Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. The original characters that are mine are Severus's family members: Andromeda, Anthony, Selena, and Syrus.

'blah' means thoughts

Author's Note: There will be a liberal use of Japanese in this story. Translations will follow the Japanese and appear inside brackets.

"Family Ties"

The Headmaster had called Severus to the Great Hall. Normally, Severus would have still been grading essays, but he hadn't assigned anything too lengthy and had almost finished earlier, so he decided to see what the Headmaster wanted. As the Potions Master approached the doors leading into the Great Hall, he heard McGonagall's familiar laughter as well as a couple of someone else's. Severus hurriedly pushed the doors open with the thought, "It can't be them!' Everyone sitting at the Head Table turned and looked at the youngest professor.

"Sev!" two voices called out.

"Selena-chan? Syrus-kun?"

"Sevi-kun, it's been too long!" Selena got up from where she was sitting (which was in Severus's chair) and ran to greet her younger brother.

"Severus, so good for you to join us," Dumbledore spoke up as brother and sister hugged.

"Yes, Selena and Syrus were telling us stories about your home life," McGonagall added.

"You didn't!" Severus growled. "Omae wa korosu, Selena-chan." [I will kill you, Selena.]

Selena giggled. "Gomen ne, Sevi-kun demo I had to!" [I'm sorry, Sevi but...]

"Sevi-kun?" McGonagall tried not to laugh. "That is such a cute nickname."

"Selena, you were just going to tell us about how protective Severus is of Syrus, right?" asked Madame Hooch.

"Oh, that's right!"

"Nani? Selena-chan, iie!" Severus called out, but it was too late. [What? Selena, no!]

"Severus was going into Hogsmead with Lucius, and he took five-year-old Syrus along. As all of you know, where Sevi-kun and Lucius go trouble follows. Well, as it turns out, they met James Potter and Sirius Black there. There was a hex sent by either James or Sirius hit Syrus-"

"It was sent by Black," Severus hissed.

"In any case, that angered Sev and he almost casted a curse, but before he could finish it, Lucius grabbed Sev's arms and twisted them behind his back. Hey, Sevi-kun, what curse did you almost cast?"

"The Cruciatus Curse," Severus answered

"The-the Cru-Cruciatus-tus C-Curse?" McGonagall stammered.

"Yes."

That bit of news shocked the staff. Fifteen-year-old Severus could cast the Cruciatus Curse? Dumbledore knew that Severus learned to cast the Cruciatus Curse from his father, but to mast it at such an early age?

After the story was finished, Selena and Severus walked to the Head Table. Selena pulled up an extra chair, and Severus picked up Syrus and sat down in his chair, putting Syrus on his lap. Seeing this, McGonagall giggled, which caught Severus's attention. "Something funny, Minerva?"

"I've never seen this side of you, even when you went to school. It's cute."

Severus merely glared at her.

"Sev? I'm tired," Syrus said, laying his head on his big brother's chest.

"Selena-chan, I'm taking Syrus-kun to my office. Come by when you're done embarrassing me."

"Hai. Ja matte, Sevi-kun." [Yes. Good bye, Sevi.]

Severus carried Syrus out of the Great Hall, and Selena turned to the remaining professors. "If that's everything, I'm going to join my brothers."

"Just one thing before you go, that language you and Severus speak, what is it?" Madame Sprout asked.

"Japanese. It's our mother's native language. My mother taught me, and Severus picked it up from me. I started when I was eight. Two years later, Severus and I could hold a decent conversation in Japanese. That's all for tonight." Selena yawned. "I'm going to get some rest." She left.

The staff just sat there a bit longer. There was a whole side of their Potions Master they never knew was there; being able to cast the Cruciatus Curse at fifteen, being able to speak a foreign language at six, and all the while being protective of his younger brother.

"Our Potions Master is really something else, isn't he?" Dumbledore spoke up.

"Yes, he is," McGonagall agreed.

%%%

While Syrus lay asleep on the bed, Severus was seated behind a nearby mahogany desk. Instead of grading essays, he was leafing through a photo album. There were all sorts of pictures from posed pictures to spur of the moment pictures. The first two pictures were portraits; one of hum and Lucius Malfoy with their Hogwarts diplomas, and the other one was a family portrait. Selena, Syrus, and Severus were in the front row (in that order), and their parents, Anthony and Andromeda Snape, were standing behind them.

Severus stared at his mother and father. He missed them. Since their deaths, Snape Manor was a depressing place full of happy memories. Severus still went home once in a while, but he hardly ever spent the night there anymore.

"Sevi-kun?" Selena's voice broke the Potions Master's train of thought.

"Sorehanandeskuka, Selena-chan?" he asked, not taking his eyes off the picture. [What is is, Selena?]

Selena sat down next to Severus. "Anata wa, sorera o shinaide kudasai ketsujo?" [You miss them, don't you?]

"Hai. Itsumo." [Yes. Always.]

Selena reached over and turned the page, revealing more moving pictures. These were different one from Severus's days as a student. There were ones of him, Lucius, Evan Rosier, Crabbe, and Goyle hanging out in the Common Room, him playing Quidditch (Seeker), ones of him talking to his friends, Remus Lupin and Lily Evans, and ones of him and Lucius hexing James and Sirius.

Selena giggled. "This one's funny," she said, pointing to a picture of Lucius and Severus trying to play Wizard;s Chess, while Crabbe and Goyle annoyed them.

