This is just a one-shot about what might have happened if Severus Snape hadn't died in DH.
Summary: Severus Snape didn't die in DH…but maybe he should have. Snape's life after the war.
Warning: Angst…OOC Snape…
I do not own Harry Potter nor do I own Severus Snape, but I will pay JK Rowling $1 million for him.
Severus Snape sat in an armchair in front of the fireplace in his bedroom, staring into the fire. It had been nineteen years since the war had ended. Nineteen years since Voldermort had been killed for good. Nineteen years since Harry Potter had saved his life. The former potions master was lost in his thought as he remembered the day he almost died and the days that followed.
"While you live, Severus, the Elder Wand cannot truly be mine."
"My lord!" Severus protested, raising his wand, but knowing it was useless.
"It cannot be any other way," Voldermort said, "I must master the wand, Severus. Master the wand and I master Potter at last." Voldermort swiped the air with the Elder Wand. It did nothing to Severus, but he wasn't naïve enough to believe he had been reprieved. He was going to die there in the Shrieking Shack. He wasn't shocked or afraid as Nagini's cage rolled through the air and the snake encased him, head and shoulders, and Voldermort spoke in Parseltongue. "Kill." Severus's face began to lose the little color it had left. It whitened as his black eyes widened as the snake's fangs pierced his neck and he fell to the floor as his knees gave away.
"I regret it," said Voldermort coldly before turning and leaving, taking Nagini with him. It had done its job.
Severus lay sprawled on his side as blood gushed from the wound in his neck. This is it, he thought, this is how I die. Alone in a puddle of my own blood. It's probably better this way. As he closed his eyes, ready to welcome death, he caught sight of an emerald green-eyed figure standing over him.
"Lily?" he croaked, opening his eyes, "This…this can't be right…I can't be in heaven. I don't deserve…"
"You're not in heaven, professor," Harry Potter said, pulling off his robes and kneeling down to press them against the bloody wound in Severus's neck, "You're in the Shrieking Shack."
"No," Severus said, wincing as he tried, futilely, to push Po…Harry's hands away, "Just let me die…it's almost over. I'm almost
"No, I won't let you die. I won't…Hermione, come here," Harry said frantically, "You have to apparate us to the dungeons in Hogwarts."
"We shouldn't move him, Harry. It could make him worse," Hermione said on the verge of tears.
"He's dying, Hermione. How could he get any worse? We need to get to the dungeons to get some potions for him. I know we can't stay there, but he needs help."
"I'll get the potions. You stay here and try to stop the bleeding. Ron and I will go."
"Be careful," he said as Hermione and Ron apparated away.
"Why…why won't you…just let me die?" Severus rasped out as his former student continued to try to stop the blood from oozing from his neck.
"I…I don't know," Harry admitted, "I just know I can't let you die. Dumbledore trusted you for a reason, and you've saved my life before. I owe you." Severus was quiet for a long time. If it wasn't for the sound of his ragged breathing, Harry would have thought he was dead.
"Here," he said suddenly, "Take…them. Take them…you have to…see them." Something more than blood began to leak from the dying man. Silvery-blue, neither gas nor liquid gushed from his ears, mouth, and eyes, and Harry knew exactly what it was.
"No," he said almost angrily, "I won't take them. I won't look at them. You will live and tell me whatever it is you want me to know. You will not die."
"Please…just take them…just…in case…you must know…" Snape pleaded, "Vial…in my…robe pocket…" Harry dug around Snape's robe pockets until he found an empty vial. He captured the memories oozing from Snape's body and stuck them in his pocket.
"I won't watch these. You will live and take them back and tell me what you want me to know," he said softly. As he became more worried as Severus's breathing slowed down considerably, Hermione and Ron apparated back to the Shrieking Shack. "Please tell me you brought pain relievers and blood clotting potions," Harry said immediately.
"Here you go," Hermione said, handing him two vials.
"Mate, we have to get out of here. Death Eaters are swarming the school. We just barely got out without being detected. And I think some might be on their way over. We heard a few talking about what You-Know-Who did to Snape," Ron said, causing Snape to whimper uncharacteristically as Harry propped him up and helped him swallow the potions.
