Declaration: I write for my own pleasure and not for profit. I do not own Harry Potter Universe.

With You by My Side

Chapter 33- Choices

Luna Lovegood was in the wilderness of Scandinavia with her father, the editor of the weekly magazine Quibbler. The man had been called eccentric in polite company and downright barmy whenever tongues loosened but one thing was certain, the man prided himself in the unnatural even in the wizarding world. His magazine usually carried news that bordered on that unnaturalness and more often than not was seen with disdain among the more cultured members of the society. Luna was naturally tarred with the same brush, as her father had a large part in her upbringing since her mother died when Luna was at the tender age of eight.

Xeno Lovegood was well known not for his brilliant journalism but for his fanciful tales of creatures that have never been seen. His favourite creatures were the Crumple Horned Snorkack, Nargle, and Bumbling Humdingers which Luna used quite frequently in her own recitals of events that no one could comprehend about their actual meaning or implications. If someone were to actually ask Xeno Lovegood what these creatures were he would laugh at you since in his mind, these were not creatures or some such but they were the oddities in nature that could not be explained, even by magic.

Luna was in one such place with her father who was trying to investigate one such oddity or 'freak' of nature. The mountain regions of Scandinavia were well known for being pristine wilderness where the touch of human modernization had not reached yet. Snow was common in winter and with copious amounts of rain, the lush green vegetation thrived like no other place in the world. The valley that the Lovegoods were camping however was devoid of any snow in the winter; there was frost on the ground no doubt but never did it snow. Xeno was convinced that there was some undocumented magic that was at work and therefore was determined to find the Snorkack.

Scientists, naturalists, and other scholars sometimes do come around such bizarre incidents around the world and they chalk it up to nature's desire for some change; an explanation was never to be found for such incidents. Even magic could not explain such behavior of nature and into one such oddity, Xeno dragged his daughter determined to find the elusive Crumple Horned Snorkack. No one would say that Xeno Lovegood was stupid, in fact he was incredibly smart and the same could be said about Luna Lovegood. She was uncommonly intelligent but was prone to spacing out and usually after such episodes, she would mutter incoherent ramblings that were amusing to anyone within earshot and thus earned her the name 'Loony'.

Luna could not tell you at what age such episodes of incoherence had started but she could identify that the frequency of such instances became more after the death of her mother, Celeste Lovegood. Celeste was known to be a brilliant spell creator but what was not known was that she was an un-awakened seer. She did not have the ability to decipher the meaning of the flashes of the future she was wont to see and after every such episode she was prone to have fits of unconsciousness without any knowledge of what caused it. It was during one such episode that Celeste, hunched over a particularly nasty potion that she was brewing, lost consciousness and fell into the open cauldron which resulted in a massive explosion killing her instantly. Thankfully, neither Luna nor her father was inside the house at that moment, but unfortunately, Luna lost her mother.

In the magical world, certain skills were known to manifest in a particular family and having the ability to 'see' the future was one such. The skill was very sought after by the rulers of a country or any other powerful members of the society for their benefit, often times not for the good of the world. This misuse of a powerful gift was frowned upon by most people and so seers were either coveted or were discriminated against, regardless of the wishes of the seer.

Being passed down to Luna from her mother, who herself did not have the full abilities to be a true seer, the gift manifested within Luna in yet a different way. Luna could see the future events as they were bound to happen, but incredibly, she could 'see' all the different possibilities that could happen due to the recent event that had taken place. Even though she was far away from Britain, Luna's magic and her unique ability told her about the event that would have a profound impact on the wizarding world at the precise moment it had happened. It was an accepted fact that Harry would be the Lord Potter and to the few true friends Harry had, that Hermione would be the Lady Potter, the only factor undecided was when that would happen. The Potter family magic accepting Hermione as the betrothed to the next Potter at the age of fourteen was certainly a surprise to Luna, a pleasant one to say but surprise nonetheless.

The many pathways that the future could take after this unprecedented event hit Luna like a tropical storm and nearly overwhelmed the young witch. If anyone was near her at that time they would have heard her mutter, 'So many possibilities… so many of them…' and her personality of a 'Loony' would have been strengthened further. Thankfully no one heard her as her father was quite a distance away inside the nearly enclosed valley and this gave Luna the chance to let go of her emotions which were in turmoil.

The visions of the future showed her that the key to a peaceful world was amazingly, not in the hands of Harry Potter, or Lord Voldemort or even Albus Dumbledore but in Lucius Malfoy. Luna knew that Harry and Hermione were hatching a plan to move against the death eaters and if she had to go by her latest visualization, she had to guess that they would start with the Malfoy patriarch.