"Hai, I remember that one, They were trying to get us to let them copy our essays for Defense Against the Dark Arts." [Yes...]

"So, who won the chess game?"

"Lucius as usual."

Selena looked at the picture of Severus, Remus, and Lily. Suddenly, picture Severus started laughing, and the two Gryffindors joined in. "I still can't believe you were friends with those two Gryffindors."

"Neither could anyone else, but the three of us were close."

Suddenly, the door to Severus's office opened and in walked...

"Lucius!"

"Hello, Severus."

"Konnichi wa, Lucius-kun!" [Hello, Lucius!]

"Selena? You're here too?"

"Hai and Syrus-kun is sleeping on the bed." [Yes...]

Lucius looked over at Severus's bed and saw Syrus sleeping. He walked over to the desk and sat down on the other side of Severus. "What are you doing?"

"Just looking at pictures."

Just then, (in the picture of Lucius and Severus playing Wizard's Chess) picture Lucius won the game, and Crabbe and Goyle started pestering them again, but this time Lucius and Severus both had their wands out and pointed at the two larger boys. Selena giggled and turned the page revealing pictures from home. Pictures of all five members of the Snape family or some combination of them with the occasional appearance of Lucius. Looking over the pictures of his family caused Severus's eyes to mist over, and try as he might a tell-tale tear slid down his cheek. Selena noticed this, slid an arm around her younger brother's shoulders, and gave them a slight squeeze. "Sore wa daijōbuda, Sevi-kun." [It's okay, Sevi.]

Even though Selena had whispered it, Lucius had heard it. He knew how his best friend was about his parents' death. Lucius slid one arm around Severus's shoulder and turned the page with the other hand. This group of pictures was strictly Quidditch pictures. One picture was of the past Slytherin Quidditch Team. Picture Severus was holding the Snitch, and Picture Lucius (being a Chaser) was holding the Quaffle, while the other two Chasers had their arms around Lucius's shoulders and the two Beaters had their clubs resting on their shoulders. On the next page (across from the past picture) was the current Slytherin Quidditch Team. The two pictures were almost identical. The only differences were the players and the fact that Severus was standing next to Draco in the current picture.

Suddenly, a knock on the door surprised the three adult Slytherins. Severus quickly looked at the time and muttered, "He's right on time."

He got up and opened the door. "Hello, Professor."

Lucius recognized the voice. "Draco?"

Draco walked in. "Father?" He turned to Severus. "Am I interrupting something?"

Severus led Draco over to the desk. "Truthfully, Draco. I had forgotten about our little meeting, but you're welcome to stay."

"Thank you."

Draco then noticed Selena. "Who are you?"

"I'm Severus's older sister, Selena."

"Really?" Draco sat down beside his father. "What was Professor Snape like as a boy?"

"Well, just take a look." Selena indicated the photo album in front of them.

Draco looked at the pictures and gasped inaudibly. The professor looked like him except with raven-colored hair and ebony eyes!

"And look at these." Selena flipped back two pages.

"Selena-chan, must you?" Severus asked as Draco looked at the pictures.

"Must I what, Sevi-kun?"

"Embarrass me."

"Sev?" a sleepy voice called from the bed.

Severus got up and went over to the bed. "Did we wake you, Syrus?"

The ten-year-old shook his head. "What'cha doing over there?"

"Looking at pictures. Want to see."

"Sure."

Severus and Syrus got up and walked over to the desk (Syrus sat between Severus and Selena).

"Professor?"

"What is it, Draco?"

"Did you really play Quidditch at school?"

"Yes, until an incident occourred."

"What happened?"

"It was during a game against Gryffindor. They were in the lead. The Gryffindor Seeker James Potter and I were after the Snitch, which was racing towards the sky. As I reached for the Snitch, a Bludger hit the tail of my broom, sending me to the ground eighty feet below. However, the impact actually pushed my broom forward a bit, and I managed to grab the Snitch before I fell. It took me six weeks in the Hospital Wing to recover and then two more of not playing for me to recover."

"Wow."

"Three of my closest friends were also on Quidditch Teams. Your father was Chaser on our team, and Remus Lupin and Lily Evans were Beater and Keeper, respectively, on the Gryffindor Team."

"Our team?"

"Your father and I were both Quidditch Captain."

"You rarely saw one without the other. Wherever Severus was Lucius wouldn't be far away and vice versa ," Selena explained, flipping back to the page of Quidditch pictures.

"Draco, you should get back to your dorm. There are classes tomorrow."

"All right." Draco got up and turned to leave. "Professor, did you finish grading the essays yet?"

"Almost, Draco."

"Oh."

"I did read yours. You got perfect marks."

"Thank you, Professor. Good night."

"Good night, Draco."

"Good night, Father."

"Good night."

Draco left the Potions Master's office.

"If there are classes tomorrow, Sev, then, I'll leave as well. Besides, I have an early shift at the Ministry tomorrow." Lucius stood up, He ruffled Syrus's hair as Severus and Selena stood up. First, Lucius hugged Severus and then Selena (like a brother would do to each).

"See you, Lucius."

"Ja ne, Lucius-kun." [Good-bye, Lucius.]

Lucius left the office.

"Sevi-kun, is it possible for me and Syrus-kun to sit in on your classes?" Selena asked.

"Hai and even participate if you want to." [Yes...]

"Sev, can we sit with you at breakfast?" Syrus yawned.

Severus hesitated and then said, "Sure, if you want to."

