Written by Snapegirlkmf
A/N: Takes place eight years after 'The Battle of Hogwarts'. Harry is twenty-five and the Defense against the Dark Arts professor at Hogwarts. Also, Remus and Tonks are very much alive, and James Sirius is their son rather than Harry and Ginny's. Also, Lily-Luna will not be in this story (you'll understand why later). This is an AU story, naturally.
Dedication: To my mom, who recently passed away, you were always my inspiration
This story was originally written by JLbrew27 in response to his own challenge where Severus, Sirius, James, and Lily come back from the dead as children and are given a second chance. He wrote the first 4 chapters and I wrote every other chapter till chapter 8, when he turned it all over to me. I posted it with his permission on my account. Hope you enjoy it, it's a very different story from my usual ones.
After the Battle
Written by Jlbrew27
It was a beautiful day on the grounds of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It was the next to the last day before the school year ended, and all the professors were busy grading exams and tallying House points. Professor Harry James Potter put down his self-inking quill (which wrote with red ink, of course) and sighed. Rubbing the back of his neck, he straightened and popped his back. He had been grading end of the year exams for the last three hours. But, he thought with a smirk, at least all of them passed…
Since he had taken over as Defense against the Dark Arts professor a year after the Battle of Hogwarts—he'd spent the year immediately following the Battle as an Auror—no Hogwarts student had failed in either their practical or written Defense exams. It might not seem like an accomplishment to some, but for him it considering all the dismal professors he and his classmates had had for Defense. Well, he amended to himself as he stood up, except for Remus…
Remus Lupin had been the best Defense professor Hogwarts had had in a very long time, but sadly the war had left him with a bum leg that the Healers had been unable to fix. He would have to walk with the aid of a cane for the rest of his life. He had felt this handicapped him too much to teach Defense—since one needed to be able to move quickly in case a spell, hex, or curse went wrong—and had opted to return to Hogwarts as the Transfiguration teacher, since Minerva McGonagall had taken over as the Headmistress.
This was made possible thanks to Kingsley Shacklebolt, who had taken over the role of Minister of Magic immediately following the war. He enacted many changes in the Magical Laws, especially those laws pertaining to werewolves. Now those cursed with lycanthropy weren't treated as second class citizens, and couldn't be denied any position they sought due to their 'condition'. Thus, Remus was now the Transfiguration instructor at Hogwarts—as well as the Deputy Headmaster.
His wife, Nymphadora Tonks-Lupin, was now the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. They had two sons. Ted Remus Lupin, who had inherited his mother's metamorphmagus abilities, was eight years old. James Sirius Lupin, named for Harry's father and godfather (and Remus' two closest childhood friends), was six years old. Harry was both of their godfathers. Ginny, as his wife, was their godmother. The two boys were very close, mostly due to the fact they both shared a passion for pulling pranks—in private, Remus called them 'little Marauders'—which tended to get them into trouble, most of the time.
They were also close to their godbrother, Harry and Ginny's only child, Albus Severus, despite the fact he was their complete opposite. While Teddy and Jamie tended to be loud and boisterous, Alby—as he was so nicknamed—was quiet, thoughtful, and though he was only four, highly intelligent.
Harry smiled as he thought of his son—who had inherited his (and his mother's) emerald green eyes. He had named him after Albus Dumbledore—the greatest Headmaster Hogwarts had ever had—and Severus Snape…his mother's childhood friend and his old Potions Professor.
And was perhaps the bravest man I ever met, Harry thought to himself. And someone he had misjudged…badly.
True, Professor Snape had harbored a no-bones-about-it loathing of him, been mean, rude, and down right malicious towards him at the best of times…and yet…he had also [unfailingly] protected him whenever he was in danger.
It was only after the man had died protecting him, and Harry had inherited his memories, that he truly understood who he was and what he was all about.
Severus Snape was perhaps the most complex man Harry had ever known, and yet he was driven by the simplest of things: love.
