Hello all! First off, I would like to say that this story is not abandoned and I am trying my best to finish it! I already have the bulk of the next two chapters done and then it is fine tuning with my beta! There is a portion taken directly from Order of the Phoenix in this chapter
Lots of thanks to Ginji for listening and jumping into the role of beta! Any remaining mistakes are my own.
A Chance to Live
"Hey, Michaels. I think that owl has something for you." J.D. commented with a small nudge to his left side.
"Huh?" Evan looked up from his paper to see that there was indeed a small barn owl, much like the ones that could be rented from the post office, holding out a letter for him.
"Oh, thank you, J.D." Evan replied as he took the letter from the outstretched leg of the owl.
"Have you received some post?" Severus asked as he sat down next to Evan on the right and helped himself to some breakfast.
"Yeah," Evan did a small scan for magical residue on the parchment and found that the envelope was sealed by a protection spell with his Uncle's signature.
"Is it a letter telling you how fit and gorgeous you are?" Mulciber asked with a smirk from across the table.
Evan felt his eyes roll as some of his fellow Slytherins snickered.
"That happened weeks ago, must we beat the dead unicorn?" J.D. asked.
"You're right J.D. it has been too quiet around these last couple of weeks. We should be celebrating the arrival of spring solstice break in two weeks!" Mulciber countered.
Ganter looked pointedly at Mulciber "It has been quiet because most of us in our year realize that the O.W.L.'s are going to happen-"
A loud crash at the Gryffindor table cut Ganter off. There was a sparkle of fireworks and then James Potter's face began to age and a long white beard began to grow. Sirius and Peter began to laugh hysterically as Remus took a picture.
"-well, like I said. Most of us realize that the O.W.L.'s are coming and that does require some amount of preparation. Hey, Severus do you want to change Wednesday night to a review night? Some of the others and I were talking about it."
"I don't see how it could hurt," Severus shrugged as he grabbed some toast.
"Michaels you should come as well," Ganter said.
Evan nearly let out a stupid "who me?" but had been trained better. "Oh, I'm not sure what I could bring to your study sessions-"
"Must you always be so humble Michaels?!" J.D. said as he slapped Evan's back.
Ganter threw J.D. an exasperated look, "J.D., you must really learn the proper way to converse."
"What are the chances of me getting into this study session?"
"Good, as long as you don't disrupt too much."
The charm signifying the start of classes went off and Evan began to pack up, putting the nearly forgotten letter in his bag.
"What are your plans for the solstice?" Evan asked Severus as they walked towards the doors of the Great Hall.
"I will more than likely be staying here, you?
"Well I am not sure yet," Evan said. He thought of the letter in his bag and wondered if that was what Michael had written to him about.
Evan and Severus got to History of Magic with only a couple of minutes to spare, so Evan had to at least try and focus on the lecture and put all thoughts of the letter to the back of his mind.
Evan did not get the chance to read the letter until that evening in the dorm, when it was just him and Severus. Where the other boys were, he had no idea and he found himself not particularly caring as much. It was so nice and calm when it was just him and Severus.
With a slight shrug Evan sat back on his bed and tore open the envelope
To my Nephew,
I hope the reason you opened this, was because you scanned it and found it to be my signature along with a protection spell. If not, than you may have some ink stained hands for the next couple of days.
Evan rolled his eyes with a smile, it appeared Michael was not yet done testing him.
The reason I am writing to you, is that I would like you to come home for the upcoming break. I will be away on business most of the summer, but may have found you a summer apprenticeship at St. Mungo's at the reception desk.
This is a great opportunity Evan. You may choose not to take it, but think about it. Your friends may have some good insights to this sort of opportunity.
Evan looked up from the letter to see Severus looking at him with an expectant look on his face.
"I'm sorry, I must have missed what you said," Evan replied.
Severus let out half a smile. "I was asking you about your letter."
"Oh, just a letter from my Uncle,"
"Your uncle?" Severus raised an eyebrow. "Is everything alright?"
"Oh, yeah. He wants me to come home during solstice. He may know of a summer apprenticeship I might be able to take.
"Those kinds of opportunities are not the easiest to find for wizards our age, where would he have found you one?"
"He believes he may have found a small position at St. Mungo's," Evan said casually.
"That would be quite the opportunity. I thought that you usually needed a certain amount of O.W.L.'s for any sort of position there."
"I'm not sure, I wonder if Madame Pomfrey might know," Evan made a mental note to ask the Mediwitch on Saturday.
Severus gave a stretch. "You done with your studies this evening?"
Evan gave a nod.
"Would you be up for playing a couple rounds of gobstones?"
"How can it be any fun for you- you crush me every time."
"Can it be that you are afraid of a little challenge?" Severus smirked.
"Who me? Wha? Never?" Evan got off of his bed with a smile and joined Severus on the floor.
"So," Severus began to ask as he started to draw the lines for gobstones, "What do you normally do with your time on Wednesday evenings?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well I left club early last week and when I got back you weren't here" Severus began to babble "and J.D. mentioned that you seem to never be here on Wednesday, so I was just wondering..." Severus trailed off.
"Oh," Evan took a moment to stop and think. Now that both he and Lily had mastered the concealment charm and O.W.L.s were getting closer they had stopped meeting. Evan now used the time for research, but he certainly couldn't tell Severus that he was currently researching snakes, so that one day in the future he could stop one from killing the future potions professor. Yah, pretty sure Severus would call Pomfrey if he told him that. Michael did say that the best lies come with a fraction of truth though…
"I'm just doing some extra medicinal research those nights," Evan picked up his marbles in a way he hoped looked casual.
"Well I mean, you should come on Wednesday, we won't be following our usual routine and it would be quite helpful to have another person there for reviewing,"
Michael had told him not to join any groups, but he was also not to be a loner- he could cause too much suspicion that way. Urgh, why did everything have such a blurred line to it? One day couldn't hurt, he could make up some study time on Saturday and play it off as extra time with Pomfrey.
"Sure, I can put off studying this week,"
"Brilliant," Severus said with a small smile.
"What's brilliant?" Mulciber's voice asked as he and Ganter walked into the room.
"Severus convinced to me to come on Wednesday to the study session,"
"Nice, Severus," Mulciber commented. "We should all be able to practice our dueling with a partner then!"
"Now, we don't want to scare off Evan," Ganter calmingly said to Mulciber as he set his bag on his desk.
"Wouldn't dream of it," Mulciber replied with a smirk.
With an inward groan, Evan wondered what he had gotten himself into.
Wednesday came around and before Evan knew it he found himself walking to the defense against the dark arts classroom with Severus. The irony that the group that was meeting in a classroom whose purpose was to defend against malicious magic would one day be employing many aspects of the dark arts in their future was not lost on Evan. Though as the saying did go, know thy enemy…
"So what do you suppose we will be revising this evening?" Evan asked Severus as they passed a group of Hufflepuffs.
"More than likely we will be endeavoring to shove as much knowledge as magically possible into the brains of our peers who will then, more likely than not, forget all of the information until they must use it again for the basis of their O.W.L.s and .T.s"
Evan rolled his eyes and smiled at the truth of it all. "Didn't you know the only reason to learn was to pass a test?"
"That certainly feels true far too often," Severus replied as they approached the door to the classroom.
Severus arrived first and pulled open the door, Evan thanked him and had the good sense to have his shields up before entering the room, for the sight he encountered filled his stomach with dread.
"Are there usually this many people here?" Evan asked as he looked around the room. He had imagined a small study group, maybe 10-15 students. This was not the case.
There was easily 50-60 students in the classroom, some from every house-mostly upper-years it looked like. Severus looked around the room.
"There are only a handful more than the usual, why do you ask?" Severus looked at him with confusion.
"No reason," Evan said with a wave of his hand. Inside, he was shocked that there were already this many gathered to join… No, Evan shook his head now was not the time. He and Severus took some seats about three rows back from the front.