"It's okay, professor, they won't get you," Harry said quietly to the distressed man.
"But where are we going to go?" Hermione asked, "Professor Snape really needs to see a healer, but there's no way we can take him to St. Mungos."
"We'll go to Grimwuald Place, and I'll do my best at healing him," Harry said.
"But Harry, do you really think that's safe?"
"No," he said honestly, "but it's the only place we've got. So take Professor Snape first, and then come back for me and Ron."
"Okay." Severus groaned as Hermione took Harry's place and wrapped her arm around her former Potions Professor before apparating away to Grimwuald Place. The last thing Snape remembered was the feeling of being in a small tube before everything went black. He wasn't sure how long he was out. He only remembered regaining consciousness and hearing a conversation between Harry and Ron.
"Don't ask why," Harry said to Ron, "because I don't really have an answer. I just know I have to do this."
"Actually, I was going to ask what you knew about healing," Ron said.
"Oh. I've studied up a bit. Before we left school, I decided that after this war is over, I'm done fighting. I'd much rather heal than hurt, so I'm going to become a healer…you know, if I survive." Before Severus could hear Ron's response, he fell into unconsciousness once again.
When Severus regained complete consciousness, he immediately felt a shooting pain throughout his entire body. He tensed and gritted his teeth as he fought the urge to scream out in pain.
"Don't tense up. It'll just make the pain worse. Try to relax, professor," said a quiet, yet familiar voice to his left. As he did his best to relax, he opened his eyes (even that small action hurt) and was surprised to see Harry Potter sitting next to his bed. How did he end up here? He should be dead. The…
"The snake," he rasped out, "…I…I should've died. I should be…"
"I told you I wouldn't let you die, professor. I meant what I said," Po…Harry said.
"You should have. My death will only be worse when the Dark Lord learns that I am still alive."
"Sir, Voldermort is dead. I killed him. The war is finally over."
"How…how long have I been unconscious?"
"Three and a half months."
"You…you saved my life."
"Not really. I just kept you alive long enough to get you to a healer and helped brew an anti-venom potion."
"You saved my life." At that moment, Severus tensed once again as terrible pains shot through his body once again.
"I'll get Healer Ives," Harry said, rushing out of the room. He returned a few seconds later with a gray-haired woman with kind brown eyes.
"We've been worried about you, professor. You've been out for almost four months," she said, spelling four potions directly into Severus's stomach.
"When will I be leaving?" he asked, not because he was in a hurry to leave, but because although the Dark Lord was gone, there were still Death Eaters who would love to see Severus dead. The healer gave him a sad look before gesturing for Harry to follow her out of the room. Severus strained to hear what they were saying, but only caught a few words and a loud, angry "No" before Harry stormed back into the room.
"Professor, there was a plan and reasons for everything you did, right? And Dumbledore knew? That's why he trusted you," Harry asked desperately, "And it's all in your memories, right?"
"Yes," Severus said, nodding slowly, "I was a spy."
"Well, we have to prove that to the Ministry. There are aurors here waiting to take you away to Azkaban as soon as you're released, but I won't let that happen."
"If they want to throw me in Azkaban, there's nothing you can do to stop them, Harry," Severus said, sighing and closing his eyes.
"But you're innocent. They can't send you to Azkaban after all that you've done for our side. I tried to tell them, but they refuse to look at your memories or even give you veritaserum. They think because you're such a great potions master, you somehow have a way to lie even if you take veritaserum. But that's not true. If they just give it to you, then everyone will know that you're actually a hero. You helped us so much."
"But sadly that matters to no one," Severus said quietly.
"You mean you're just going to let them lock you up without a fight?" Harry said incredulously.
"I am tired of fighting, Harry," the former professor said, sighing.
"Well I'm not letting them lock you up without a fight."
"You've done quite enough, Harry," Snape said before allowing sleep to overcome him.