Noticing that Syrus was about to fall asleep leaning against Severus, Selena said, "Let's all get some rest."

After putting Syrus to bed, Selena and Severus sat down on the bed, Suddenly, Selena pulled Severus into a hug. "I'm so proud of you, Sev. Mum and Dad would be too."

At the mention of his parents, Severus's eyes misted over and tears spilled out and down his cheeks. Selena noticed this and gently guided her younger brother's head to her shoulder, letting him cry there as she stroked his shoulder-length black hair. "Shh, Sevi-kun. Sore was daijōbuda." Severus hugged Selena tighter. "You're so strong in front of Syrus and your students." Selena said in a soft voice. Then, she unwrapped her arms and guided Severus's head to the pillow. "Get some sleep, Sev." [It's okay.]

As the Potions Master fell asleep, Selena looked at her younger brothers. 'Syrus looks like Severus did at that age. Well, except for the eye color.' Selena yawned and laid down next to her brothers.

%%% THE NEXT MORNING

Selena woke up to the sound of Syrus calling her name.

"Sorehanandeskuka?" [What is it?]

"Sev won't wake up!"

Selena rolled over on her side and shook one of Severus's shoulders. "Sev, wake up." When he didn't, she felt his forehead. It was burning hot! "Syrus, stay here with Sev. I have to talk to the Headmaster." Syrus nodded as Selena left. She ran top speed to the Headmaster's office. When she entered the corridor that led to the office, she called out the password, "Lemon Drop!"

By the time she reached the spiral staircase, said staircase had finished revolving. She continued to run top speed up the staircase and to the door. She banged on the door. "Headmaster! Please open the door!"

Dumbledore opened the door, blue eyes twinkling behind half moon spectacles. "Selena, what a pleasant surprise."

"Headmaster! There's a problem. Severus is sick. He won't be able to each today."

Dumbledore looked thoughtful for a moment. "Selena, are you able to teach Potions until Severus gets well?"

"I'm not up to Sev's level, but, being his sister, I am pretty good."

Dumbledore chuckled. "Very few are up to Severus's level. I'm sure you'll do fine. I will warn you about the Fifth-Year Slytherin/Gryffindor class you have. They're very hard to control. Even though Severus keeps them under control."

"All right, Headmaster. We'll see you at breakfast, though I might be a little late."

"That's fine, Selena."

Selena left for the dungeons. She entered her younger brother's office and saw both of her brothers sitting up in bed. "Sevi-kun! You're awake!"

Selena sat next to Severus and gave him a hug, which he just leaned into. "Hai. Karōjite." [Yes. Barely.]

"Don't worry about your classes, Sevi-kun. They're covered."

"It's not Albus, is it?"

"Iie, Sevi-kun. Sōde wa arimasen." Selena started stroking Severus's shoulder-length hair. "I'm covering them. I'll come by between classes and check on you, so I better not catch you up and about except in certain circumstances." She turned to Syrus. "Get a wet cloth for your brother's forehead, and then get dressed." [No, Sevi. It's not.]

"Okay." Syrus got off the bed and did as his sister said, handing her the cloth before getting dressed.

Selena folded the cloth and laid it across Severus's forehead, keeping it there with one hand and continuing to stroke his hair with the other. Selena smiled. "Sevi-kun, I think you better lay down."

Severus laid down, and Selena kissed his forehead, after removing the towel and replacing it after. Suddenly, two crisp knocks were heard from outside the office.

"I'll get it!" Syrus called out. He opened the door and peeked out. "Who are you?"

"I'm Draco Malfoy, and this is Ginny Weasley. We came to see your brother."

Selena came up behind her youngest brother. "Hello, Draco. Severus isn't up to having any visitors right now."

"Oh, I guess we'll see him in class."

"Actually, no, but I'll see you two in class."

"Professor Snape is ill?" Ginny asked.

"Not really, but he's not well enough to teach. So, I'll see you two upstairs at breakfast."

"Okay. Thank you, Selena." Draco and Ginny left, heading for the Great Hall.

"You ready, Syrus?" Selena looked down at her youngest brother and smirked. He was dressed just like Severus.

"Yep, but I want to say bye to Sev."

"So do I." Selena and Syrus walked back into the secondary office to see their brother sleeping. "Let's not wake him."

Selena and Syrus left a note for Severus in case he didn't know where Syrus was.

%%% IN THE GREAT HALL

All of the students were there, but strangely enough not all of the professors were. Professor Snape's chair stood empty. Five minutes into breakfast, the double doors opened and in walked a woman with knee-length black hair and violet eyes and a boy with ear-length black hair and blue eyes.

"Ah, Selena, Syrus. So good of you to join us," Dumbledore greeted them.

Most of the students were confused. A new teacher? The DADA position was already taken by Remus Lupin, so who was she? Their confusion grew as the woman addressed as Selena sat in Professor Snape's chair, and the boy addressed as Syrus pulled up a chair next to her and sat down.

"Selena will be filling in for Professor Snape, who has fallen ill."

"I hope it's terminal," Ron Weasley whispered, earning him a jab in the ribs from Hermione Granger.

Dumbledore glanced at Selena, who nodded in response to the silent question. "Selena is Professor Snape's older sister, and Syrus is his younger brother."

That sentence caused the Great Hall to buzz with conversation.

"Is Severus all right, Selena?" McGonagall asked.

"He just has a fever and is extremely tired," Selena answered, helping herself to some pastries.

"So, you're Severus's sister?" a worn, tired voice asked.