Two different paths opened up based on Harry's choice of Lucius Malfoy's treatment in the coming few months. If Harry was to go ahead with his plan to eliminate Malfoy from the equation then the wizard known as Lord Voldemort would not rise in Harry's lifetime but there was a distinct possibility that he could still get a body and take over the world after Harry Potter's death, plunging it into chaos. If Malofy was not a target then there was a very good chance for the dark lord to get a body again but his threat can be removed once and for all, ushering in an era of peace and prosperity.

The choices were certainly daunting for little Luna with the threat to their very lives thrown in for good measure. She had complete faith in Lord and Lady Potter and especially now that their lives were inexplicably interwoven much before the normal time, that they would take the decision based on what was good to the entire world and not just them, even if it meant that they would face great odds. Luna knew that she would have to give them the information needed to take the correct decision and she had to do it before it was too late. She could only hope that her news would not push them away from her friendship; if that was to happen, Luna was not sure she would survive the heartbreak. Then again her mother taught her that she had to do what was right and not what was easy.

A shout of, "Luna dear, we have to go to the other end of the valley" from her father brought her out of her musings. She flashed him a smile, 'I can only hope for the best' Luna thought while getting up from the ground where she sat. But first they had to find the Crumple Horned Snorkack…

Scene Break

"No! We are not married" Hermione was blushing furiously along with Harry while the other magicals were sniggering at the discomfort of the two teenagers. Dan and Emma were naturally disturbed when they heard about the appearance of the Potter ring on their daughter's finger.

Sirius as Harry's godfather took the opportunity to explain, "This is ancient magic at its finest. The Potter family recognized the emotional attachment these two have for each other and decided that Hermione was the best option for being the Lady Potter. It also helped that Harry was aware and considered Hermione as not only his girlfriend but as his future wife. As soon as he became the head of the Potter family, magic recognized Hermione as Lady Potter to be; this was done mainly to give them both a modicum of protection from others who wanted to set up their daughters up for marriage with the head of house Potter."

That explanation calmed their fears, not that they had any objection to Harry being married to their daughter but any parent would wish for their children to wait at least until they were at a responsible age before taking that step. "OK, that does not seem to be much of a problem. Does that mean they are considered engaged?" a relieved Dan wanted to know.

Amelia nodded her head, "Yeah, betrothed actually."

While her parents were getting used to the idea that their not fully fourteen year old daughter was engaged, Hermione was concerned with making it official, "Do we have to set up a contract or something? Do we actually need to make it public?"

Sirius' booming laughter rang out in the late evening air, "Betrothal contracts are registered in the Ministry but yours is a totally different case. As I said this is old magic, Potter family magic chose you as its next lady and no one could dispute that except for Harry and you. If someone takes exception all you have to do is flash her or him your ring; you could even prosecute them for trying to break up your engagement. No contracts or endless parchment can deny your right. It's your wish if you want to keep it a secret or let the world know."

That actually brought a smile to Harry and Hermione; they were worried about making the information generally known as that may endanger her. Everyone knew that Hermione was his best friend and maybe even girlfriend but announcing that she was his betrothed may actually see schemes being hatched to put her in danger for the sake of their daughters. Hermione refused to take the back seat when it came to putting an end to the threat of Lord Voldemort and his death eaters; Harry was not foolish enough to think that he did not need her help but if they could take unnecessary pressure off their relationship by keeping it hidden from the public, then it was well and good.

With that discussion out of the way, the talk turned to speeding up the launch of 'Harmonian Magiks'. The dinner at number 12 Grimmauld Place, which was the ancestral home of the Blacks would be the first board meeting. Since the roadblock in the form of Umbridge was well and truly removed, Ted brought the happy news that their application was immediately passed through; it obviously was a thinly veiled attempt to curry the favour of the latest Lord Potter. Being the head of house Potter, Harry was considered as an adult by magic if not by law and with Hermione elevated to the position of his betrothed, the final concern for them being minors was also removed. Now with all objections removed, the company could be officially started and even the space they bought on the outskirts of London was already hooked up to the 'Floo' network.

Harry and Hermione would naturally be the Directors and CEO, and the various positions of importance have already been decided by Hermione and him but Harry was not sure how his proposition would be received but there was nothing to it but take up the matter with those involved. "Dora, would you mind leaving the auror corps and join us, we especially need versatile minds who are capable of not only casting spells but also capable of research."