"Hey Severus," A 6th year Ravenclaw from the row in front turned around to face Evan and Severus and continued speaking. "Are you going to do practices with the rest of this lot today?"
"I believe that this time I will Anthony. Will you be joining us?"
"Perhaps in the beginning, I really wanted to go over that other spell design with you later."
"Possibly, if there is time we could-"
Professor Tarrka entered the classroom, letting out a small cough and the rest of the students made their way to chairs, or sat on desks. Apparently there was little formality on how the students had to conduct themselves in this club. Anthony turned back in his seat to face the Professor.
"I know we were going to work on theory and spells today, but with the extra couple of students that have decided to join us this evening, I think now would be an excellent time to work on our counter jinxes as well as defensive spells, if you could all be so kind to stand and levitate the desks and chairs to the edge of the room so we can make a clear workspace."
Evan stood as he held back a groan. How did he get himself into this- he would need to be extra alert, if he was to convince Severus, his teacher and everyone else in the room that he was shoddy at spell work.
The group of students began to part ways and move desks and chairs as Tarrka began to pair people up at random. Evan was partnered up with a skinny 5th year Hufflepuff who introduced himself as Carl Abbot who was looking quite determined to do his best, which gave Evan an idea.
When Tarrka gave out the call for the spells to start, Evan braced himself for whatever Abbot was going to throw his way.
Abbot shouted the same tripping jinx that Malfoy had used on him in 5th year when Umbridge had discovered the DA. Evan quickly plotted his escape from dueling by allowing himself to be tripped and as he fell, made sure to hit his own fist on his face, while adding an additional glamor of the beginnings of a black eye.
Tarrka was just walking past as Evan began to stand back up.
"Michaels…" he started with unmistakable pity on his face. "Perhaps, you best watch from the sides today," and hit his wand to heal the bruising eye.
"Perhaps you're right sir, I can probably learn more from observing duels right now," Evan gave a mental sigh of relief as he stopped the glamor and moved to the side of the classroom taking a seat at one of the desks.
He saw Severus out in the crowd and noticed the other boy's face was in what looked to be deep concentration as he dueled his partner.
"Levicorpus!" Severus cast at his partner and Evan watched as the other boy was raised into the air upside down and squirmed.
Severus gave a triumphant smirk and some of the other duels around him stopped as people came over to congratulate Severus on a job well done.
"I see you have made that spell work at last Mister Snape," Tarrka said with a laugh. "Now do let down poor Mister Cartwright."
Severus said the counter curse and Cartwright was soon standing upright on the ground again.
"Not cool, you slimy Slytherin!" Cartwright yelled out.
"Mister Cartwright, that was unnecessary, 2 points from Hufflepuff."
"That's ok sir. I think that might be an aftereffect of the spell, weren't you saying something about that last week Severus?" Mulciber said
"Franz is right sir, sometimes there is shouting after the spell is done, not sure why." Severus said his face somewhere between pride at his spell working and offense at being called a Slimy Slytherin.
Professor Tarrka seemed to think on this for a minute, before putting the points back to Hufflepuff and had everyone resume duels with new partners.
Evan sat and watched the duels until Tarrka dismissed everyone. Severus came up to him at the end with sympathy on his face.
"Sorry you didn't get a chance to duel much,"
"That's ok," Evan said standing. "I got to learn some new things…" The two began to walk out of the classroom.
"For instance?" Severus asked
"That spell you used on Cartwright, I hadn't seen that before,"
"Oh, well," Evan had imagined that based on his performance with the spell earlier, Severus would start acting cocky about it.
"That's because I just perfected it," Severus commented nonchalantly.
"You just perfected it." Evan repeated. Of course he knew that Severus had created the spell, but he needed to act surprised about it.
"Yes, I suppose we have never truly discussed it, but umm I like writing new spells. I find it fascinating to use Latin to construct spells that have never been done before" Severus seemed almost... embarrassed to say it.
"I didn't know that," Evan said as they waited at the top of a landing for a staircase to come back.
"Well it never seemed relevant, and well-" Severus looked around and motioned for Evan to step inside a classroom to the right.
Evan followed confused by Severus.
Severus got into the classroom and began to pace back and forth.
"Look I just, I wasn't sure how to discuss with you the nature of the club. I know they often go too much into other aspects that I don't agree with, but it was a great place to learn about spell theory and... I didn't want you to perceive me as some dark wizard like everyone else does. Just because I know about certain spells doesn't mean I will ever use them," Severus stopped his pacing as he finished with a tired voice, his eyes never leaving the floor.
"I don't think of you as a dark wizard Severus," Evan said.
"You don't?" Severus looked up and met his eyes, relief spilling across his face.
"No, I just don't know why you didn't tell me that's all. From what I can tell you-" Evan stopped. Was this really appropriate, to tell Severus that he knew his motives were pure but he was confused by Severus' appearances with the club.
"You just don't seem like the dark wizard type," Evan said deciding to play it safe.
"I'm not, I just like to learn things from all branches of magic," Severus said earnestly.
Evan what he hoped was a reassuring smile as he motioned to the door. "Shall we head back to the common room?"
Severus nodded and the two headed back out into the hall.
Friday found Evan and Severus in the library going over their History of Magic Essays that had been assigned for their homework during the upcoming break. Evan wanted to have his done so he could focus more of his time with Michael and discussing the photograph.
One thing that had seemed to become the instant fad over night was spelling your friends with Levicorpus whenever a teacher wasn't looking. Evan had to block the jinx aimed at his person several times in the last couple of days.
"I just had to release Belby from that stupid leg hanging curse, and then you know what he did?" Lily asked as she sat down at their table. "He told me off and was rather rude."
"Yeah that jinx tends to be popping up all over the place recently, I wonder where it came from." Severus said as he made a note on his essay.
"Yes, the origins of it are so mysterious Severus," Evan said with an eye-roll.
Lily looked between the two of them and then her eyes narrowed in on Severus.
"You didn't tell me you had created another spell!" She sounded annoyed.
"You said you didn't want to know what was happening during my Wednesday study groups so I didn't feel the need to share," Severus said a bit defensively.
"I want you to tell me when you do cool things like make up a spell so I know where it comes from and how I can counter it without doing finite incantatem ten times."
Severus looked up, his eyes alight "It really took you ten times to get him down with finite?"
Lily couldn't help but laugh at the excited look on Severus' face. "Yes, but seeing as how I am a prefect, I would appreciate being able to get students down with a proper counter-curse."
"I am working on it," Severus began "I just can't get it quite right without the person getting jinxed all surly about it."
"Yes, because being thrown upside down by the ankle would normally put anyone in the highest of spirits," Evan commented as he flipped the page in his textbook.
Lily giggled and Severus gave Evan a mock-glare.
Evan got to mention the letter from Michael to Madame Pomfrey the next morning during his healing lesson.
"A summer job at St. Mungo's?" Madame Pomfrey asked with slight surprise.
"Yeah, my Uncle said he might have found something. He said it would be something to do with the reception desk."
"That is an amazing opportunity Mr. Michaels, certainly nothing to turn your wand away from."
Evan took a breath and let himself be upfront with what his worries about it were with Pomfrey.
"The thing is, I have been meditating and learning about me perceptia, and you have been helping me with knowing when to handle it, but what if being in a hospital is too much?"
"Are you worried about sensing too much?"
Pomfrey kindly smiled at him. "That is not an unfounded worry Mr. Michaels. It is one many young healers in training have. What nearly every book is missing and what I have been remiss in telling you as well, is that hospitals were made with this in mind.
There are wards that are built into each floor that help to contain the perceptia drifting across floors. The wards are not there to block out all senses, but it does help contain them. Eventually you will learn how to control your perceptia enough that it will not feel like a drain on your magic or person, more like an awareness of what is happening and where you would be needed."
