a questioning look.
~*~*~*~What Happened To Umbridge?~*~*~*
Past: December 21, Afternoon.
Severus stalked the halls with a determination unlike any he had ever before had. Even when he had been a spy, his determination had not been so great.
Walking through the hallways, his robes billowing behind him, students who had stayed for the Holidays jumping out of his way, Severus felt his temper rising. That woman would regret messing with his child. She would regret the fact that she had ever heard the name Harry Snape.
He knew that Harry was worried about ending up in Azkaban, but that would never happen. No. He had spent the entire night thinking about the situation.
He thought back to his son, and the scarred writing etched into his otherwise white skin.
Yes, his son was scarred. He had the scar from He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. He had faint scars from the burns he had received during his first year on his hands. He had a scar on his arm where the Basilisk had pierced him, a scar that even Fawkes' healing tears could not get rid of. There was a scar on the same arm, lower down, from the knife Voldemort had pierced him with in his fourth year.
And now there was the faint etching from the use of a Blood Quill. His son had seen enough, had been through enough, that Umbridge would pay. Even everything that Harry had been through had not left the taint of Dark magic in his system like the blasted Blood Quill had.
Severus had yet to be able to punish the people responsible for the many scars on his child (if one did not count Harry being punished for jumping headfirst into dangerous situations. Harry was always positive that he had spent more time grounded than he did ungrounded, and twice as much as any other kid in the world.).
If only Umbridge had realized her mistake before she took it upon herself to so grossly discipline his son.
The woman knew better than to tell Severus. She also knew enough to know that Harry would not tell him for fear of getting into more trouble or disappointing Severus.
But Umbridge would pay not only for her crimes, but for every crime that had been committed against his son that he, himself, had not been able to seek vengeance against.
"Hello, Argus." Severus said silkily, standing in the doorway of the caretaker's office. Unknown to most people, Argus Filch was not a horrid person. On the contrary, he was actually a very smart man. He had worked at Hogwarts so long that he knew stories that the headmaster himself did not know, and if one was to take the time and talk to the elderly man, he would have gladly shared those stories.
Severus was one of the only people to ever take the time, and therefore the two were quite content to call one another friend… despite the fact that they would never one another that specific detail, let alone another living human being.
"Severus." Filch said, nodding his head towards the man in his doorway as he filed a paper away in his filing cabinet, then sat back in his chair and fully acknowledged Severus.
"What can I do for ya, Severus?" Filch asked, threading his fingers together.
"I need to borrow Mrs. Norris. I have found a live…toad. I know how she likes the ridiculous creatures." Severus said, staring the other man in the eye.
Argus Filch nodded slowly. This was not the first time that Severus Snape had randomly asked to borrow his cat. Once had been when the little fellow, Harry, had brought two mice into their quarters when he was six, and Mrs. Norris had had to catch all the creatures.
This time seemed especially random since Severus had taken Harry home for the Holidays.
"Well. Okay, Severus. If ya can just have her back before Christmas Eve…"
"No worries, Argus. I shall return her within the hour." Severus said, one eyebrow arched, a smirk on his face.
"Yea, yea. I don't wanna know what yer up to, Severus. Just so long as Mrs. Norris is safe."
"I told you that I merely need her to eat an annoying toad that has been bothering me for some time. I am sure that Mrs. Norris will be able to locate the toad immediately."
That was all that Argus needed to know, and within five minutes, Severus, with Mrs. Norris in his arms, (He had had to cast an anti-shed charm on the cat…he was wearing black after all), and the two set off in search of a toad.
~*~*~*~What Happened To Umbridge?~*~*~*~
Severus stalked the halls in search of Umbridge.
It did not take him long to find her in the Defense classroom, standing over an innocent first year who had had the bad luck to cross the woman's path while he was on Holiday.
"Professor…Umbridge. Might I have a word?" Severus droned.
The woman looked up. She narrowed her eyes.