When he awoke several hours later, he was hit with a binding spell the moment his eyes were opened. Panic immediately filled him before he realized what was happening. He was being taken to Azkaban. The aurors didn't say a word to him as they apparated him to the apparition point near the wizarding prison and levitated him inside. A shiver ran through his prone body as he was carried passed prison cells.
"Oh look," came an all-too-familiar drawl from one of the cells, "its Traitor Snape. You don't even deserve to be here with real Death Eaters, you filthy half-blood." Lucius Malfoy's cold words filled Severus's mind as the binding spell was removed and he was thrown into a cell a few feet down from Malfoy's.
While Severus sat in a cold cell in Azkaban trying to ignore the insults and threats from Lucius Malfoy and trying to hold on to his sanity, Harry Potter was doing everything in his power to prove Snape's innocence. And after six years of trying and Arthur Weasley replacing Scrimgeour as Minister of Magic, Severus Snape was given veritaserum and the truth was finally out.
But if you think that after Severus was released from Azkaban his life was finally perfect, you couldn't be more wrong. First of all, he was wandless because the day he was imprisoned, his wand was snapped. Secondly, even though he was proven innocent, many people still thought he was a dangerous criminal, so no one was willing to hire him or do business with him. And thirdly and most importantly, it would have been incredibly dangerous for him to remain in the wizarding world without his wand especially with so many people still against him. So he was forced to go to the muggle world, but as a forty-three year old wizard with no muggle work experience, it was impossible for him to find a job. So he was forced to become the equivalent of a muggle homeless man, living off of stolen food and scraps from the garbage. Living on the streets only made his injuries from the venom from the snake bite even worse. The pain in his neck and back were almost constant, his right leg, the side affected the most by the venom, became so stiff he could hardly walk on it, and he began to lose the sight in his right eye.
One day the pain and the reality of his situation started to become too much for him, making him long for death. I wish the snake had killed me, he thought as he lay curled up in an alley with his tattered cloak wrapped around him, trying not to scream out in pain. He was teetering on the edge of unconsciousness and was about to surrender to the darkness when a green-eyed figure appeared over him.
"Professor?" the familiar voice gasped, dropping to his knees.
"I am not your professor, Harry… haven't been for years," Severus said through gritted teeth.
"I know…Sir…is this where you've been all this time?"
"Yes. There's not much I can do without my magic," Severus said, squeezing his eyes shut as more pain shot through his back and down his leg, "You should have let me die…Let me die…please…I can't take this anymore. Kill me, Harry. Make it stop" Severus's voice took on a desperate pleading tone as the pain became almost unbearable.
"I won't kill you, sir, but I will make the pain stop," Harry said, wrapping his arms around the gaunt form of his former professor and apparating away. Having not apparated in so many years along with the nauseousness that he suffered nearly every day, Severus sicked up the moment they arrived at Harry's home. But before he could even be embarrassed about sicking up on himself and his former student, he passed out.
When he awoke a day later, he was clean, wearing warm pajamas, and lying in the most comfortable bed he had ever slept in. His leg still felt a bit stiff, but the pain in his neck and back was almost non-existent. Just as he tried to sit up to take a look around the room, the bedroom door opened and the figure of Harry Potter walked in, levitating several vials along behind him. As Severus moved to sit up, a burning pain shot through his body causing him to gasp out in pain.
"It's okay, sir. I'll just spell the potions into you for now," Harry said quietly, using his wand to do just that.
"Pain reliever, Nutrient replenisher, Pepper-Up, Strengthening, and…what else?" Severus said, trying to think of what potions he had needed.
"A repairing potion for your eyes, the right one more than the left. I ran a diagnostic on you and it showed that your eyes are very damaged. Most of the damage was done by the snake venom, but according to the diagnostic, your eyes were a bit damaged before the snake bite. It seems that you were already slowly losing your sight before."
"No…I can't…I can't lose my sight."
"Can you see me?"
"Yes. You're a bit fuzzy, but that's probably just because I've just woken up."
"Can you see me now?" he asked, moving to stand on the other side of the room.