"Oh," Evan let the new information sink in. It made sense what Pomfrey was saying and he felt a little foolish for not thinking of it first.
"It really is a wonder that they do not let this information be more well known, I suppose the writers of the text think of it as common knowledge. Did you have any further questions about the apprenticeship?"
"Well, I was wondering if you might know what the internship might entail."
"Generally the intern positions at the welcome desk are for those who are working on their perceptia skills. Now we have gone into some talk about perceptia but do you remember the difference between what you can sense with perceptia and diagnosing?
Evan thought back to one of their lessons a couple of weeks ago. "Perceptia is just the inkling, a sort of sense that can lead you to the diagnosis. To actually give a patient a diagnosis you must use the Diganose charm or test specifically for has felt wrong from the initial perceptia screening."
"Correct Mr. Michaels. Remember that actually being able to diagnosis solely on your perceptia can be rather reckless- while it is often not wrong there is no room for chance in medicine."
Evan nodded his head in understanding. Madame Pomfrey asked if he had any further question and at Evan's no she continued "Alright then, I want to review all the bones of the human body now and we will have a quiz on them when you get back from break."
With that Madame Pomfrey got out a chart and they began to review the bones in the human arm.
After his session with Pomfrey, Evan headed back to the Slytherin dorms to write out a response to Michael. When he entered the dorm, he found Severus laying out on his bed reading.
"Hey," Evan said as he walked in.
All he got was a slightly muttered response as Severus brought the book closer to his face. Evan rolled his eyes with a smile at the sight.
"You know, sometimes I wonder why you're not in Ravenclaw," Evan remarked as he sat at his desk.
Severus looked up from his book with mock outrage.
"I think, my dear friend, that could be rather insulting. I do not learn for the sake of learning- I learn so I can know more than my enemies!" Severus finished with a dramatic flair.
Evan laughed and got out a fresh piece of parchment, his ink, and quill and put them out on the desk.
"You working on an assignment?" Severus asked as he put his arm on the top of the book.
"No, I'm writing a secret letter to your enemies that you are reading up on more Shakespeare," Evan teased.
"Here I thought I could trust you with my inner-most secrets, all for it to be a lie. Oh the misery,"
Evan snickered. "Sorry to disappoint, but I really am just writing back to my Uncle. I think I am going to try and go with that St. Mungo's position for the summer,"
"It does sound beneficial for you if you truly would like to go into the healing profession"
Evan went back to his letter when a snort of laughter from Severus made him look up and raise an eyebrow at his friend.
"Sorry, I just had the most beautiful visual in my mind of when you tell Slughorn you made such an important connection without his assistance."
Evan couldn't help the bubble of laughter that came out as he too imagined what Slughorn's face might portray. "Mind you, he probably would try to cover it up and tell me to look up a former student seconds later."
"Too, true," Severus agreed.
"Still I think I might wait until we have those career advice sessions before I mention it to him," Evan caught Severus' eye and the two burst into laughter.
Evan was finishing up his breakfast next Saturday when Dumbledore made the announcement that the carriages had arrived at the front gate and those that were leaving for the solstice ought to make their way down to the entrance hall. Nearly all the students stood up and began to make their way to the doors. With more attacks popping up, parents were more eager than usual to see their children.
"What do you think you are going to do for break?" Evan asked Severus as he took one last sip of his pumpkin juice and stood up with his book bag. He had packed all the necessary items he would need for the week in there.
"I have not thought it out that much yet," Severus answered as he too stood up.
"Think you will be one of the few left Severus," Mulciber commented as they all shuffled to the doors.
"What a shame. Perhaps I will finally have a chance to read uninterrupted." Severus deadpanned.
"That would be a change," Evan commented and Severus sent him a smile with an eyeroll. "See you next week then," Evan said as he got to the doors.
"Good luck with your meeting." Severus said in departure with a small nod.
Evan gave a small smile as he waved and walked down the steps to get in line for a carriage.
"What meeting do you have?" J.D. asked as they got into their carriage with Mulciber, Ganter, and two other Slytherin girls.
"Oh my uncle is trying to get me a small apprenticeship this summer,"
"Cool, what are you looking to do?"
"Hopefully something in the healing profession," Evan replied. He wasn't sure if he wanted all of the occupants of the carriage to know of his plans.
"Wow, you really seem serious about this healer business," J.D. commented.
"You want to be a healer?" Mulciber interrupted before Evan could respond.
Evan gave a mental breath and realized he was probably going to have to get into a compartment with his year mates and began to feel the lack of Severus' presence.
"Yes, I would like to be a healer." Evan replied to Mulciber.
Mulciber guffawed. "Better you than me, mate. Don't think I could handle those long hours of study for all those N.E.W.T.s and then healer's school on top of that."
"You can't handle the studying you have to do now Franz," One of the girls in the carriage commented.
Ganter and J.D. sniggered.
"Sandra has got you there," J.D. pointed out.
The carriage came to a stop in front of the Hogsmeade station and somehow Evan was lead into a compartment with J.D., Mulciber, and Ganter.
He gave a mental sigh- so much for a nice calming trip.
Evan got off the train and saw Michael standing off to the side.
"Michael," he called out as he walked quickly over to his uncle.
"Hello Evan, how was the ride?"
"Long," Evan answered, he couldn't wait to be somewhere where he could drop his shields.
Michael gave him a knowing smile and guided him towards an exit where he pulled out an old shoelace. Evan grabbed the other side of the shoelace and with a whispered word from Michael he felt the familiar sensation of the hook behind his navel.
They landed right outside of the wards at Valerian and Evan walked with Michael across the field down to the small path and up into the cottage.
"That was the longest train ride from Hogwarts ever!" Evan cried out as he sank into one of the arm chairs in the front sitting room, dropping his bag on the floor.
Michael chuckled as he sat across from his young charge.
"I had to make conversation with Mulciber, Ganter, and J.D.- who truly says every thought that ever comes into his brain."
"Truer words have never been spoken," his uncle agreed and smiled slightly to himself.
"Sometimes I forget you lived with them all too," Evan told his Uncle honestly.
Michael let out a small chuckle "Perhaps that is for the best," he stood and began to walk towards the kitchen "I have dinner all set under a warming charm," he called over his shoulder as he walked down the hall towards the kitchen.
Evan got up and followed his Uncle into the kitchen. The two set about getting their dinner plated and sat at the table.
"What are the plans for this week?" Evan asked as he took a bite of chicken.
"You have the interview at St. Mungo's on Monday with Healer Walker and we will be working on wards and protective spells.
"Really? That's great because I have some questions about that photograph you gave me," Evan said with relief.
"Haven't been able to crack it yet?" Michael asked with a smile as he took a sip from his water.
"Yeah I have been studying it and-" Evan stopped short, he had never talked about the photograph with his Uncle before "You knew I was going to look into the photograph and didn't leave me any hints?"
Michael smiled "Leaving the photograph at the time was hint enough, I really didn't expect you to solve all the spells on the photograph just yet."
"Why is that?" Evan asked.
"It is not a subject that is regularly talked about at Hogwarts and I didn't get a chance to go over it with you before you left for school."
"Is it dangerous?"
Michael looked thoughtful for a moment "It is not so much dangerous as it is old magic that has gotten associated for being dark when used in the wrong circumstances."
"What is the association with dark magic?" Evan was a little skeptical but found he was having trouble hiding his curiosity.
"When the necessary component for this magic is forcibly taken."
Evan looked back at his Uncle, trying to contain his horror "You don't mean magic involving someone's blood do you?"
Flashbacks of being tied to a headstone in a graveyard popped into his head.
"Yes, now Evan it is considered to be dark magic if the blood is taken by force or against the person's will. However, if someone gives their blood freely, it is not treated as dark magic. This week I will be teaching you some aspects of blood magic not only for that photograph, but because this cottage is under blood wards and in order to let another in one day, if you should choose, you will need to know how to add them to the wards."