"I am currently disciplining this little wretch…"
"As I know you are fully aware, Dolores, we do not discipline students over holidays unless it is a life or death situation. Mr. Kinderlin, you may go back to your common room." Severus finished, eyeing the first year Ravenclaw.
For once in Severus' life, a first year sent him a look of sincere thanks. Severus vaguely nodded at the child and motioned for him to leave quickly.
"Severus Snape! You have no right to interrupt me when…" Umbridge screeched.
Severus raised his left eyebrow and crossed his arms loosely against his chest.
Umbridge stopped her rant, swallowed, and stepped back several steps.
"I…I…I thought that you were staying home for the Holiday, Severus." She whispered.
"Yes. However, I came across some information about my son. Apparently, he has not been behaving in class." Severus dead toned.
"Um, well, yes. He has an appalling inclination towards lying." She whispered.
Severus stared at her with his piercing gaze of black marble.
"Yes, I suppose all teenage boys lie at one time or another. I imagine that you punished him appropriately, yes?" Severus asked.
"Yes, yes! I knew that you would see it my wa…."
Severus whipped out his wand and stepped closer to the woman. It was so fast that Umbridge didn't even realize that he was pulling out his wand in the first place.
"Wh…Wh…What are you doing, Severus?" Umbridge stuttered, trying to move back further away from Severus.
"You used a Blood Quill on my son; you will pay for that."
At this, Dolores Umbridge froze with fear and paled so much that an onlooker would have thought her dead had she been lying down.
"Now listen here! I am the High Inquisitor! The Minister of Magic…"
"Is not here, Dolores. Do not worry. No one will miss you. They will simply believe that you…ran away."
"What…why! You can't do anything to me, Severus!" Umbridge screeched, then stepped backwards and fell on her behind.
"Vertere in rana." Severus chanted.
Instantly, Mrs. Norris' ears perked up.
"Yes, Yes, Cat. Go on, have your meal. Make sure you go back to Argus when you are finished." Severus motioned towards the floor, where a huge toad sat, replacing the screeching woman that had previously been there.
Mrs. Norris made a sound unfamiliar to Severus, but the cat sounded happy.
Severus merely looked down at the toad. He had never thought that it was possible for a toad to look afraid.
He'd be the first to admit that he was actually happy that he had been wrong.
"Never mess with my son." Severus whispered as he left the room.
But it didn't matter. Umbridge would never mess with Harry again.
Mrs. Norris would make sure of that.
~*~*~*~What Happened To Umbridge~*~*~*~
Severus watched Harry sleep with a contentment unlike any other. Umbridge was no more. He would let Albus find out that Umbridge had 'fled'.
No one hurt his son and got away with it. Severus was an ex-deatheater, a spy even now.
No one would get away with causing his son pain.
His son may be a troublesome brat; that was true. But he was Severus' troublesome brat.
His son may lie a times, but it was never to harm anyone.
Severus sat beside the bed and watched Harry sleep. He knew that Harry would suspect something once they went back to school, but he also knew that his son would not say anything.
Severus smiled and gently swept Harry's messy hair away from his forehead and carefully ran his fingers over the lightening bolt shaped scar. His first scar. The scars on his hand would eventually fade. It would simply take a while.
It was no wonder that his son had been behaving like a hellion. Well, more so than usual anyways.
Finally, after he had sat beside Harry's bed for nearly an hour, he went to bed.
He dreamed a brilliant dream.
Of cats and toads, and cats who ate toes.
~*~*~*~What Happened To Umbridge~*~*~*~
Harry continued to stare at Severus.
Severus merely smirked and then turned his eyes away…
Harry got the point.
He would ask no questions.
But he felt an undeniable urge to hug his father, and if it wouldn't mean his imminent death, he would do so in front of the entire school. He supposed that he would just wait.
Yes. That would work.
So, he would wait until he saw his father later, in their quarters
He smiled and quickly put some food on his plate.
His father's birthday was in a few days, so he would just make sure the older man had an excellent day.
Harry looked up at his father at the head table and merely smiled.