"I can see you, but you're nothing but a big blur. I can't see your face or anything. Merlin, I am losing my sight. How…how long until I go completely blind?"
"You won't go blind…as long as you keep taking the Repairing potion and wear these," Harry said, walking back over and sliding a pair of black-rimmed glasses on Severus's face. His vision immediately cleared and he could finally take in the room. It was done in Gryffindor colors, from the drapes to the sheets that were tucked around the former Slytherin, but he was too tired to make a comment or even sneer at the obvious Gryffindor pride.
"Ginny and Molly decorated the room," Harry said awkwardly as he noticed Severus looking around the room.
"It's Potter now, actually."
"Of course," Severus said quietly as his eyelids grew heavy and he had to fight the urge to yawn tiredly.
"Go back to sleep, sir. You need rest. I'll be back up later with a few more potions and some food," Harry said, removing Severus's glasses and placing them on the night table.
"Wait," he said, fighting a losing battle against sleep, "Th…thank you."
"You're welcome," Harry said to the snoring form of Severus Snape.
He sat in the corner of the cold, dark cell with his knees drawn up to his chest. He could feel the dementors floating around outside of his cell. He squeezed his obsidian eyes shut as he tried his hardest to think of a happy memory, a happy thought…anything. But all he could hear was insults and threats.
"You stupid, freaky brat!" from Tobias Snape.
"Do us all a favor and die, Snivellus!" from James Potter.
"If I find out you are disloyal to me, you will regret it. Crucio!" from Lord Voldermort.
"I'll show you what true Death Eaters do to traitors! I tried to help you, you greasy git!" from Lucius Malfoy.
He opened his eyes and saw them all standing at the door of his cell glaring and laughing cruelly at him. Then they all disappeared and the door opened.
"Severus? Come on, Sev," came the voice of Eileen Snape.
"Mother?" he said, his voice sounding as if he was a child as he stumbled to his feet. Eileen Snape stood outside of the cell with her arms open to him. He ran to his mother with tears in his eyes, but as he neared her, she transformed into a dementor and suddenly he was an eleven year old boy getting the kiss.
"No!" he cried out, quickly sitting up, ignoring the pain in his back. As he sat panting, trying to push the images from his dream from his mind, the bedroom door opened and the blurred figure of Harry Potter stepped into the room, talking to someone in the hallway.
"The three of you go back downstairs right now or you won't ever meet him," he said. Two "yes sirs" and one "yes daddy" were heard as he shut the door. "Sorry about them. They're a bit anxious to meet you," Harry said, turning to face Severus, "Are you okay? I heard you scream."
"I'm fine," Severus said, grabbing his glasses and slipping them on. He didn't enjoy speaking to a blur.
"It sounded like you were having a nightmare. Don't try to deny it," he said as the former Potions Master opened his mouth to protest, "I know what having a nightmare sounds like."
"I am not one of your children, Potter."
"I didn't mean them. I meant me. After the war, I had terrible nightmares…sometimes I still do. But they're not all about the war. Sometimes they're about you."
"I apologize for haunting your dreams, Potter," Severus sneered.
"No, it's not you that haunts my dreams," the green-eyed male said quickly, "I dream of you dying in the Shrieking Shack. I dream of you locked away in Azkaban. And me never being able to save you."
"Do not expect me to discuss any dreams that I may or may not have just because you have chosen to do so."
"I know you have them. You'd have to be completely emotionless and unfeeling not to have them after everything you've been through, which I know you aren't, no matter how hard you try to make people believe you are. But I didn't come up here to force you to talk about something you don't want to talk about. I came to give you more potions."
Severus didn't say a word as Harry handed him two vials. Once he had downed both potions, Harry propped up a couple of pillows behind him so he could lean back against the head board.
"Dinner will be ready soon. Do you need anything else?"
"Well, I guess, I'll just…"
"Potter…k-keep me company…for a bit," Severus blurted out as Harry headed towards the door to leave, his entire face heating up in embarrassment. The thought of being alone at moment just frightened him and he spoke without thinking.