Evan nodded and thought about the wards for a moment. "I didn't need to be added to the wards before, because you had already constructed them when you bought the cottage and we have them same blood,"
"Got it in one." Michael said as he levitated his plate to the sink with a wave of his hand.
Evan silently cheered himself on his own deductive skills as he too waved his hand and watched his plate land in the sink, enjoying the feeling of actually being able to use some of his wandless magic skills.
Evan and Michael walked down the streets of London early Monday morning. Michael cast a muffliato that surrounded them.
"Now remember, you want to get this apprenticeship, so I would suggest actually being honest about your healing skills. Everything from interviews to the profession are usually spelled to not be shared and since your skills are only advanced by a year or so they will not drag too much attention to yourself."
Evan nodded as Michael canceled the spell and they arrived outside of the large red brick department store. Michael motioned to Evan to go ahead and address the dummy.
"Hello, my name is Evan Michaels and I am here to apply for a summer apprenticeship" he said against the glass.
The dummy was still for a moment before giving a brief nod and motioned to come in with its finger.
"Remember to have your shields up and your perceptia under control," Michael muttered as they walked through the glass.
Evan nodded, doubled his shield just in case, and they entered the waiting area.
The wave of sick and wanting to help hit him, and Evan was glad that he had doubled up on his shields for the wanting to help was now more of an awareness than the overwhelming urge he had encountered when he met Severus' mother.
Evan and Michael headed to the inquiries desk where a witch sat flipping through some paperwork.
"Hello, my name is Evan Michaels." He paused and remember to greet with the proper hand motion. "I have a meeting with Healer Walker at 10:15."
The witch repeated the hand gesture quickly and said a quick hello. "Down the hall," she pointed to Evan's left "the administrator will help you,"
Evan thanked her and with a reassuring shoulder squeeze from his Uncle, Evan walked down the hall and came upon another reception desk.
"Hello, how can I help you?" A young wizard asked and looked like he was just about to ask if Evan was lost-
"Hello, my name is Evan Michaels. I am here for a 10:15 appointment with Healer Walker."
"Oh, right," The wizard flipped through some papers on his desk and then stood up. "Follow me,"
Evan followed the man halfway down the hall behind the reception desk when the other wizard came upon a door marked with a placard that read "Senior Healer Samson Walker- Head of Personnel". The young wizard knocked and opened the door a crack.
"Healer Walker, your 10:15 is here,"
"Right, show him in then," a deep male voice answered.
The young wizard opened the door all the way and Evan followed him into the office. An older wizard in the typical lime green healer's robes with long silver hair tied back was sitting at a large wooden desk. The boy who had let him in left and Evan remembered his greeting rituals for job interviews and introduced himself first.
"Good Morning, my name is Evan Michaels and I am here to inquire about the summer reception desk position," he said as he stood to the left of the chair in front of Healer Walker's desk.
"Good Morning Mr. Michaels, please take a seat," Healer Walker indicated with his right hand, indicating a good start and Evan let out a sigh of relief as he sat in the chair.
"Now Mr. Michaels, your Uncle has some contacts higher up that got you this interview, but I must tell you we rarely take students who are studying for their N.E.W.T.'s much less ones who have not even taken their O.W.L.s yet. Why do you think you are qualified to assist at our welcome desk?" Healer Walker asked with a polite blunt manner that only someone who had been in the hiring business for several years could have achieved.
"I believe my Uncle thought I could handle the position due to the extra tutoring I have been receiving from Madame Pomfrey at Hogwarts, who has introduced me to some healing basics and has helped me hone my perceptia skills."
One of Healer Walker's eyebrows raised up in questions. "You have been working on your perceptia skills?"
"Yes, I am aware of them, but have not really tested them with live patients yet."
Walker eyed him critically then stood. "Follow me Mr. Michaels." and stood from behind the desk and began to walk out of the room.
Evan got up and followed him down the hall, past the reception desk and to an elevator which they took up to the fourth floor. Walker got out and entered ward 43 continuing on until he stopped at a patient's bed where he picked up the chart that was attached to the end of the bed.
"Can you tell me what you sense is wrong with this patient?" Walker said looking at Evan with a critical eye.
Evan took a breath and walked over to the patient's bed who smiled at him kindly. Evan smiled back and reached his hand out to hover over the patient's leg, he let down his shields a bit and reached out with his perceptia.
He could feel the patient had some memory loss due to a self-inflicted concentration charm.
"This patient appears to have suffered from memory loss due to an insufficiently cast concentration charm." Evan told Healer Walker who just looked at him. Evan continued "The charm seems to be self-inflicted, to be sure a diagnosis charm would need to be cast."
"Correct Mr. Michaels. How would you go about treating this patient?"
"I don't know sir," Evan answered honestly.
Healer Walker nodded and passed Evan a blindfold. "Put this on for the next couple of patients."
Evan nodded and put on the blindfold. He reached out with his perceptia "The patient in bed two has the ears of a mouse from what feels like accidental magic, the patient in bed three has spelled their liver out of their system- can't tell why and the patient in bed 4 is too far away."
There was a pause. "I had meant for you to follow me to the patient's beds but this has been adequate, please take off the blindfold Mr. Michaels."
Evan flushed and took off the blindfold and passed it into the hand of the amused Healer Walker. He motioned for Evan to follow him back out of the ward. Evan followed the older man down the hallway into the elevator and back to the healer's desk silently cursing himself for not thinking the test Healer Walker had given him more thoroughly. While he had become more adept about thinking things through since his training with his Uncle, his tendency to rush into situations still tended to rear its head at the most inopportune moments.
They made it back into Healer Walker's office and Evan was told to take a seat again.
"I must admit I am pleasantly surprised to see that your uncle did not seem to overestimate your ability to perceive what is wrong with patients." Healer Walker sat back in his chair eyeing Evan speculatively, his hands clasped together in his lap.
"What are your career aspirations Mr. Michaels?" Healer Walker asked.
"I would like to become a healer, sir."
"What would you like your specialty to be?"
"I do not know yet sir, I would like to spend time learning more about the profession before choosing one."
"Most witches and wizards with a N.E.W.T. in Charms and Transfiguration can heal your basic cuts and most likely mend a broken bone or two. What the true art form in healing is, is to hone the ability to diagnosis and divvy out a correct treatment plan. You Mr. Michaels, have the perceptia skills most of our students in the training program hope to achieve by the end of their first year. I would be a fool to not offer you are summer apprenticeship reception position this summer." Walker finished with a small smile.
"Really?" Evan let out a breath he didn't know he had been holding and Healer Walker nodded.
"When we find a talent such as yours Mr. Michaels, we try to keep them in the family, of St. Mungo's if you will, we will be owling you an orientation date and your scheduled shifts for the summer in the second week of June." Healer Walker stood and extended his right hand.
Evan stood and shook the older wizard's hand. "Thank you Healer Walker"
Evan walked back out to the lobby where he found his uncle reading The Daily Prophet.
"How did the interview go?" His Uncle asked as they walked to the apparition point.
"Great!" Evan replied honestly as they reached the apparition point and his Uncle apparated them back to Valerian's sitting room.
"I probably would have disowned you if you hadn't gotten it to be honest." His Uncle replied with a smirk.
Evan laughed and asked about what they were going to be doing for the rest of the day.
"We are going to be taking a break until after lunch and then we will begin learning about blood magic."
"Blood is unique," Michael began later in the study "much like a witch or wizard's magical signature. It cannot be copied nor can it be forged. By using a person's blood you are effectively tying that person to the object and it cannot be reversed. You can however put a time frame of the effectiveness of a person's blood on the object. For example, when going into the cave, Voldemort put a single use of blood per offering. If Regulus Black had made it back to that cave he would have had to make another offering. The downside with a single use spell, is that it is often difficult for a wizard to discern who has contributed their blood as the properties are used quickly."