Dora was frankly amazed that they even considered her as she was only a year out of Hogwarts and still in her training. Her first interest though was in protecting the society and that was the reason she joined the aurors. "Harry, Hermione I thank you guys but I want to be an auror…"

Before she could continue however, she was interrupted by Amelia, "Dora, I know that you wanted to be an auror but frankly your greatest problem is in stealth." She raised her hand to stall any protests but her face took a tender look, "… I know that your metamorph skills are a great asset in undercover work but at the same time they are a cruse when it comes to working in the field. I hate to say this but through no fault of yours, you are clumsy and that could cost you your life."

Ted and Andy were looking a little apprehensive at their daughter; they knew that she wanted to make a difference to their society and that was the reason they supported her enthusiasm to be an auror. They could not deny that they have lost quite a few nights of sleep in worry but this was a golden opportunity to have a risk free career and there definitely was a challenge in research especially of the kind that Harry and Hermione were keen to develop.

Dora wanted to rant and rave, this was her first love and she worked hard to make it to the academy despite the obstacles. Her father was a muggleborn and her mother a pureblood and she was a metamorphmagus, a talent that was considered weird at best and a freak at the worst. "I admit that my talent makes me clumsy. Due to the rapid changes that occur in my body, I have a hard time controlling and maintaining the form that I take."

Sirius took her hands in his and with a gentle voice spoke from his own experience, "Dora, you know the bigotry in this world and I am also sure you know that they will make your life difficult. As Amelia said, getting through the training with your problem might be difficult and needless to say, seeing you in a less risky job would also give me some peace of mind."

Remus kept quiet throughout the discussion but if asked he would be compelled to say that the proposition of seeing the woman, who very quickly became quite important to him, in a safe working environment was looking good to him. Dora glanced at him and Remus could not help but give her a subtle nod of his head, besides he could not help but be happy at the thought of seeing her and working with her day in and day out.

Harry and Hermione wisely kept out of the discussion but when Dora looked at them, Harry gave her a bright smile, "I will not lie to you cousin but we want you with us; the first few years will undoubtedly be difficult and we need people who can be trusted. Besides, you know about the horcruxes right?" Dora's eyes immediately lighted up at the prospect of doing something far more important than patrolling to keep the public safe.

Hermione continued from where Harry let off, "We have no idea what they are, let alone how many did he make. We need all the help we could to take him down and with as little risk to us all as possible; we need you Dora" she implored her.

What she thought would be a very boring research work suddenly turned out to be not only interesting but also of utmost importance to their survival. If she felt that she still wanted to be an auror, she could do that after Voldemort had been taken down; she knew that she needed time to allow her magical core to stabilize and that was a year or so away. She could only hope that her clumsiness would also go away when she could gain more control of her talent once her core stabilizes. There was no way she was going to reject such a prospect and agreed immediately, besides as Harry said this was family she was trying to keep safe and that was all good in her books.

The atmosphere turned very light almost immediately after Dora's wholehearted acceptance and none was happier than Harry, "Great, you will be a part of the research and development division that will be headed by Mr. Jonathan Kent, a muggleborn. Officially you will be helping in not only improving the existing designs but also expand their range but your main aim will be to try and find the possible horcruxes, their locations, and means to destroy them safely. Mr. Kent knows that you are on a very important mission but not what that was, he promised to give you the leeway you need."

Only Harry and Hermione knew that Mr. Kent was none other than the famous Alchemist Nicholas Flamel. Through his correspondence with the two teens, Nicolas grew to appreciate the ideas that Harry and Hermione brought forward and that also re-ignited his own thirst. With the liberal application of long lasting glamour charms and suppression of his magical signature, the muggleborn alter ego Jonathan Kent was born. Through the years he perfected the personality altering charms and even the Goblins were unable to breach the disguise and since Nicolas was muggleborn, there really was no lie in their subterfuge. His wife Pernelle, who would go by the name Martha, also used the same charms to become the new professor for 'Defense Against the Dark Arts' for the coming year.

'Harmonian Magiks' would initially cater to the auror force of the Ministries worldwide; they have already had standing orders from French, American, Indian, and Australian Ministries. A lot of the other countries were in negotiations and would probably confirm their own orders once the company goes public. They would concentrate on the Gauntlets, Evidence boxes, and protective armour reinforced using Druidical magic. Amelia's design of 'Shield Always' which would be an accessory attached to the uniform of an auror and when activated would maintain a shield for an hour, was in the planning stage.