"O-okay," Harry said, hesitantly sitting down on the edge of the bed, "Did…did you want to talk about anything?" Severus stared down at his lap in silence for several minutes before mumbling something incoherently. "Um, what was that?"
"I…I dream of Azkaban," he said quietly, "and getting the Kiss."
"Is that what your nightmare was about a while ago?" Severus nodded.
"My father, Lucius Malfoy…and Voldermort were all there shouting insults and spells. And then suddenly they disappeared and my mother appeared and I thought I was going to be saved, but then she transformed into a dementor and I was an eleven year old boy getting the kiss," he said, shuddering involuntarily.
"Sounds similar to my nightmares," Harry said quietly, "But they're just dreams. That's never going to happen. I promise."
The older man almost snapped at younger male for trying to comfort him as if he was some child, but he held his tongue and instead asked, "Who is anxious to meet me?"
"What?" Harry said a bit confusedly.
"Before when you were talking to someone in the hallway, then you said 'they' were a bit anxious to meet me."
"Oh yeah, I meant the kids. They've been trying to get in all day."
"Why in Merlin's name would they want to meet me?"
"Well, I told them a bit about you one day and ever since they've been dying to meet the bravest man ever who saved their daddy's life."
"You give me too much credit, Mr. Potter," Snape said quietly, "I only did what I did because I promised Dumbledore and…"
"And my mum. I know. But it doesn't matter why you did those things. What matters is that you did."
"Believe what you will, Mr. Potter." Before Harry could say anything else, the bedroom door opened and Ginny Weasley-Potter walked into the room carrying a tray of soup and toast, followed by three grinning children. Ginny sat the tray Severus's lap before leaving the room as Harry addressed the three children.
"What did I tell you three? I told you Professor Snape was not to be bothered," he said.
"We're not here to bother the 'fessor, dad. We're here to meet 'em," said a boy with his mother's warm brown eyes and dark brown hair as unruly as his father's.
"Yeah, daddy, you said we could meet the brave 'fessor," said the little girl who reminded Severus painfully of Lily Potter with her mother's red hair and her father's emerald green eyes.
"Please, dad," the Potter mini clone with Lily's eyes pleaded softly. Severus looked up from his soup as Harry ran a hand through his hair and turned to look at him.
"I know you probably don't want to be bothered, especially by children, but do you think it'd be okay if…"
"If they wish to sit with me for a bit, that would be quite alright." I must be going insane, Severus thought to himself, I just said that sitting with three Potter spawns would be 'quite alright.' Yes, I must be mental.
"Alright, you may sit with Professor Snape for a bit, but if you start to bother him or he gets tired, you'll have to leave. Now why don't introduce yourselves to him while I go help your mother finish with dinner," Harry said before leaving the room.
"Hi, 'fessor Snake," the little girl said, climbing onto the bed, "I'm Lily Luna Potter." Severus was in too much shock to even think about correcting her mispronunciation of his name.
"It's nice to meet you, Lily," he finally said, trying to keep his emotions under control.
"Daddy said you're the bwavest man he knows," she said, grinning and revealing a missing front tooth, "and that you saved his life."
"Well your father has saved my life as well."
"Lils, quit hogging him. We wanna talk to him too," the brown-haired, brown-eyed boy complained, climbing onto the bed next to his sister, "Hi, Professor Snape, I'm James Sirius Potter, and that's my brother, Albus Sev'rus. He's real shy, but he really wanted to meet you cause dad says he's named after you."
"I can talk for myself, Jamie," Albus said, moving closer to the bed, "Hi, 'fessor Snape. Dad said you were a spy."
"A spy? Like Spy Kids?" James exclaimed excitedly.
"I…have no idea what that is," Severus said, sighing.
"It's a muggle movie," James said, "It's about these kids who…"
"I don't think he cares about that muggle movie, Jamie," Albus said, "He wasn't that kind of spy. He was in real, dangerous situations, and he helped dad defeat that mean ol' Voldy guy."
"That's even better than Spy Kids!" Severus winced at James' exclamation, and Albus noticed.