"The photograph and Valerian have a permanent blood protection charm on them then?" Evan asked as he made notes on his parchment.
"The photograph and Valerian have permanent ties to the blood and charm, or a limited time frame to how long the blood will allow someone information."
"Let us break up the two, for while they both are blood magic the way in which they use the blood differs greatly. The photograph allows only who you allow to see it, I originally told you it would only show the people in the photo, which is true- if you wanted them to see it. It requires three drops of blood on the parchment with a spell."
"Is that why I felt a pull to the photograph? It almost felt like the one with Voldemort..."
"It would have, you are tied to this photo by blood and you were tied to Voldemort in that way and more at the end."
Evan nodded, it made sense as to why the pull had felt so familiar when he had been in the room of requirement a couple of months ago.
"The blood protections spell on Valerian allows anyone access based on the amount of blood that is given to the wards. If you wanted someone to have access for one afternoon, it would be one drop of blood with the following incantation: sanguinis usque in crastinum. If you wanted them to have access in years, you would drop the amount of blood to correlate with the years of entry with the following incantation: sanguinis annis. If you wanted them to have an infinite amount of access to the house, you drop three drops of the person's blood with the incantation: liberum sanguine. Once added to the wards through blood, they will have access to the floo and be allowed to apparate in and out of the wards.
Evan nodded and Michael began to show him what the wand movements would look like for each spell.
By the end of his week at Valerian Evan had several sheets of parchment ready to be used for his snake studies when he got back to Hogwarts.
Evan looked up from his armchair by the fire to see Michael holding a glass of amber liquid in each hand.
"Giving alcohol to minors now?" Evan teased as he took the offered glass.
"Hardly, considering you are getting closer to 19 in actual age." Michael snorted as he took the armchair opposite of Evan "You feel ready to go back to school tomorrow?"
"Yes," While it had been relaxing to not have to make sure his shields were up at all times when he was in the wards of Valerian, Evan found himself missing Severus and Lily more than he thought he would.
Michael took a sip from his firewhiskey, "After I drop you at the train station tomorrow morning, I will be leaving."
Evan started to interrupt but Michael held up his hand.
"You will be notified in a couple of weeks that I was taken out in some kind of accident. You will tell your friends that you have become a ward of the state and someone is checking in on you during the summer holidays. However, you are an adult and the proper department at the ministry will make sure that no one finds out the truth. The ministry will be slightly overrun this summer anyway and guardianship of already managed orphans will be the least of their worries. I have opened your Gringotts account for this time, the key is upstairs on your nightstand. It was important that we never mixed gold, but now that I will be gone you may deposit the sum I gave you earlier this year."
Evan nodded. "Thank you, for all your help… Are you ready to go back?"
Michael looked into the flames "As ready as I will ever be. Though to be honest I have not interacted with Ron and Hermione for some time and I fear it will be difficult to act like I am 17 without drawing suspicion."
Evan thought back to his own time with Ron and Hermione and the times they had shared in the forest and hunting horcruxes. "Maybe tell them you need space until you remember how to do so, but based on that kiss they shared during the battle I think they may not notice you giving them space."
Michael chuckled "Perhaps you are correct."
"There is one last piece of advice I would like to share with you. Remember that your shields are there for you to keep certain thoughts back until you may think about them freely. It does not do well for them to linger behind there for longer than a couple of days- a week tops. You could lose your true self if you are not acknowledging all the thoughts you might have. That is the last piece of advice I have for you, well that and elves make for fantastic listeners."
Evan looked at Michael confused but the other man merely smiled and stared into the fire. The two sat and sipped at their firewhiskey in contemplative silence for the remainder of the evening.
Evan was walking quickly under his invisibility spell up to the room of requirement, his usual calmness was giving way to a growing anxiety. Even though it was a Sunday; the day, the second of May, was going to be difficult. Had he really been here for a year already? He paced three times in front of the room trying to think clearly and all but ran into the room once a door appeared. Inside the room of requirement before his meditation he was free to think freely in a room that somehow looked like the one he had utilized for the D.A.. Cancelling his invisibility charm, Evan walked down the bookcases, fingers trailing over the books as he thought of how proud Neville had looked once he had finally stunned someone. How Fred and- He took in a breath. Fred was dead, but here in this time couldn't he pretend that he wasn't? It seemed strange seeing as how Fred didn't even exist yet. Was it right to mourn those who were not yet born? He sighed and figured it was best to start his meditation and perhaps have an extra one later tonight behind the curtains of his four poster, it may be risky to put up the charms he would need in order to meditate there, but the risk of nightmares making their way into his subconscious was very real today.
His hour of meditation went by quickly and soon Evan was back in the Slytherin common room. Severus was curled up in the armchairs by the fire, nose in a book.
"Morning," Evan said as he walked towards the other boy.
Severus grumbled a hello and something unintelligible about Evan needing to shower quickly so they could go down to breakfast. Even though his mood hadn't vastly improved from the meditation, grumpy morning Severus never failed to make his mouth twitch in amusement.
"Are you feeling alright this morning?" A much more coherent Severus asked at their nearly empty end of the breakfast table later.
"I'm fine," Evan said with what he hoped was a convincing smile as an owl dropped a letter at his place along with a small parcel. Evan scanned the envelope wandlessly and recognized the signature as his Uncle's. He didn't think he would hear from the other man anymore after all he had-
Evan opened up the envelope and read the contents.
To my nephew,
Happy Anniversary of Birth! I know I am out of owl range at the moment and I hope the post office remembered to have this sent on your birthday. You are growing into a fine young wizard and I hope the attached parcel will help you on your way to becoming a great healer. I know that this day may be hard for you, but remember you are celebrating another year of life. I hope you are able to spend some time with your friends today doing just that.
Evan read the small missive twice and let Michael's words sink in behind his shields. He was here to celebrate life, there would be no changing the future which would claim many lives in the hall. But, perhaps what Michael was trying to remind him was that he had been given a chance to spend some time away to be with his loved ones and get to know them and while some mourning was appropriate- why spend more time mourning them when he could be out celebrating their lives with them by actually living. Even if it was mundane school work, trips to Hogsmeade and random flying adventures, it was all he had not been allowed that he could now have with those he cared for. Perhaps he could manage to convince Lily and Severus that the day would be nice for a walk around outside, perhaps even a fly?
"Who is the letter from?" Severus asked.
"My Uncle, it's er-" Evan hesitated. "It's a birthday card, actually."
Severus gaped at him. "I didn't realize it was your birthday."
"Oh, I guess I forgot to mention it." Evan shrugged and put the parcel next to him so he could open it later.
"I didn't get you anything," Severus frowned.
Evan rolled his eyes with a smile "You couldn't have if you didn't know. How about instead you come flying with me today?"
"In lieu of a present, you would like my company on a flying excursion?" Severus seemed perplexed and something else Evan could not quite put his finger on.
"Yes, is that alright?" Evan asked confused.
Severus shook his head "Yes it's fine, just- never mind." He finished with a rare smile.
"Heather and Mary are bickering again and so I left them back in the dorm with Astoria and Rose, I can't stand being around all that without food in my stomach." Lily announced as she took a seat across from them and helped herself to some eggs.
"Good morning to you as well Lily," Severus greeted as he looked at her in that annoyed affectionate way he had sometimes.
"What are you lot up to today?" She asked after she had swallowed a bite of egg.
"Well, it's my birthday so-"
Lily's fork dropped with a clatter and she stared at Evan in surprise.
"Jeez you guys make a big deal out of birthdays around here." Evan tried to assuage the guilt that was trying to creep up at not telling them about his birthday.
"Only when silly prats don't tell us about them." Severus pointed out and Lily nodded in agreement.