The other clientele would be curse breakers for the 'Aura Probe'. Naturally Gringotts would be a major buyer, not for the Goblin but for the humans who work for them; several private firms also offer such services maintaining their own team of curse breakers and 'Harmonian Magiks' would also cater to them. Harry and Hermione hoped that they could lure the freelancers to enter into a mutually beneficial agreement in which case they would equip them free of cost and then hire them out on their behalf. Harry and Hermione felt that the existing product range would give them a proper introduction to the Ministries worldwide and hopefully help them monopolize the market.

There will be a warding section which would be headed by a hundred year old former Gringotts employee who apparently has roots in both Native American culture as well as the druids. He would be working closely with Mr. Kent in developing new ways to set up wards and also to improve exisiting ones. The company would offer both the traditional runic wards as well as the 'DRune' based Druidical wards; hopefully the ward scheme that Harry and Hermione developed would eventually be so popular that it would be the exclusive offering.

"Sirius would be the Chairman overseeing the company while Remus would be the Operational Manager who would be the main presence every day" Hermione explained to the board members and that though the idea was initially Harry and Hers' what they expected to see was a distinct lack of hierarchy in the company, at least at the management levels. The two teenagers had already earmarked a ten member team to begin their work immediately and Sirius would also be tasked with employing people as and when required.

"I realized that most of the employees are muggleborns, was that a conscious choice?" Andy who was mostly silent till now asked. She was actually not a part of the company but rather was in attendance in her role as personal attorney for Harry and Hermione.

"Yes" Harry admitted with a wry grin, "Our initial thought was to try and provide a viable employment opportunity to the muggleborns and other classes like the werewolves, or may be those of Goblin descent, half giants like Hagrid. When we looked into the test results we found out that most of the muggleborns represented the top ten percent of the N.E.W.T scores. It was a win-win situation for us."

"Shoots the pureblood dominance theory right out of the water" Dan commented.

The discussion veered off into legal issues and Ted Tonks already had a legal team assembled to take care of 'Harmonian Magiks'. They also hired a private auditing company run by a bunch of Squibs and those who knew about the magical world to take care of the accounting and other financial needs. This was to ensure an additional level of security for their book keeping and also take away the headache involved with taxation, not to mention to soundly rebuff any hints of fraud as the company was mostly a family business. The same group would also manage the finances for the 'Lily Potter Foundation' ensuring a smooth running and though Harry was not averse to put in his own finances, they were hoping a massive fallout from the death eaters once they implement the plan that Harry and Hemrione hatched up to curtail their influence on the society.

Scene Break

With only a couple of days for the start of the new school year, the ten friends, Neville, Padma, Susan, Hannah, Luna, Colin, Ginny, Michael including the 'Vibrant Couple' Harry and Hermione, who were a part of the study group started by Harry and Hermione met in the Granger's backyard for a going away party. They initially wanted to invite their guardians or parents too but most of them declined as the other members of the family were not invited; that would have been a little too many people and besides they were not really acquainted. The two professors who took time to mentor the group were also invited as a thank you gesture from Dan and Emma Granger. Lunch was lively and it was after lunch that the fireworks started.

"What do you mean you do not want to continue learning?" Sirius nearly had a heart attack after hearing that.

Harry and Hermione exchanged glances and rolled their eyes in unison. Harry answered his godfather, "We did not say that we were quitting school. We only want to quit structured learning."

Emma placed a hand on Dan's shoulder while Amelia did the same to Sirius and the two of them had no other option but to calm themselves lest they had to sleep on the couch. "You mean to say that you do not want to sit in classes?" Professor McGonagall wanted to confirm the intentions of the two who were the nearest to grandchildren she had.

Hermione explained their plan and the reasons for their decision, "We rarely participate in the class mostly due to our extremely fast pace of learning; we are usually much above the standards of most of the students. I mean, let's face it we are almost at the fifth year level, we just sit in the class having already done whatever is assigned for the day."

"The teachers rarely ask us any questions as they know that it would only mean that the others in the class do not get a chance to win points. Because of that the house cup is irrelevant to us, we won it two years straight mainly due to our extra credits" Harry elaborated.

Professor McGonagall tried to clarify the position of the teachers, "We do not ask you any questions because we want others to participate."

"That may be true and we do understand; but you have to admit that we look foolish sitting and staring as if we are an extension of the class, not really a part of it" Hermione pointed out and both professors McGonagall and Flitwick had no other option but to agree with their assessment.