Selena looked to her left, over Syrus's head, and saw Remus Lupin. "Hey, you're that Gryffindor my brother talked to on a regular basis."

"Yes, I am his 'Gryffindor best friend,' but of course, Lucius Malfoy is his best friend," came the reply.

"Selena-san?"

"Nani?" [What?]

"Is there any ocha?" [...green tea?]

" Iie, Syrus-kun. Just have some remon tii." [No, Syrus. ...lemon tea.]

"Doko desu ka?" [Where is it?"

"Achira desu." Selena pointed. [It's over there.]

"Arigatou, Selena-san." [Thank you, Selena.]

"Doitashi." [You're welcome.]

"Syrus?" McGonagall inquired.

"Hai." [Yes.]

"You know Japanese?"

"Yep. Sev taught me, though I'm not as good as he is."

Remus chuckled. "Yes. Severus always spoke Japanese, irritating me and Lily, so she spoke Spanish right back at him. They were good-naturedly insulting each other once, though the other didn't know it." (AN: If you want to read the story for that one, it's called Volley of Languages).

"Sounds like Sevi-kun all right." Selena giggled.

"And I didn't know either language, of course."

"How'd you know they were insulting each other then?" asked Flitwick.

"Each one told me later on."

Breakfast ended pretty much after that, leaving the students to grab their bags and books and the professors to get their lessons ready.

The first class Selena had was the Fifth-Year Gryffindor/Slytherin.

"Before we start brewing your strengthening solutions, we'll have a little question/answer session." The class groaned almost inaudibly. Selena smiled. "So, do you have any questions for me?"

The class sat there stunned for a moment, before Hermione raised her hand.

"Yes." Selena paused, looking at Severus's attendance sheet. "Ms. Granger?"

"Yes, Professor. How would you like to be addressed? As Professor Snape or Professor Selena?"

"Actually, you can just call me Selena."

"Okay."

"Any more questions? Any at all?" Harry Potter raised his hand. "Yes, Mr. Potter?" Selena recognized him without looking at the attendance sheet.

"Are we allowed to ask anything?"

"Within reason." Harry nodded, and Draco raised his hand. "Yes, Mr. Malfoy?"

"When will Professor Snape be back?"

"Give him about three days."

There were several more questions asked by both the Slytherins and the Gryffindors, all of which Selena answered. This continued for at least ten minutes. Selena giggled. "We better get to the potion making or Sevi-kun will say we accomplished nothing!"

"Just one more, Selena."

"All right, Ms. Patil."

"What did you just call Professor Snape?" Parvati Patil inquired.

Selena blushed and thought, 'Oops, Sevi-kun is not going to like this!' Out loud, she replied, "I just called him by a nickname."

"Which was?" asked Pansy Parkinson.

"Sevi-kun."

The entire class smirked at Selena's reply. Harry and Ron as well as some Slytherins filed that fact away in their minds for possible blackmail purposes.

"Well, we better continue brewing those potions, practice for your O.W.L.S., you know."

As it turns out, Selena was as strict as McGonagall, but as fair as Remus. When class ended, the students packed their supplies and books up, and their potions were turned in.

"Now, your potions might take a little longer than expected to return to you, unless Severus will let me grade them. Oh, and for homework, two rolls of parchment on the effects of strengthening solutions and an additional roll of parchment for any remaining questions you still might have. There'll be another question/answer session tomorrow, but I'll be asking the questions this time."

As they left, the next class (Fourth-Year Gryffindor/Slytherin) was already lined up outside the door. When the Fifth-Year Gryffindors were smiling as they came out, the Fourth-Year Gryffindors were confused.

"Draco!"

"Hey, Ginny."

"How was it?"

"You'll love it. Selena is as strict as Professor McGonagall, but as fair as Professor Lupin. Gryffindor lost no points, but neither did Slytherin."

"I think that's the first Potions class since Professor Snape became the professor that Gryffindor didn't lose any points."

"We'll I better go or I'll be late to Charms."

Ginny kissed Draco's cheek. "See you later."

Just then, Selena ran out of the classroom and towards Severus's office. She opened the doors to the primary office and to the secondary office. "Sevi-kun, are you awake?"

"Konnichi wa, Selena-chan." [Hello, Selena.]

"How are you feeling?" Selena sat down on the edge of the bed.

"A little better." Severus smirked. "Thanks for the note." Severus motioned toward the note Selena left him, which read:

Sevi-kun,

Syrus is with me in the Potions classroom.

Lots of love,

Selena

"I didn't want you to worry." Selena took the cloth off Severus's forehead and replaced it with a cold, wet one. "That should feel better."

"It does, Selena-chan. Arigatou." [Thank you.]

"Doitashi, Sevi-kun." [You're welcome, Sevi.]

"Don't you have a class right now?" Severus asked.

"Hai, Fourth-Year Gryffindor/Slytherin."

"How were the Fifth-Years?"

"Under control, well behaved, and very sensaku-zukina." [...inquisitive.]

"Sensaku-zukina? Selena-chan, you didn't embarrass me in front of my students did you?" [Inquisitive?...]

"Well, I accidentally let something slip."

"What did you say?"

"Sevi-kun."

"Selena-chan!" He yelled. At her stern glare, he growled, "Omae wa korosu." [I will kill you.]

"You'll have to kill me later, Sevi-kun. I have to teach the Fourth-Year Gryffindor/Slytherin class." Selena leaned over and kissed her brother's cheek. "Just get some rest, Sev."