"Would you like to come flying with me and Severus later?" Evan asked hoping he would get to spend a birthday, even a fake one, with her.
Lily nodded with a smile "Of course."
As Evan closed the curtains to his four poster that night and put up slow layers of wards, he felt his face grow wet. He had tried, he really had. He had had a good time flying with Lily and Severus, but it wasn't the same. He did like 1976 and was appreciative that he got to meet his parents. But he missed Ron and Hermione, missed his firebolt and being able to fly with abandon. Where would he be on this day 22 years in the future? Normally the ache for his own time wasn't this bad. Evan chalked it up to the day and strengthened before setting the alarm charm. Closing his eyes Evan began trying to get in some light meditation before sleeping, hopeful that it would keep the nightmares at bay.
Before anyone knew it the Sunday before the O.W.L.'s and N.E.W.T.'s dawned and most of the fifth and seventh year students had gone into study overdrive. There was a considerable amount of tension in the great hall, books and notes could be seen around at all meal times and the lower years started to make less noise in the common room at night for fear of angering the upper years.
"I can't remember what the purpose of a frog's egg is in the Energizing potion!" Nott exclaimed as he ruffled through his papers at his dorm desk.
"Victor, would you like information given to you—" Severus began.
"No Severus, I want to look through these papers for another 20 minutes, losing precious study time hours until the O.W.L.s ." Nott said as he glared at Severus.
Severus rolled his eyes and got up to go over and help Nott understand the necessity of frog's eggs and Evan went back to his own books. Inwardly he had been stressing over other reasons, he still had not heard from anyone about Michael and he was worried the scene from the pensieve was going to happen any day now. For some reason he recalled it happening around this time but he couldn't pinpoint the actual time for the life of him.
Luckily, since getting the blood protection spells from Michael, he had been able to start using the book he had received from Groves to start making notes on snakes when he went to the room of requirement on Wednesdays. Trying to push down his worries of Severus, he went back to his Charms notes so that he would do well enough on the exam to qualify for the N.E.W.T. level course.
Monday morning of the O.W.L.s came and with it the fifth years shakily got ready for their first day of exam taking. Evan was feeling pretty good about Charms and was telling Severus as such when they exited the common room for breakfast.
"Mister Michaels, could I have a word?"
Evan turned around and saw Slughorn looking at him sadly.
Well wasn't that just beautiful timing. Schooling his face into confusion he answered the professor. "Sure, I'll meet you at breakfast Severus."
Evan followed Slughorn down a corridor to one of the unused classrooms in the dungeon area. When Evan walked in he was surprised to see two ministry employees in the room sitting at a small table with two extra empty chairs.
"Mister Michaels, please take a seat." Slughorn said as he gestured to the empty chair.
Evan nodded and sat down.
"What's going on?" He asked trying his best to look confused.
"My name is Wallace Bourborn and this is my associate Gwendolyn Burbage." The man sitting across from Slughorn began, motioning to his right when introducing Gwendolyn "At 18:42 last night, your Uncle was assisting a colleague with an experimental potion and there was some kind of explosion. I am sorry to have to report to you that your Uncle didn't make it."
"What?" Evan said weakly.
"Perhaps, with the extenuating circumstances, Mister Michaels might be able to stay down here this week to take his tests so that if he feels the need he may pause for a moment." Slughorn suggested.
"That does sound like it might be in the best interest of Mister Michaels." Gwendolyn agreed solemnly.
"Professor Slughorn, we need to make arrangements with Mister Michaels concerning his assets and holdings, would you mind giving us a moment?"
"Would you like me to stay?" Slughorn asked.
Evan shook his head no, hoping to get the meeting over with as soon as possible.
"Alright then," Slughorn got up, shook hands with the two officials and left the room.
The second he was gone a ward went up along with a silencing charm.
"Oh thank Merlin, I thought he would never leave!" Wallace said loudly with a sigh and slumped in his chair.
Evans inner alarm bells went off and started to open his mouth but Burbage beat him to it.
"A little decorum Wallace, we haven't yet explained what is happening to Mister Potter yet." Gwendolyn chastised her associate.
Wallace looked a little sheepish and Evan felt his mouth drop.
"Sorry about the whole charade, Mister Potter. We are who we say we are, but we are not from Social Work. We are from the W.L.T, or Wizards lost in time office. We had previously arranged with your future self to have his 'death' happen right before your O.W.L.s so that you may take the examinations without having to worry about your shields and controlling your magic in front of others." Gwendolyn explained.
"There was some debate as to whether or not we should let you sit your O.W.L.'s again and just have the grades you had received from the first time you took them be your official ones.
"You mean I've been studying like mad for nothing?!" Evan exclaimed.
"Not to worry, there was a consensus that you had been dealing with a fair amount your original years at Hogwarts, so you have been permitted to sit them again. Though the grades you earn this time will be your official grades."
Evan let out a sigh of relief, he would have been incredibly frustrated if all his time spent studying had been for not.
"We will be having you sit them in this room though, since you will need to actually perform the magic you are capable of. It is important however, when you leave this room that you act lost and stressed considering you effectively have no guardian anymore. You will let your friends know that you will be a ward of the state, but we have made sure no one from the ministry will actually check on you in that regard."
"I understand," Evan said with a nod, it was along the same lines of what Michael had told him during break.
"Wonderful!" Gwendolyn exclaimed. "Now if you could call your house elf down to get you some breakfast, we can start the written portion once you have finished eating."
"My house elf?" Evan queried, he didn't have a house elf.
Wallace went through the paperwork. "It says here the elf is already tied to you. A young female elf by the name of Quizzy."
"Quizzy?" Evan thought the name sounded familiar when there was a pop and the little elf who had once asked to speak to Evan in the kitchens was standing in the room.
"Master is asking for Quizzy?" the elf asked looking at Evan.
"I don't understand,"
"Quizzy has been masters elf for many years, I was just waiting for you sirs and I will be taking good care of sirs for many years to come." The little elf squeaked in a serious voice.
"Would you please get some breakfast for us?" Burbage asked the elf.
Quizzy nodded and disappeared with a pop.
"We at the W.L.T. have been trying to understand how elves see time for quite a while and still haven't been able to understand it. Some say that elves know who they are tied to when they are born so they can best serve them. We find that elves tend to be a great comfort to those who have been displaced in time as nothing can make an elf share their master's secrets if expressly forbidden to."
Evan thought about it and it made sense but "By that logic, shouldn't I be able to call my house elf from the future to me? Or wouldn't he acknowledge my rights upon meeting me?"
"If an elf is incredibly loyal and happy in their current bond, they cannot always see who their next master will be."
There was a small pop "Is true Master Harry. But I was born in Hogwarts and while I has enjoyed my time heres I always knew that one day Harry Potter is coming." Quizzy snapped her long fingers and the table now had all of his favorite breakfast items on it.
"Err, for now it's best if you call me Evan Michaels until I tell you to call me that other name." Evan said weakly. "Also not to mention my real name to anyone without my permission"
"Yes, Master Evan!" the elf beamed.
"Could we just keep it Evan, when you and I are talking?" Evan asked running the back of his neck, he wasn't too fond of the word 'master'.
"For now, why don't you continue to work in the kitchens at Hogwarts and you can come with me to Valerian this summer."
With that Quizzy left Evan alone with the two ministry officials.
"Why don't you eat up and I will go explain to the testing officials what has happened and why we are testing you down here." Wallace explained and then left the room.
"Won't the official notice my skills are slightly above O.W.L. standards?"
Gwendolyn smirked "Don't worry about that, it's our job to cover that up for you."
Evan let out a sigh of relief and turned to his breakfast.
"So how come you lot can say my name?" Evan asked himself as he helped himself to some bacon and eggs.