Harry tried to ease the professor's and Hermione's parents' minds, "We will take our O.W.L and N.E.W.T exams but it's just that we will not be a part of the regular classes, instead we would work on the different projects that we have in the pipeline."

"This is unprecedented" professor McGonagall exclaimed with no little amount of awe, "even Dumbledore had to finish seven years of education before he even thought of independent research like you were doing right from the first year."

Professor Flitwick was more pragmatic, "I am sure that he would not allow it that easily, he wants to assert his control over you as he believes that only he could guide you in a confrontation with Lord Voldemort." He then grinned, "Not to mention a serious hit to his pride that two thirteen year olds would eclipse his fame."

That brought forth a few chuckles and with their get together coming to an end, most of the guests began to depart. Harry wanted to quip that Hermione and he did not want to even be bracketed with Dumbledore but held his peace. The couple was sure even before they broached the subject, that the headmaster would do his level best to block their attempts, but were also confident that they could convince him to let them work at their own pace. Harry was also not averse to use his rights as an heir to one of the founders of the school and with Hermione being his betrothed the headmaster had no legal ground to reject their petition.

Minor Break

Harry and Hermione's intention of concentrating on their research in lieu of regular school got a massive boost almost as soon as they sat awaiting the opening feast inside the Great Hall.

Harry was startled when the voice of Hogwarts spoke in his mind even as the sorting of the new students was being undertaken, "I welcome you to your school, My Lord Potter."

The momentary surprise and the lack of awareness to his surroundings caught Hermione's attention and she was seriously worried, but her attempts to interrogate her boyfriend were thwarted when Harry increased the pressure on her hand which was intertwined with his. The subtle shake of his head told her that it was something of importance and needed secrecy too, so instead of badgering him, Hermione turned her attention to the sorting confident that Harry would tell her at a later time.

"Thank You, My Lady" Harry replied mentally. "What do you mean by 'my school'? Am I now in control of the school?"

Harry felt as if Lady Hogwarts was nodding her head, "There are currently only two heirs to the four founders and you are one of the two. As you know Tom Riddle is the other but what you do not know is that the founder's charter would not allow any one with evil intentions to take control of the school." Lady Hogwarts grimaced, "Until the last month you yourself had some darkness in you."

Harry was stunned and a little angry too, 'How can the castle think that he was dark?' but almost immediately he understood, "You mean the piece of Voldemort's soul that was lodged in me?"

"Yes, My Lord" Lady Hogwarts was relieved, "I could not give you the control of the wards as there was a chance that the dark lord could take over your body but now that you have been cleansed of the darkness, I will revert some of the control to you. I cannot obviously leave the headmaster without any control but you would have the final say in any modifications made to the wards or to decide who would be allowed to reside inside the castle. Once you reach twenty one years of age which is when your magical core finally stabilizes, you will have the sole control of the school."

Harry knew that he would have to finally take care of the school which was his legacy as the heir of Godric Gryffindor but he thought that it would only happen when he finished school. 'Was he ready to take the responsibility?' his honest answer was that he was not ready, but then again he had Hermione at his side. "Thank you, My Lady for your trust in me. I will do my best to look after the interests of the students."

Lady Hogwarts grinned, "I know my heir and that was the reason why I took an interest in you. The process of integrating the wards into your magical core is quite a painful process and so will be done on the Friday night once you go to sleep. You will then have two days to not only recover but also get used to the wards."

Harry grimaced at the mention of the discomfort but he was confident that he could bear it; he might have to forgo his exercise regimen for the two days but he was ready to take the responsibility to safeguard the school's safety. Once the discourse with the castle ended, he started to eat his dinner and that gave him the time to get his betrothed up to date with his new responsibility in a whisper. He was quite sure that they should not share it with even their close friends and so limited it to Hermione only and as usual she was quick to promise to always be at his side.

After the feast Harry and Hermione were escorted to the headmaster's office by their head of house and as expected he nearly blew his top at the mention of independent study with emphasis on research rather than just the curriculum. The two students persevered though, and they managed to convince the professor that it was in the best interests of their class mates that they be excused from the classes. "As it is we do most of our reading out of the curriculum, the only subjects that are new to us are Arithmancy and Care of Magical Creatures. We are confident that we could study Arithmancy on our own but 'Care' is something that we have no other option but to attend the class as it is mostly practical portion. For the other subjects we are willing to take a practice test for the O.W.L. if only to convince you."