"Stop yelling or dad's not gonna let us sit with the 'fessor anymore," he said. Strange, Severus thought, Albus is the mini Potter clone, yet James is the one who acts like the old James Potter.
"Fessor Snake?" Lily said, staring up at the dark man, "daddy said you knew Gramma Lily, ya know, who I'm named after."
"Yes, I did know her," he said, trying to keep his voice neutral, "We were best friends at Hogwarts…you have her eyes. So do you, Albus." Lily grinned and moved to sit next to Severus, much to his surprise.
When Harry came back to tell the children to go downstairs for dinner, he had to nearly pry the little girl away from the former professor.
"I'll be back before bedtime," she promised as Harry carried her out of the room. And she did return before bedtime…every night.
Ten years and I'm still here, Severus thought, still staring into the flames, Why? Why did I stay when Harry offered to let me? Why didn't I leave? Because I had nowhere else to go, that's why. Severus was brought out of his musings by a knock on his bedroom door.
"Enter," he said, not looking away from the flames.
"Hi, Uncle Sev," sixteen year old, Lily Potter said, stepping into the room with a floating tray of vials, "I brought your potions. Daddy said you should take them a bit early so you'll be okay when the guests arrive."
"I'm fine now," Severus said.
"Well, you'll be even better after you take your potions," she said, walking over to where he was sitting.
"I don't want to take potions for the rest of my life."
"But you need them to make the pain go away. We don't want you in pain, Uncle Sev."
"But the relief is only temporary."
"I know, but daddy said he's searching for a cure for you. He spends every day trying to create a potion to take the pain completely away. But until he finds one, you have to take these. Please, Uncle Sev."
"Very well," he said, taking each potion.
"Thanks, uncle Sev," the red-headed teen said happily, giving the dour man a kiss on the cheek, "Now, come on. Dinner will be ready soon, and the guest will be arriving in a bit."
"Go on. I'll be down shortly."
"Promise? You're not going to stay hidden up here like you do every year, are you? You promised you'd come down and celebrate with us this year."
"I know, and I intend to. I would just like a moment alone. I'll be down in a few moments. I promise."
"Okay," Lily said softly, leaving the room.
Severus sighed as he grabbed his cane and limped over to his wardrobe. He stared at himself in the mirror for a moment. His, no longer greasy, shoulder-length black hair was streaked with white. Black-rimmed glasses took permanent residence over his obsidian eyes. There were a few crow's-feet around the glasses framed black orbs, but all in all, he didn't look bad for a fifty-nine year old man. Other than his limp and the pain in his neck and back, he didn't really feel old…most of the time. But sometimes when his leg stiffened up so bad he couldn't walk or the pain in his back became unbearable, he wished that Nagini had killed him. He really wished to die sometimes when he was too sore to bathe himself and had to be helped by Harry. Even though Harry made it clear that he didn't mind at all.
"I know you hate this, but I really don't mind helping you," the green-eyed man had said as he helped the former Potions Master out of the bathtub and wrapped a large red towel around him before handing him his cane.
"You can't expect me to believe that you enjoy helping your former professor bathe," Severus said as he limped into his bedroom and sat down heavily on the bed.
"It's not that," Harry said, going over to the wardrobe and pulling out a pair of black trousers and a green turtleneck for the older man. He politely kept his back turned as Severus removed the towel and got dressed.
"You may turn around," Severus said, once he was dressed, "You may also explain why this doesn't bother you."
"Do you promise not to beat me with your cane?" Harry asked, turning to face him.
"You have my word."
"Well, it's just…caring for you and helping you out and stuff…it kind of feels like I have a parent to take care of. Not that I would know what that's like, but it seems like it would be like this, and I like that." Severus stared at Harry in shock, though he didn't let it show on his face. He could see that Harry probably thought he would be offended about being thought of as his father, but he wasn't. For over eleven years, the younger man had known no true family. Of course, if he found even the smallest ounce of family, he would latch onto it, even if it was his former greasy git of a potions professor.