"We are your case managers and have all the requisite training to know when and where we can use it. You see, there are really only 10 . officers in the division at any time. We have to go through a couple of years as an unspeakable and are trained thoroughly in espionage and keeping things under wraps. It's hard to keep staff and we only replace someone when they die or retire. It's a tough job, some retire quite quickly from it, but we always know when it's going to happen."
"How does that all work?"
"Well," Burbage poured herself some tea and looked in his file. "You have clearance so I guess I can tell you. All of us in the office are from different times. I was born in 2050, but Wallace was born in 1902. It's not only our job to help wizards lost in time, it's also our job to maintain fixed points in time. The door to the office responds to only those lost in time or to those who are a part of the team. The door only lets team members out into different times when on assignment. By keeping us all from different times, it helps those who may be tempted to change time to refrain. Putting enough distance between an assigned case and your own time zone helps with not getting too close to the case."
Evan digested the information. "So Hermione was able to use the time turner in her third year because..."
"For many reasons Mr. Potter. I'm sure you can deduce how your future may have been different had she not had the time turner. Fixed points are extremely important Mr. Potter."
Evan chewed on his bacon thoughtfully as he thought about how his life may have been different without the time turner. He would never had gotten to know Sirius and perhaps could have died if the Dementors had gotten to him without the Patronus he had cast to protect both himself and Sirius by the lake.
"Why not stop horrible occurrences like Voldemort all together then?"
Burbage looked at him with a sad smile "It is a simple concept, yet hard to come to terms with. Again, fixed points must happen, sometimes tragedies must befall in order for societies to grow and change."
Evan agreed the concept was simple but couldn't think that he could have that sort of job. "I don't think I could handle all that knowledge and just let it happen"
Burbage looked as she was about to say something but Bourbon and one of the test overseers from the ministry walked in.
Burbage schooled her face into one of misery. "Are you sure you feel up to the task of your tests today Mister Michaels?"
Evan understood and tried to look like he was barely holding his emotions in "Yes, I would like to take them."
With that the breakfast food vanished and the Ministry test proctor began to give him the instructions for the written portion of the exam.
After the Charms exam there was a lunch break and Evan said he would like to go to the great hall to eat with his friends. The examiner let him and Evan made his way up to the entrance hall trying to keep his face melancholy.
"Hey Evan, there you are!" Lily's voice called out.
Evan looked across the hall and saw her talking with Severus near the portrait where they had seen Lily off for Christmas.
Lily looked at his face and her expression went from relief to worry. She and Severus shared a look and walked across the hall to meet him.
"What's wrong Evan?" Lily asked her voice gentle as she put a hand on his shoulder.
"In here," Evan motioned to a room just ahead.
The two followed him in and shared expressions of curiosity mixed with worry.
Evan leaned against a desk and looked at the floor. He had been practicing this since the spring break and wanted to make sure that his shock about the situation came through.
"My Uncle was in a potions accident and well… he didn't make it."
He heard Lily gasp and next thing he knew he was surrounded by her warmth. "Oh Evan! I'm so sorry."
Evan looked up and saw Severus' face was etched with sadness and something else that made his face tense.
"I'm sorry," Severus echoed Lily. He shifted closer to Evan and Lily extracted herself from him.
Severus moved quickly toward him and wrapped one arm around Evan's neck and the other around his waist and pulled him close. Evan's nose was buried into Severus' hair overwhelming him with the other boy's scent; some kind of spice mixed with the coolness of freshwater.
Severus pulled himself away and looked at him. "How are you doing?"
"I… I dunno, it's hard." Evan looked back down at his shoes. "They're having me take my O.W.L.s separate in case I have a breakdown or something."
"Where will you go when school is out?" Lily asked her eyebrows knit with worry.
"I'll stay at my Uncle's previous residence, well I guess it's mine now, he did leave it to me. I'll be a ward of the state and someone will be assigned to check in on me."
"Well I guess that means Sev and I will just have to make sure that we visit you often this summer. I'll worry too much about you otherwise" Lily squeezed his shoulder and gave a reassuring smile.
"Thanks," Evan said giving his own small smile back.
"Do you want to go get something to eat?" She asked.
"Not really, you two go on ahead. I think I need some time by myself right now."
"But-" Lily began to argue.
"Really, Lily, I just. I need a moment."
"Promise to be down for dinner?" She asked concern written all over her face.
Evan gave her a weak smile and felt guilty "Promise,"
Lily gave him another hug and she and Severus headed back into the Entrance hall.
Hodgens, the official who was administering Evan's tests, announced that it was time for his defense practical.
Hodgens began to call spells for Evan to counter and Evan felt himself meet every one with complete accuracy.
"Well done Mr. Michaels!" Hodgens exclaimed.
"Thank you, sir."
Hodgens smiled and bid Evan a good afternoon.
"Uhh excuse me, Evan?" Gwendolyn, or Gwen as she now asked Evan to call her, called over from her corner. She and Wallace had been sitting in on his testing to be there in case he needed some counseling during his difficult time. Evan had asked them to call him by his current name here, it was too weird for them to call him by his real name when he couldn't even think it.
"I was wondering if we could have a practice duel." She said in a rush. "Well you are one of the most notable wizards of all time and-" she blushed.
Evan felt his face warm as well "I'm not too sure about that"
Wallace laughed "Gwen here was a dueling champion and wants to measure her worth against one of History's greatest. Which we would know," he pointed out to Evan.
Gwen gave a small smirk. "True, pleeasseee Evan."
Evan gave a small laugh "Okay, Wallace will you judge?"
"I will on the condition that it is a fair duel and you use no shields against your own power."
Gwendolyn smiled and moved to the other side of the room.
"Now, good clean duel from both of you," Wallace said evenly with a small smile.
Evan and Gwen faced each other and gave each other a small bow.
Wallace hadn't been lying, Evan thought as he dodged a jinx from Gwen, she was quick and agile with her curses giving as good as she got from Evan. Five minutes into the duel, she sent over a strong stinging hex right to his wand hand causing him to drop his wand. She then sent over a gust of wind, causing the wand to roll away.
Evan turned to her and nearly smiled at her look of triumph before he cast his nonverbal expelliarmus and Gwen's wand was wrenched from her hand into his outstretched one. He quickly used an acccio and his own wand came sailing back to him.
Evan held Gwen's wand out and smiled.
"You can do wandless and nonverbal magic?!" Gwendolyn said a look of shock on her face.
"Does it not say that in my file?"
"Oh it does, just not in Gwen's copy," Wallace said with a smirk and then burst into laughter at the affronted look on Gwendolyn's face.
"We had a pool going to see how long it would be before you challenged Evan over here to a duel." Wallace said through a laugh and Evan couldn't help but smile.
Gwendolyn scowled. "Who won?"
"I think Smiks had today."
Gwendolyn cursed and shook Evan's hand after he had given her her wand back. "Thanks for humoring me,"
"I wasn't humoring you, it was a good duel."
Gwen smiled and rolled her eyes and mumbled something about humility.
Evan left the room a short time later, after showing Gwen and Wallace some pointers, laughing to himself. Truth be told it had been nice to stretch those dueling muscles, he hadn't really dueled anyone since his summer with Michael.
It was a while before dinner so Evan headed back to the common room to meet up with Severus. Evan got to the stone door and gave the password, bezoar, and stepped through. There were still some clumps of older students studying for their next test tomorrow and Evan saw J.D., Nott, and Ganter sitting in a corner with some of the girls from their year. Evan nodded at them as he walked past to go up to the dorms.
He was halfway up the stairs when he heard his name being called.
"Hey Evan," J.D. hissed.
Evan turned around and looked at the other boy.
"Hello J.D. how can I-"
"Look, something sort of happened today."
Evan felt his blood go cold but turned his expression to that of confusion. "What do you mean?"