%%% POTIONS CLASSROOM

The Fourth-Year Gryffindors and Slytherins were waiting for their substitute teacher to arrive. Suddenly, the classroom door opened with a bang and in walked a young woman in dark green robes. "Hello, I'm Selena Snape, and I'm substituting for Severus. You may address me as Selena."

Movement passed the door caught her attention. "Please brew the non-volatile antidote on page 207, while I take care of something." Selena exited the classroom. She entered the corridor and saw a black tail disappearing around a corner. She followed the tail and ended up in the corridor that led to the Headmaster's office. There in front of her was a large black panther.

"What do you think you are doing?" Selena yelled at the panther, which hung its head. Selena's yelling brought Dumbledore out of his office. His blue eyes twinkled at the scene playing out before him. "Well, what do you have to say for yourself?"

There was a pop, and there stood Severus, hair mussed from sleeping. "Gomen ne, Selena-chan." [I'm sorry, Selena.]

"Slinking about in your animagus form! BAKA!" [IDIOT!]

Fearing for his Potions Master's health, Dumbledore decided to speak up. "Selena, let;s just take Severus back to his rooms."

"No offense, Headmaster, but stay out of this!" Selena yelled, displaying the infamous Snape temper.

"Selena, please listen. You know how much I hate being confined to bed."

"Well, you better get back there, before you get confined to the hospital wing!"

Severus nodded and transformed back into his panther form. He padded away. Dumbledore turned to Selena. "You better be going, Selena. You have a class to teach. I believe you left them unattended."

"No, Syrus is there."

"You left the Fourth-Year Gryffindor/Slytherin class in the hands of your ten-year-old brother."

Selena thought about this fact. "I think I better get back."

When Selena entered the Potions classroom, she was met by a strange sight. The Fourth-Year Gryffindor/Slytherin class had apparently finished their antidotes and turned them in after labeling the vials with their names. Their cauldrons had been cleaned out (or they were using their partner's), and they started brewing something else. Selena came up behind Ginny Weasley. "What are you doing?"

"Oh, we finished brewing the assigned antidote, so we turned those in. Syrus gave us another antidote to brew. He then saw something pass by the door and told us that he'd be back soon. So, we started brewing the antidote."

"All right. Keep brewing. I'll be in the office storeroom for a few minutes." Selena left the classroom. When she entered the storeroom, she locked it and flooed to her brother's room. When she stepped out of the fireplace, she saw a strange sight. There was one sleeping ten-year-old boy and one sleeping fifteen-year-old boy laying on the bed. She stared at the boys. One had ear-length black hair (Syrus). The older one had shoulder-length black hair. Selena sat down next to the boy with the longer hair. "Sevi-kun."

He slowly opened his eyes. "Selena-chan, konnichi wa." [Selena, hello.]

Selena smiled slightly. "How are you feeling?"

"Weird and everything looks bigger."

"That's because you're fifteen-years-old."

"Nani?" [What?]

"You were apparently hit with a timed curse earlier. Do you remember being hit with a spell that seemed to not do anything?"

Severus thought for a moment. "Yeah. I was at a Death Eater meeting. Apparently, Voldemort found out that I was a spy. Not for him as he thought, against him. He told another Death Eater to do "the new spell." It was Evan. I could tell he didn't want to."

"All right, Sevi-kun. That's enough. Just go back to sleep," Selena whispered, waving her wand over her rejuvenated brother causing him to fall back asleep. She picked him up and flooed them to the Hospital Wing. She laid Severus on one of the beds, told Madame Pomphrey what happened and to keep an eyes on Severus, and she flooed back to Severus's storeroom, She practically ran into the classroom and announced, "Potions classes are canceled until further notice."

The Fourth-Year Gryffindor/Slytherin class looked up in surprise.

"Canceled?" Ginny asked in surprise. "Why?"

"I have a family emergency. Now, go." The class packed up and left. Selena spelled the classroom door closed and locked. She flooed to Dumbledore's office. The moment she got there, she called out, "Headmaster! There's been an incident!"

"Selena? What's wrong?"

"It's Severus! He's been hit by a timed curse a while ago, and it just took effect."

"What happened to him?"

"He was hit with some type of youth spell and is now fifteen-years-old."

Dumbledore rose from his chair. "Let's go see him."

They walked to the Hospital Wing in silence. When they got there, Severus was awake.

"Selena-chan, Albus. Konnichi wa." [...Hello.]

Selena sat down next to him and hugged him. "Konnichi wa, Sevi-kun. How do you feel?" [Hello, Sevi. …]

"Better, but this'll take some getting used to."

"We might be able to find a counter curse," Dumbledore mentioned.

"Until you do, I don't want anyone else to see me like this, especially Syrus. I don't know how much this would affect him." Catching the look in Dumbledore's eyes, he added, "Please, Albus, don't let Syrus see me like this!"

"I won't let him see you, Severus," Dumbledore agreed. "Though I would like to talk to young Syrus."

"All right, Headmaster. I'll tell him." Dumbledore nodded at Selena as she said this and left, heading for his office.

Not more than five minutes later, the door to the Hospital Wing opened.

"Madame Pomphrey, is Sev here?" The two older Snape children could her Syrus ask.

"Yes, he is here, but I don't want him disturbed by too many visitors."

"But I'm his brother!" Syrus sounded close to tears.

"I better handle this. I'll be back in a second," Selena whispered as she stood up. She walked around the curtain which had been pulled around Severus's bed. "Syrus-kun."