Severus and Lily Evans (his mother) had grown up together and been childhood best friends.
It was Severus who had informed Lily of her destiny as a witch, after having witness her perform a bout of accidental magic at the park one day.
From that day and until their fifth year at Hogwarts, they had been inseparable.
Even being sorted into rival houses, Gryffindor and Slytherin, could not sever their friendship.
Unfortunately, as is often the case, as they grew older their interests shifted.
Severus, it seemed, had developed an interest in the Dark Arts—the forbidden magics and the like—something Lily strongly disapproved of.
During their fifth year, after a rather heartless 'prank' pulled by the Marauders (which consisted of both James Potter, his father, and Sirius Black, his godfather, as well as Remus and Peter Pettigrew) Severus did the unthinkable and insulted Lily unintentionally out of anger and humiliation.
Though he had apologized and begged her forgiveness, for reasons Harry did not fully understand, his mother refused and ended their very close friendship.
As time went on, and James began to mature, she became attracted to him and eventually grew to love him.
Poor Severus had to not only endure the loss of the only person he loved most in the world, since his mother had apparently died when he was thirteen, but also watch her fall in love with and marry his most hated rival.
No wonder he joined the Death Eaters, Harry thought to himself as he gathered up his exams and headed out of his office.
Though he didn't approve of his former teacher's choices, he could understand them.
Severus was lonely, and had wanted to belong somewhere—anywhere—as long as he could fit in and be useful.
Lucius Malfoy, the silver-tongued serpent, had known exactly what to say to lure the young, naïve teenager into the Death Eater fold and Voldermort's charismatic personality only cemented his transition.
So, he took the Dark Mark, and began what would be a four year period of delving into the darkest of magic and sorcery.
Harry knew from the man's memories that he never took part in any of the so-called 'rites' and 'rituals' which involved the torture and murder of innocent Muggles and Muggleborn witches and wizards.
Oh, he was aware of them, but apparently once he lost Lily he no longer seemed to…care.
However, despite the common Death Eater mentality regarding Muggles and Muggleborns, he never once stopped loving Lily…and that was his saving grace.
Though he foolishly told half a prophecy he had overheard whiles eavesdropping to the Dark Lord, he had no idea at the time that the raving lunatic would go after his former best friend and her family.
The moment he learned this, Severus knew he could not let the only person he still loved in all the world be harmed—even if that did mean also protecting James Potter and his 'spawn'.
Going to Albus Dumbledore, who was then the Head of the Order of the Phoenix, he had begged on his hands and knees for him to protect Lily and her family at all costs.
Unfortunately, the Potters had been betrayed by Peter Pettigrew—who was in league with the Dark Lord—and thus Voldermort attacked.
Harry's father was apparently killed within moments of the evil wizard breaking through the protective wards his parents had placed.
His mother managed to make it to the nursery to get him but was unable to do anything before the evil sorcerer was upon them.
After giving her a chance to step aside, something Lily refused to do, Voldermort killed her, and then attempted to kill him [Harry].
Fortunately, he couldn't.
His mother's death prevented any harm to befall him and therefore the spell rebounded and caused Voldermort's already fragile soul to scatter to pieces—essentially leaving him without a corporeal form to reside in.
Thus had the Dark Lord Voldermort been vanquished and he [Harry] had become The Boy Who Lived.
Harry snorted, as he continued down the corridor towards the Headmistress' office.
'Boy Who Lived' my arse! He thought to himself sneeringly. I didn't even do anything! It was all Mum!
Well, her…and Professor Snape.
For it was his former professor that had set things in motion, more or less…
Not fully trusting that Dumbledore could keep his beloved safe enough, Severus had decided to plead for mercy from his dark master.
He had told him a bold faced lie—that Lily Potter was merely a 'fancy' and someone who had 'just caught his eye'—and begged the evil wizard to spare her so that he might 'indulge' himself.
And for whatever twisted reason Voldermort agreed, and so he gave Lily the chance to stand aside before he killed her.