"I'm not sure what happened, I just heard about it afterwards… Apparently Potter and his friends cornered Severus after the test today. They used to do that a lot you know, anyway, something happened and they used that new spell Severus created-the leg hanging one- and one thing lead to another and Severus called Evans a mudblood."
"What?! Severus wouldn't do that," Evan knew it had happened, had seen it, but couldn't believe that this Severus would ever do that.
J.D. grimaced "He did though. He's pretty torn up about all of it, sort of barricaded himself in the room."
"I'll go talk to him," Evan said and started to turn around.
"Good luck," J.D. said in departure and headed back down to the common room.
Evan took a breath and finished the trek up to the 5th year boys room. He creaked open the door and saw that the curtains were drawn around Severus' four poster. Evan walked slowly to the bed and hit the curtains lightly.
"Hey, Sev… it's Evan," he said softly.
"Go away," came the muffled response.
"Come on Severus, talk to me."
"I'm not leaving this bed."
"Fine, I'm coming in then," Evan said as he pulled apart the curtains and climbed into the bed.
"Close the curtains then."
Evan closed the curtains and sat at the foot of the bed facing a distraught Severus. His eyes were red from crying and he looked absolutely miserable.
"What happened?" Evan asked delicately.
"We were leaving from our O.W.L., " Severus began "and well, I have alluded to it before, but before you came here, Potter and Black tended to use me as a target for many of their pranks. I thought I would go and read out by the lake, Lily" he took in a breath here and his eyes watered "Lily and I were supposed to meet after to discuss the exam after she had met up with MacDonald and Sapien. She hadn't shown up yet so I was going to read when they cornered me. They used my own spell on me and there I was in front of everyone. I was so embarrassed Evan," Severus breathed in again and Evan figured he was trying not to cry.
Evan didn't know what to do so he switched to the head of the bed and sat next to Severus and put his arm around the other boy and began to rub his shoulder like he would do for Hermione when she was missing Ron when he had left them alone for all those nights in the tent. Severus' head fell onto his shoulder as he continued talking.
"Lily came and tried to stop them and they finally let me down and I hadn't worked out that last bit of the spell, you know that, and I called her mudblood." Severus finished in a tight whisper and Evan could tell he had started crying again.
"I don't know how it happened, it sort of just flew out of my mouth and she was so mad, she'll never forgive me Evan."
Evan didn't know if Lily ever forgave Severus for this incident, but he couldn't help but hope…
"She's my best friend, I love her so much and I said the most horrible thing to her." Severus continued in a choked voice.
"Have you tried apologizing to her yet?" Evan asked as he rubbed Severus' upper arm. His heart broke for Severus, he knew that not only did he love Lily, she truly was his closest friend and that they were closer than some family members, if the time Evan had spent with them was anything to go by.
Severus shook his head. "Not yet. I don't know what to say."
"So are you just going to sit here and let your oldest friend go without a fight?"
"Well I suppose…"
Evan stopped rubbing Severus' arm and turned to face the other boy eye to eye. "Severus Snape, this is one of your closest friends and you called her something, that you normally never would have due to the effects of a spell. I'm sure she will listen to you,"
"You think?" Severus asked with a small amount of hope.
"Yes, now let's go get some dinner and then you can try and talk to her."
Severus nodded "Okay, just give me a couple more minutes"
Evan agreed and let the other wizard put his head back on his shoulder.
The problem was when they went down to dinner later, Lily never showed. They even waited until the last student was served and she still hadn't shown up.
"Well I guess that leaves me with begging outside of the Gryffindor common room. Will you come with me?" Severus asked as he stood.
"Sure, but I'm going to hang back and let you do all the talking."
"Alright," Severus took in a breath and they walked the all too familiar path for Evan all the way to the fat lady.
"Good luck," Evan said as he hid behind a corner. There was no way this conversation was going to end the same way it had when Evan had seen it in the pensieve. He was sure of it.
"Thanks," Severus gave a weak smile and stood in front of the fat lady.
"Password?" the fat lady asked.
"I don't have one but I would like to speak to Lily Evans."
The fat lady disappeared and shortly after the portrait hole was opened by MacDonald.
"What do you want Snape?" She practically spat.
"I need to talk to Lily,"
"She doesn't want to talk to you. Not now, not ever again."
Severus sputtered. "Then I'll stay here all night and she has to go to her O.W.L. tomorrow and I'll just talk to her then."
"Do what you want Snape, I could really care less." MacDonald said and closed the portrait hole.
"Will you really stay here all night?" Evan asked from his corner.
"If I have to," Severus said with determination.
The portrait hole opened again to reveal Lily in her dressing gown stepping out of the portrait and letting it close before she leaned against it.
"I'm sorry." Severus began.
"I'm not interested."
"Save your breath. I only came out here because Mary told me you were threatening to sleep here"
"I was. I would have done. I never meant to call you Mudblood, it just-"
"Slipped out?" Lily's voice was hard. "It's too late. I've made excuses for you for years. None of my friends can understand why I even talk to you. You've been hanging around with all those creepy guys and you know it has gotten better since Evan got here, but where would you be without him? You might have just gone over with them- I just can't if this is who you really are-"
"If you could just let me explain Lily-"
"I thought you were becoming that friend I had before this all started, but it seems like you are turning back to into someone I don't want to be associated with. Goodnight Severus."
Lily turned around and the portrait hole slammed.
Severus stood stock still at the portrait hole. Evan wasn't sure what to say, he had been so confident that it wouldn't have gone this way.
"This was the stupidest idea, I can't believe I let myself go with your heinous idea coming over her so soon, maybe if I had given her space-" Severus said as he walked to the corner where Evan was.
"Leave me alone this time Evan," Severus spat at him as he stalked down the hall.
Evan found his temper rising as he thought about how James Potter shouldn't have used the spell, how Severus shouldn't have made it so that people got mad, and about how unreasonable Lily was being.
He marched right up to the portrait door and knocked on it hard.
"Look Snape- oh it's you," Sapien stood at the opening this time.
"May I speak with Lily please?" Evan asked in a calm voice, trying to keep his anger behind his shields.
"Hold on," Sapien disappeared and a moment later Lily appeared.
"May I have a word with you, in private?"
"Sure," Lily seemed closed off but climbed out of the portrait hole and led Evan down the hall to an unused classrooms.
Once the door was closed Evan rounded on Lily.
"What the hell was that Lily?!"
"No you listen to me! Do you know how hard that whole experience was for him?! How he has been beating himself up about this? How he knew he fucked up and how he cried in his bed for the whole afternoon because of how horrible he felt and the worst part is-"
"Do you know what he called me?!" Lily yelled back her eyes flashing angrily.
"Yeah I do know! I also know that he was humiliated by his own spell which you know causes the person on the receiving end of said spell to say incredibly rude things! Do you not remember your own encounter with Belby?"
Lily paled a bit.
"And you know intent can alter magic and I'm pretty sure Potter intended for Severus to be humiliated and that probably made it worse!" Evan was yelling now and he didn't care.
"Severus still called me a mudblood-"
"I have never even heard him say that word before today" Evan countered.
"You haven't been here that long Evan! His old Slytherin friends and him used it before you got here, I can't forgive him for this Evan."
Evan couldn't believe what he was hearing. Lily was there, she saw Severus get ganged up on by James and Sirius when all he was doing was minding his own business; he hadn't even antagonized the Gryffindors at all. Why was she taking this so far? He took a step back from Lily.
"Look, you and I can still be friends, we'll just-"
"No." Evan interrupted harshly.
"I can't do that, you're being unreasonable and I am not going to abandon Severus and hang out with you-"
"I'm not saying you should abandon Severus, just see me when you're not-"
"No Lily, if you can't be friends with him, than I don't see how I can associate with you."
"Evan come on-" Lily croaked, her face distressed.
"Good night Evans," Evan said and turned out of the room leaving a shocked Lily alone in the classroom.
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