"Selena-san, may I see Sev?"

Selena knelt down. "Iie, Syrus-kun. Sevi-kun needs to rest, but Headmaster Dumbledore wanted to talk to you." [No, Syrus. …]

"But...but..." Syrus stammered, a couple tears sliding down his cheeks. Selena wrapped her arms around the little boy, who cried harder.

"Shh, Syrus-kun. Shh. It's all right." Selena rubbed his back soothingly. Then, she wiped the tears away with her thumb. "Go see the Headmaster."

Syrus nodded and left the Hospital Wing. Selena went back to Severus's bedside and found him asleep but there were tears on his cheeks. Selena sat down on the bed, picked up Severus, and held him.

%%%

Syrus called out, "Lemon drop," and rode the spiral staircase to Dumbledore's office. He knocked on the door. After hearing "come in," he opened the door and came in.

"You wanted to see me, Headmaster?" Syrus asked,

"Yes, Syrus. Sit down. Lemon drop?"

"Sure." Syrus accepted the sweet. "Headmaster, is there something wrong with Sev? Selena won't let me see him, and neither will Madame Pomphrey."

"Syrus, let me say this. You love your brother. That is obvious, and Severus knows it. It is his request that you don't see him, but I'll take you to see him myself. Before I do, I'll tell you what's wrong with him. Severus was hit with a youth spell of some kind and is fifteen-years-old now."

"Sev is okay, right?"

"Yes, Syrus. Come. I'll take you to see your brother."

%%% THE HOSPITAL WING

Selena was sitting on Severus's bed, holding her brother as he slept. It pained her to forbid Syrus to see the brother he adored, but Severus had insisted. She looked down at her little brother, smiled, and started stroking Severus's card.

"Selena," a gentle voice said.

"Headmaster." She smiled, but her voice cracked, telling Dumbledore that she had been crying.

"Would you wake Severus up? We need to talk."

Selena sighed. "All right. Sevi-kun, the Headmaster wants to talk to you. Wake up."

The teen opened his eyes. "Selena-chan?"

"Konnichi wa, Sevi-kun." Selena hugged him. [Hello, Sevi.]

"You said the Headmaster wanted to talk to me?"

"Hai." Selena let Severus slide off her lap. [Yes.]

"Hello, Severus."

"Hello, Headmaster."

"You know, Severus, Syrus really wants to see you, and I think he should."

"Albus, you didn't!"

Syrus peeked around Dumbledore's robes. "Hi, Sev."

"Hi, Syrus."

Syrus jumped up onto the bed next to his brother and hugged him. "I missed you, Sev."

Severus smiled warmly and wrapped his arms around him. "I know, Syrus. I know. I just didn't want you to see me like this."

"I don't care what you look like. You're still my big brother!"

""Well, I'm glad about that." Severus turned to Albus. "Do any of the staff members know what happened?"

"No, why?"

"I could have a little fun." Severus smirked,

Dumbledore caught the smirk. "Severus, don't go doing anything that could get you in trouble."

"It's not like I could get detention or lose House Points, so what would be my incentive to be on my best behavior?"

"I could get Madame Pomphrey to agree to confine you to the Hospital Wing."

Severus paled at the threat. "You wouldn't, Selena-chan!"

"Wouldn't I?"

"Omae wa korosu, Selena-chan." [I will kill you, Selena.]

"I'm still waiting for you to follow through with that, Sevi-kun," Selena giggled.

Severus rolled his eyes, and Selena giggled again. Dumbledore smiled at the sibling and slipped away unnoticed to send an important message.

Syrus and Severus both yawned at that moment, looking so cute. Selena smiled and said, "You two look so kawaii." [...cute.]

Severus leaned against Selena. She laughed. "Oh no you don't! I'm not your makura!" She slid off the bed. Severus scooted up towards the pillows, and Syrus snuggled up against his brother, who put an arm around him. [...pillow.]

"Arigatou, Selena-chan." [Thank you, Selena.]

"Nani?" [What?]

"For leaving Syrus here."

"Doitashi, Sevi-kun." [You're welcome, Sevi.]

"Tell Albus arigatou for me. For bringing Syrus even though I didn't want him to at first." [...thank you...]

"Hai, Sevi-kun. I'll tell him." Selena stroked Severus's hair. "Get some rest, Sevi-kun. In the meantime, I'll attend the staff meeting the Headmaster has no doubt called." [Yes, Sevi. …]

"So, Albus's going to tell the staff."

"Hai demo I'll make sure they don't bother you. However, most of them will probably want to stop by and say hi." [Yes but...]

"Do they have to or can your just say that I don't want to see anyone that's not family?"

"I could, but what about the Headmaster?"

"Albus does what he wants, and I have to see Poppy because I'm in the Hospital Wing."

"I'll see what I can do, Sevi-kun demo you need to rest." Selena kissed each of her brothers on the forehead and left for the staff room. [… Sevi but...]

%%% THE STAFF ROOM

"What?" McGonagall yelled. "Severus is fifteen?"

"Yes, Minerva. Apparently, he was hit by a timed curse at the last Death Eater's meeting he attended. Isn't that right, Selena?"

"Yes, it is, Headmaster. Sevi-kun told me himself, and I have a message from him. Don't bother him. He'd prefer to not have any visitors."

"Why would we bother him?" Madame Hooch asked.

"Because he's so kawaii." At the staff's confused looks, she clarified, "Cute."