This made Lily's death a 'willing sacrifice', which was why it had created the magical protection that kept him from killing him that night—or again some seventeen years later.
Even then, Harry thought as he stopped in front of the Griffin statue that was the entrance to the Headmistress' office, he protected me…
After Lily died, Severus was devastated.
Had it not been for Dumbledore extracting a magically-enforced promise from him to protect him [Harry] with every fiber of his being, he was absolutely certain the grief-stricken man would have turned his wand upon himself and followed her beyond the Veil.
But he hadn't.
He'd kept his word and protected Harry in secret for years—ultimately giving his life, just as Lily had done, doing so.
As he lay dying, having taken a bite from Voldermort's familiar/Horcrux Nagini that was meant for him [Harry], Severus' last words to him were 'Look at me'.
After viewing his memories and having a sense of his thoughts and emotions, Harry knew the one thing he loved most about his mother—other than her vibrant personality and great capacity for compassion—was her eyes.
He knew then that what the man had wanted most as he left this world was to look into the eyes of the woman he had loved and cherished since he was only eight years old.
It was for that reason, as well, that Harry had named his son in honor of the man.
Alby was also born on his birthday, Harry thought with a smile.
"Godric's Grace," he spoke the password to the Griffin statue, and it began to spiral upwards, forming a staircase as it went.
Harry hopped on and rode it like an escalator straight to the top. Reaching the office of the school's Headmistress, he knocked.
"Enter," a strong Scottish brogue beckoned him inside and he opened the door and stepped in.
Minerva McGonagall, former Transfiguration professor and Head of Gryffindor House, was much older than she used to be.
Her once iron gray hair was now completely white, and yet her spirit—and will—were as strong as ever.
She looked up and smiled.
"Hello, Harry," she greeted him. "Please tell me you've come needing my assistance on some very crucial matter—one that will be so important that it takes me away from these confounded letters from the Board of Governors!"
Harry chuckled at that. "'Fraid not, Professor," he told her, holding up his exams. "I just came to turn in my exams."
"Ah," Headmistress Minerva said, sighing. "Just put them there with the others, then…"
She pointed to where several other stacks sat.
Harry obeyed, glancing at those colleagues who'd beat him to the punch.
"Hermione and Draco," he said, smiling. "Of course…"
Hermione Granger, his sister-in-law, was the Charms professor now.
She and her husband Ron, Harry's best friend and brother-in-law, had a little girl—Rose Helena Weasley—that was four years old.
Draco Malfoy, his once hated rival in school, was now the Potions Master and also Head of Slytherin House.
His wife, Astoria Greengrass-Malfoy, was the Astronomy professor. They had a son, Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy, who also was four years old.
"Yes," Minerva said, smiling. "I'm still waiting for everybody else's."
"I'm sure Neville and Luna will have theirs in by the end of the day," Harry told her, helpfully.
Neville Longbottom, a good friend, was now the Herbology Professor.
Luna Lovegood, Neville's wife, was the Care of Magical Creatures professor and also Head of Ravenclaw House.
They had a daughter, Frances Alice Longbottom, who was five years old.
They were also the godparents of Albus Severus.
"Susan and Justin will no doubt have theirs done after dinner," Minerva said, nodding.
Susan Bones was the History of Magic professor, as they had [finally] convinced the old ghost Binns that he was well and truly dead, and also Head of Hufflepuff House.
Her husband, Justin Finch-Fletchley, was the Muggle Studies professor.
They had no children, as of yet.
"Remus' is already done," the Headmistress continued, "as he has the End of the Year paperwork to see to."
Harry smiled. "I keep telling Ginny she has all the luck," he said, chuckling. "She doesn't have to worry about giving End of the Year exams!"
Ginny, after the Battle and completing her schooling, had played professional Quidditch for four years, but gave it up once she'd had Albus Severus.
She was now the flying instructor/Quidditch referee here at Hogwarts, as Madame Hooch had also retired.