Dumbledore knew that Harry and Hermione usually spend most of their time reading texts that were far more advanced than the other students and they do it in the regular class too. Even professor Snape joined McGonagall and Flitwick in recommending that Harry and Hermione be allowed to work separately under supervision of the professors of the particular subject. If Snape was convinced then Dumbledore felt that he really could not hold them back. He was frustrated that two students were able to overshadow his own accomplishments and so was sorely tempted to deny them their request. He was also sure that he would be out voted if it came to that and might lose some of the control he had not only on Snape but on the other three heads of houses. Only the possibility of Lord Potter and his betrothed leaving the school as they were entitled to if needed, stayed his hand. There was no way he was ready to lose the 'Boy-Who-Lived' from his clutches; he still believed that he was the only one that knew what it would take to destroy the dark lord Voldemort once and for all. Unfortunately for Dumbledore, the metaphorical rug was pulled from under him and not only two of the horcruxes were in Harry's possession but the soul piece within him was also destroyed and if the headmaster was to force Harry and Hermione to leave the school then he would probably not even know that Voldemort was vanquished when it was to pass. Happen it would, as Harry and Hermione would not accept any other option.

Harry interrupted his musings and attempted to sweeten the pot, "After discussion with the professors, we agreed to take over the instruction for the first and second year classes in Transfiguration, Charms, and Potions. This would free the professors to spend their extra time with us in our projects."

With all his reasons and objections overrode, headmaster Dumbledore had no other option but to give in to Harry's demands. He even waived their willingness to take a practice exam; Harry and Hermione however, went ahead and took the test during the next ten days and were given the questionnaire from the year 1990. Their performance in Ancient Runes, Astronomy, Charms, DADA, Herbology, Potions, and Transfiguration was by no means stellar but they managed to score between high 'Acceptable' and low 'Exceeds Expectations'. The fact that they had only two years of formal education before that certainly meant that they could score 'Outstanding' when they actually take their O. at the end of their fifth year; they aced the exam in Muggle Studies though.

Scene Break

For the first time in his life Severus Snape was at a crossroad; he was never troubled to this extent even when he was faced with the decision of following Lord Voldemort. He could not miss the irony that his current dilemma was a result of his decision to get marked with the dark mark, and that the reason why he renounced the ways of the dark lord was the one causing the problem.

No one really knew the relationship he had with the late Lily Evans Potter. She was his best friend and frankly only friend during his childhood and he may have harboured a small crush during their pre Hogwarts days. All that changed and not for the better once they entered the school. The rivalry between Gryffindor and Slytherin house and then being sorted into the rival houses put a strain on their friendship, not to mention the arguments between the students of the two houses which almost always bordered on fights.

From a best friend, Lily Evans was put into the category of 'see but do not touch'. Snape was of the opinion that she was far above his class and his own insecurities and not so rosy childhood cast serious doubts in his own mind about courting Lily Evans. His rival for her affections James Potter certainly knew how to woo her and had the proper fortitude to correct his own brash behavior to finally win her hand.

Snape on the other hand not only insulted Lily Evans during a moment of weakness but went further to take the dark mark, swearing his allegiance to someone who was known to exterminate witches and wizards who had similar background to his dear friend. He could not even use the excuse of being lured into being a follower of the dark lord. Snape was tempted using false promises by Lucius Malfoy, true, but he should have done what James Potter was known to have in spades, show his courage and stick to his principles even if it meant death. And death it was, but not to him.

There was not even a single night that he did not regret his foolishness that led to the death of his only friend and her husband. Even his pathological hatred for James Potter was forgotten when he came to know about the death of James and Lily Potter and all due to his own fault. That day, Snape swore to do everything to protect their son; he even considered the death of Lord Voldemort as incidental in his effort. That was the reason why he joined hands with Albus Dumbledore, to avenge the death of Lily Potter. Unfortunately, Snape found out that there was not much difference between the leader of the light and the leader of the dark. Both were prone to secrecy and expected no opposition to their wishes. In fact the only difference was that Lord Voldemort preached total annihilation of his foes while Dumbledore did not even want murderers to pay for their crimes.

Under either of his masters, Severus Snape was not given a choice. He was expected to follow his orders blindly and sometimes even leave his conscience behind. Thankfully he was a 'Death Eater' for only a couple of months and that allowed him to have a conscience, otherwise he would have been a willing follower of the doctrine of Torture, Murder, and Rape.

Now after all these years, and that too due to the one whose life he swore to protect, Severus Snape found that he had a choice. When Harry came to him asking for help, he willingly chose to help and follow Harry Potter, even if it finally led him to his death.