"Well, Harry, I, of course, don't know what it's like to be taking care of by a son, but I imagine it's something like this," Severus said, enjoying the shocked look on the green-eyed man's face from the his words and his use of his first name.
"Really, sir?" he said, grinning and looking like a young boy.
"Yes really, but if you ever call me dad or any other variation of the word, I will beat you with my cane."
"Yes sir," he said, still grinning.
"However, you may call me Severus. Just Severus."
"So, no Sev?" Harry joked.
"Absolutely not," Severus said, holding up his cane threateningly. After that conversation, Severus didn't hate being helped so much anymore, and he never wished to die again.
Brushing the wrinkles out of his emerald green robes and tucking a lock of hair behind his ear, Severus limped out of the room and out into the sitting room, where Harry, Ginny, Lily, James, and Albus were sitting along with the enlarged Weasley clan, Minerva McGonagall, and Neville and Luna Longbottom with their daughter, Nina. All of the talking and laughter died down as Severus limped into the room, which made him extremely uncomfortable. But before he could turn and go back to his bedroom, Lily jumped up from her place next to Ron and Hermione's son, Hugo, and rushed over to him.
"I'm so glad you're joining us, Uncle Sev," she said happily, helping him over to an armchair near the fireplace.
"We're all really glad you're joining us this year," Harry said, smiling, "Happy Christmas, Severus." After that, they all moved into the dining room for dinner, and laughter and chatter began once again. Severus was even pulled into a conversation with Minerva.
After dinner, they all moved back into the sitting room to open presents. The kids all opened their presents first, then the adults opened theirs, and Severus watched contently from his place near the fireplace. He was absolutely shocked when Albus lifted a large silver gift from behind the sofa and placed it on his lap.
"Happy Christmas, Uncle Sev. It's from the whole family," he said, smiling. Severus could feel everyone's eyes on him as he removed the silver paper and opened the box to reveal a large silver picture frame with a picture of him, Harry, Ginny, Lily, James, and Albus that was taken six years ago. At the bottom of the frame were the words 'The Potter Family.'
"Th-thank you," he said softly, "It's the greatest gift I've ever received."
"Wait a minute. That's only half of your gift," Harry said, getting up and walking over to the front door right as there was a knock at it. He opened the door to reveal Draco Malfoy standing there.
"Draco?" Severus said in shock.
"Happy Christmas, Uncle Sev," Draco said, stepping inside and walking over to his godfather.
"How-how have you been? I haven't seen you in…"
"Over twenty years. But I'm fine," the blond man said enlarging Severus's armchair and sitting down next to him, "Mother and I had Christmas dinner together. That's why I wasn't here for dinner."
"You're here now. That's what matters. I didn't think I'd ever see you again."
"Yes, I'm here, Uncle Sev, And you're going to be seeing a lot more of me now. Next time I visit, you can meet my son."
"Yes, Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy. He's with mother now. But I promise you'll meet him soon."
"I can't wait." Severus and Draco continued to talk and catch up for hours. They had a lot to catch up on. Around midnight, Draco and the rest of the guests finally left with a promise to come back for New Years. As Ginny and Lily started to clean up and James and Albus both went up to their rooms, Severus sat in front of the fire deep in thought.
"Knut for your thoughts?" Harry said, sitting down in the still enlarged armchair next to Severus.
"Thank you, Harry," Severus said, "Thank you for everything. Thank you for saving me, for giving me a place to stay, for allowing me to be a part of your family…and for giving me the greatest Christmas I have ever had."
"This is the best Christmas I've ever had as well," Harry said, slipping his arms around the older man and giving him a quick hug and then jumping up and going to help his wife and daughter clean up before Severus could respond.
This is why I stayed, he thought as a strong, warm feeling settled in his chest, This is why I continue to stay. Because its home.
He had never been happier to be alive than he was that day.
Sorry if the ending seemed rushed. It was. I just wasn't sure how to end it. I just knew I wanted it to end happily but not overly emotion and sentimental happy.
Anyhoo, just please review and let me know what you think!