They lived most of the year in quarters here at the school and then spent the summer at their home in Godric's Hollow.
"I'm sorry I couldn't be more helpful," Harry told McGonagall, sincerely.
"I sometimes wonder how Albus wasn't even battier than he actually was," Minerva said, sighing. "How he managed to run the school and the Order and handle the Ministry and the Board of Governors is beyond me!"
Harry nodded. "He truly was a great man," he said, quietly.
"Why, thank you, Harry," a voice from the wall spoke. "I appreciate the compliment."
Both Harry and Minerva turned to look at the portrait of the former Headmaster, whose blue eyes twinkled merrily at them.
"You're very welcome, Sir," Harry told him, bowing slightly. Dumbledore's portrait laughed at that.
"Oh, Harry, you do know how to keep an old man smiling," he told him, sincerely. "How is my namesake doing?"
"As of this morning, he was having a very hard time waking up," Harry told him, grinning. "Alby is not a morning person, that's for sure!"
"Hmm…neither was Severus," Dumbledore said, smirking.
At this, they all glanced to the portrait beside his. It was the only portrait that did not move.
That was because it had been painted after the wizard within it had died.
Harry had it comissioned himself, in fact, and had insisted it be put in its rightful place.
It was, of course, a picture of Dumbledore's successor: Severus Snape.
All Headmasters and Headmistresses of Hogwarts had their portrait painted at some point during their tenure at the school.
Once it was finished, they put a little bit of their magic and 'essence' into it and upon their death the portrait would 'come to life'.
Sadly, for Severus, whose tenure as Headmaster had been very brief as it had occurred during the pinnacle of the Second Wizarding War, did not have time to have his portrait made and put a little bit of himself into it before he died.
Therefore, his was the one and only portrait within the office that did not move.
"Indeed," Minerva said, smirking. "I can remember many a morning the only sound you'd get out of him was a grunt…or a growl, if he hadn't had his morning tea yet!"
"Remus says Teddy and Jamie wake up bright as a little eels," Harry said, smiling, "but with Alby it's like trying to wake the dead. Of course, most mornings all we have to do is leave him in his pajamas and send his clothes to either Molly or Andromeda—whichever one is watching him that day—and let him wake up on his own. We've found that works best."
"I'm sure, in time, he'll be bright as a bee in the mornings," Dumbledore said, merrily. "I certainly was, after all! Do bring him by, won't you? It has been some time since I've seen the little nipper..."
"I will, sir," Harry promised.
"Are you all going straight to Godric's Hollow tomorrow after the Express leaves?" Minerva asked him, curiously.
"Ginny and Alby are," Harry told her, grinning. "I have some place special to go before I join them."
"Ah, of course," Minerva said, nodding. "The anniversary…"
Tomorrow was May 2nd, which had been called Victory Day since the Battle of Hogwarts. School had let out early this year, because of rennovations. (The children still returned September 1st, though.)
Not only was it the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts, but it was also the day that Severus Snape had died…as well as the day Sirius had fallen through the Veil.
Ever since, on May 2nd, Harry had made a point of visiting his grave—just as he did with his parents' graves on Halloween.
"Well," Harry told McGonagall, "I had best go give my end of the year speech to my little lions (he was the current Head of Gryffindor House, as well). See you at dinner, Professor…"
"And you as well, Harry," Minerva said, watching as he exited the office.
"He turned out exceedingly well," Dumbledore told her, also watching his former pupil exit. "Don't you agree, Minerva?"
"Indeed, he did," the Scottish witch said, her brogue thickening slightly. "James and Lily would be so proud of him. Sirius, too…"
"And Severus," Dumbledore said, quietly. "Though, he'd never admit it."
"True," Minerva said, smirking. "Very, very true…"
With that, the Headmistress of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry got back to work reading her 'confounded' letters.
Meanwhile, Professor Harry Potter was completely unaware of the fact that the next day his life was going to be changed forever.