"Yes, Severus was rather cute as a Fifth-Year. I wonder what happened," Madame Pince commented.

"I've already owled Lucius Malfoy informing him of the incident. He should be here any minute," Dumbledore put in.

"Why did you owl Lucius?"

"Because I'm his best friend and I deserve to know," an icy voice answered from the doorway. Everyone turned towards the door.

"Konnichi wa, Lucius-kun. Watashi wa anata go kuru koto ga ureshī." [Hello, Lucius. I'm glad you could come.]

"I came as fast as I could. Can I see him?"

"Hai. I'll take you." [Yes. …]

They left the staff room.

"How is he?"

"Okay for now. I shudder to think what would happen if we can't find a counter curse." They reached the Hospital Wing and walked over to Severus's bed. Syrus was sitting in one of the chairs, and Severus was propped up against the pillows, reading. He looked up. "Konnichi wa, Selena-chan. Lucius?" [Hello, Selena. ...]

Lucius walked over to Severus's side and sat down next to him. "Hello, Sev." He pulled the teen into a hug.

Severus wrapped his arms around his best friend. "I'm glad you came."

"I'll always be here for you, Severus."

Selena watched as her rejuvenated brother talked with his best friend. She giggled at her little brother's attire. "Sevi-kun, I'll go get your yukata." [A yukata is a casual summer kimono usually made of cotton.]

Severus looked at the hospital clothes Madame Pomphrey had put him in. "Hai, Selena-chan. Onegai shimasu isogu." [Yes, Selena. Please hurry.]

"Mochiron." Selena left the Hospital Wing. [Of course.]

Just then, Draco walked into the Hospital Wing. Madame Pomphrey came up to him. "Can I help you, Mr. Malfoy?"

"I came to see Professor Snape."

"One moment." Madame Pomphrey walked behind the curtains surrounding Severus's bed. "Mr. Malfoy wants to see you, Severus. Since you are well enough to have visitors, shall I permit him?"

"Yes. Of course," Severus said.

Madame Pomphrey walked back around the curtain, beckoned Draco over, and led him around the curtain.

Draco stared at the teenager talking to his father. "Professor?"

"Yes, Draco. It's me."

"I cannot believe you and I look alike except for our hair and eye color, Professor."

"Just call me Severus, Draco. As for your observation, the reason for that is that the Snapes and the Malfoys are distantly related," Severus mentioned. "Isn't that right, Lucius?"

"Distant cousins, I believe."

"Watashi wa modottekita, Sevi-kun." Selena walked back around the curtain carrying not only Severus's yukata but a tray of snacks as well. [I'm back, Sevi.]

"Hi, Selena." Draco greeted her.

"Konnichi wa, Draco. When did you get here?" [Hello, Draco. …]

"A few minutes ago. I wanted to see Severus."

Selena laid the yukata on the foot of the bed and put the tray of snacks on a nearby table. "How'd you he was here?"

"I went to his office first, but he wasn't there, so I assumed he was here." Draco turned to Lucius. "Father, why are you here?"

"I received an owl from the Headmaster about Severus's condition and hurried over to see how my best friend was doing."

"Selena-chan, could you take Syrus and Draco out for a moment? I need to talk to Lucius alone," Severus asked.

"Hai, Sevi-kun. Syrus-kun, Draco, follow me." Selena led the two of them out of the Hospital Wing. [Yes, Sevi. …]

Severus pulled out his wand and cast a cone of silence. "I need you to do some research on the spell Evan used on me. I need to know whether it was a permanent spell, what kind of counter course might be needed, what kind of testing has been done, and if they knew this would be the result." Lucius nodded. "I think talking with Evan would be a good place as any to start."

Lucius gripped his cane tightly. "If he doesn't have the answers I am seeking, I will be doing more than talking."

The smirk on Severus's face matched the one on his best friend's face. "When you leave, tell our family to come back in."

Lucius gave Severus a hug and walked out of the Hospital Wing as the teenager dispelled the cone of silence. When he approached the door, he saw Selena, Syrus, and Remus standing there, but his son was nowhere to be seen. "Selena, where is my son?"

"Oh, I sent Draco back to the Common Room."

Lucius nodded. "When did Lupin get here?"

"I arrived here a few moments before you walked out," Remus replied.

"Sev and I are done talking. You can go back in." Lucius ruffled Syrus's hair and hugged Selena before walking down the hall.

Selena, Syrus, and Remus entered the Hospital Wing and walked over to and behind the curtains that surrounded Severus's bed. They watched as Madame Pomphrey checked the teenager over. "I want to keep you for overnight observation, and there's no use arguing."

It was obvious that Severus wanted to argue or, more importantly, leave. Being ordered to stay and not argue by the school's matron made him scowl, which wasn't as fierce due to the fact he wasn't wearing black. After Lucius had left, Severus changed into his dark blue yukata.

Madame Pomphrey turned to see her patient had three visitors once again. "Don't stay too long. He needs rest."

She disappeared into her office to give them some privacy.

"Selena-chan, where did Draco go?" Severus asked.

"I sent him back to the Common Room, Sevi-kun."

"Remus, I'm glad you came. I might need you to get some books out of the Restricted Section for me, but to know what books to get or if we need them at all, we have to wait for Lucius to get back. He's researching the timed curse I'm under." Severus sighed. "I just hope he has luck."

%%%

Lucius rapped three times on the door with his cane. The door opened, revealing a weary-looking Evan Rosier. "Lucius, what a surprise. Come in."

Evan moved away from the door, allowing the Malfoy patriarch to enter. They moved into the sitting room, where they sat in chairs facing each other. Evan was nervous. He knew Lucius wasn't there for a social visit. He could only assume this impromptu visit had something to do with the most recent Death Eater meeting. Evan took a deep breath. "Is-is-is," he licked his lips. "Is he dead?"

"Is who dead?"

"Severus." Evan's response was barely more than a whisper.

"No. He's very much alive."

At Lucius's reply, Evan visibly relaxed. "Good. The Dark Lord wanted me to find and research a timed killing curse. He said He'd kill me if I failed. I told Him I found one, but what I had found was an experimental time delayed youth spell. What little research there is is on the table over there." Evan pointed.

"I will be taking all of it with me when I leave. Continue, Evan."

"There's not much to say. The only way to reverse the spell is by taking the potion in this book or at least that's what the inventor says." Evan pulled a cobalt blue book off of a nearby bookshelf.

"Does He believe Severus is dead?"

"Yes." Evan collected the research and handed it and the book to Lucius. "I hope this helps."

"As do I."

%%% THE NEXT MORNING

Madame Pomphrey checked over Severus to make sure there were no ill or lasting effects of the time-delayed spell. "There seems to be no problems, so you are free to go as long as you stay in your room."

"I intended to," Severus assured the nurse. She nodded and left. The teenager changed out of his yukata and into the plain black robes his sister left on the bed. He walked down the stairs to the dungeons and to his office. He entered his office, put down his yukata on a chair and was met by the sight of Selena, Syrus, Draco, and Lucius! Their backs were facing him as they poured over parchment. Selena then picked up the book laying open on the table and looked over its contents. She sighed. "I've never seen a more complicated potion."

"I bet I have," Severus spoke up.

All four turned and looked at him.

"Sevi-kun!"

"Sev!"

"Pro-Severus!"

"Severus," Lucius said, standing up. "We have a solution."

Severus hurried over to the group. "What is it?"

"According to Evan, this is the only way to reverse the spell."

Severus took the book from his sister and quickly scanned the pages. He groaned. "It's going to take a week."

"At least tomorrow's Saturday, Severus," Draco put in.

The dark-haired teen sighed. "I should get started on the potion."

Everyone watched as Severus walked into his personal lab, before going their separate ways; Draco to classes, Lucius to the Ministry, and Selena and Syrus to Severus's fireplace. Selena took a handful of floo powder from Severus's jar (which was labeled Ashes of Problem Students) and threw the powder into the fireplace. "Headmaster!" she exclaimed before sticking her head into the fireplace.

"Selena, to what do I owe the pleasure of this conversation?"

"Sevi-kun is working on the cure Lucius-kun found. It'll take about a week. I'll resume covering Sevi-kun's classes until the following Monday when Sevi-kun will be back."

"Very good, Selena. I will alert the staff, so they won't bother Severus while he brews."

"Thank you, Headmaster."

"You're welcome, Selena." They both closed the floo connection.

The next week flew by with hardly anyone seeing hide nor hair of Severus. He didn't leave his office for the entire week. On Saturday, both Malfoys dropped by for a visit. Lucius knocking three times, and the door opened, revealing Selena.

"Lucius-kun! Draco-kun! Come in.Sevi-kun, come see who's dropped by!"

Lucius and Draco followed Selena with Draco closing the door behind him.

Severus walked out of the bedroom with Syrus in tow. "Lucius, Draco."

"Severus, good to see you're back to normal," Lucius mentioned as Draco hugged the professor.

"I will be back in the classroom come Monday."

"That's great! I've missed you in class. Selena's great, but she's no Severus," Draco said.

"Indeed."

"At least, you don't have a week's worth of essays to grade," Selena put in. "I kept on top of the grading, so you wouldn't have to be interrupted while brewing the antidote."

"Arigatou, Selena-chan. I can relax until Monday." [Thank you, Selena. …]

"What are you going to do to relax, Professor?" Draco asked.

"I could..." Severus trailed off, black eyes darting back to the door leading to his private lab.

"You are not brewing potions to relax, Sevi-kun!"

"Omae wa korosu, Selena-chan demo you win," Severus retorted. [I will kill you Selena but...]

"How about a game of chess instead?" Selena asked.

"Best two out of three?" Severus continued.

"And the winner takes on Lucius?" Selena finished.

"Sounds good to me." Lucius grinned.

Severus turned to look at his best friend. "Good. I know I can beat you this time. Both of you."

%%% MONDAY MORNING, THE GREAT HALL

The Great Hall was full of chattering students, breakfast in full swing, when the doors opened, admitting Selena, Severus, and Syrus. The Great Hall fell silent for a moment. In that moment, Draco decided to break the silence by saying, "Welcome back, Professor."

Severus looked in his direction. "Thank you, Mr. Malfoy."

The three Snapes continued their trek to the Head Table. Once they took their seats, Dumbledore turned to Severus. "I'm glad you decided to join us, Severus."

"Syrus and I wouldn't let him skip breakfast," Selena interjected before Severus could say anything.

"Thank you, Albus, and Selena-chan?"

"Hai, Sevi-kun?" [Yes, Sevi.]

"Hold your tongue."

"Now, Severus, be nice," Dumbledore said.

"Trust me, Albus. This is nice."

"Well, it's his approximation of nice."

"Omae wa korosu, Selena-chan." [I will kill you, Selena.]

End