I haven't updated this in a long time… I think I had a start of a chapter on a flashdrive and lost it… Damn muse was acting up too. I'm so tempted just to fastforward through their childhood, but I have to deal with Albus. I mean, really, so much interesting things are going to happen to that bastard.
Well, the bastard I made him into.
Well, here's a chapter. Hopefully I get this out quickly!
General: I have continued and updated! Ahahahaha!
Disclaimer: I do not own HP.
Raising the Saviors
Chapter 7: Apologies, Plots and Grief
Severus stared at them in surprise.
"James already asked for your forgiveness," Sirius said, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly. "He… Well he grew up before me. So I figure he's right about us being jerks and what not. Even when he was in hiding he was trying to figure out a way to ask it."
"You didn't really deserve our animosity. Even if James was, rather stupidly, trying to impress Lily." Severus snorted a bit at that.
"Lily thought he was a moron." Severus commented. "A cute one, but still an arrogant toerag who's moronic tendencies canceled that all out." He sighed a bit wistfully, the familiar fondness and loneliness returning as he remembered the redhead who'd been his best friend for eight years. "She used to go into such rants."
"She was good at those." Remus agreed. "She used to tell me off during our patrols after some of the pranks the Marauders got into."
"She dragged me around by the ear all through second year," Sirius muttered and the other two men couldn't help but chuckle in amusement at that. The laughter trailed off and an awkward silence returned between them. Remus fidgeted for a second before offering a hand.
"Will you forgive me? For, for sixth year…" Remus muttered. Severus blinked but took his hand easily.
"You were always more intelligent than the other three Remus," Severus said. "I never blamed you. Just became a bit more wary of the full moon." Sirius shuffled at that.
"I should apologize for that too Snape," Sirius said awkwardly, "I didn't actually think you'd go there on a full moon, what with you being a Slytherin and all that, since most magic folk don't go out on that night."
"Ah, but I was muggle-raised," Severus said coldly.
"Did not know that." Sirius muttered flushing. The other black haired man eyed him. "But... But I do apologize for that. I would never want anyone to die because of me." His shamed face loosened some of the resentment hovering in the Slytherin and he offered a brief nod.
"I'll forgive you for that, then," he said cordially. "We…" he grimaced, "We both may have gotten out of hand during school, especially our last few years. You have my apologies for that as well. I shouldn't have framed Potter for spiking your pumpkin juice and making you a girl during our seventh year."
"That was you?!" Remus said in surprise. "I always figured it was Peter."
"Please, Pettigrew had a noodle for a spine. Bastard was always sneaking around," Severus growled. "I had to hex him off a fourth year Slytherin when we were in six year when he didn't take no for an answer."
"Arsehole," the trio all muttered. Sirius snuck a look at the Potion Master as he leaned sleepily against the wall. He felt the guilt in is gut grow, tripling in size. He really didn't deserve to be forgiven. Severus Snape should have taken something out of his hide; he knew he would have if it had been him in his place. Taking a deep breath he made his offer.
"I want you to punch me in the face," Sirius said next rather seriously. Remus turned and gaped at his friend. Severus managed not to barely. Instead Severus stared at him, silently wondering if this was the infamous Black insanity surfacing, not that the Potion Master didn't already know the last scion of the Ancient and Noble House of Black wasn't insane but still….
"Punch you?" Severus repeated calmly, checking to see if he heard correctly.
"In the face," Sirius repeated with a firm nod. "I won't feel good about this until you do. I need to feel like I've made up for it. I want to."
"Sirius," Remus said and then stared in shock when Severus' fist suddenly planted itself powerfully across Sirius' left check. "SEVERUS!" The werewolf exclaimed in astonishment. The Potion Master merely rubbed his fist calmly, massaging out the aching knuckles.
"Never took you as a masochist, Black, but take it for face value next time I say you're forgiven," he said calmly. "Now... I'm going to bed. See you in the morning."
Alice bent over laughing, her hand smacking against the arm of the sofa as she tried to suppress her giggling fit.
"S-so you're saying you just up and did what he asked? Just punched him in the face?" She said wiping away the tears forming in her eyes. Augusta sat across from her daughter-in-law trying not to smirk herself as she watched the pleased smirk form on the Potion Master's face across from her.
"Yes, yes I did," Severus stated blandly, secretly enjoying the small amount of pain in his right hand as he gestured politely at the tea pot in a silent offer of tea to the two female Longbottoms.
"Please," Augusta said holding out the delicate bone china, "It's a way of settling things between you, I suppose. Blacks have always been one for revenge. They have never understood a victim demanding no recompense for wrongs given. He's raised Slytherin even if he was in Gryffindor." Severus snorted but didn't disagree.
"Anyway," Alice said, finally getting a hold of herself, her laughter petering out, "Tell us about the trials so far?" Augusta nodded. She took a sip of her tea before starting her tale.
"The House of Longbottom has pushed for trials under full Veritaserum on any known Deatheater or suspected supporter and sympathizer on their actions during the war, or previous to it. We've already dragged the remaining Lestrange into trial already, and he's been convicted to sentencing to life in prison at Azkaban with the full array of magic suppression cuffs and bindings. There were even calls to strip him of his magic and leave him in the Muggle world."
"Idiocy," Severus snorted, "did they think he would not continue his activities even without magic?"
"True, of course that idea came from some idiot name Fudge and a lackey known as Umbridge," Augusta said with a grimace. "Both are rather bigoted and clearly in the pocket of Malfoy. Of course, he was immediately implicated, or rather the Lord's heir was. Lucius Malfoy was immediately disowned, apparently his father is the belief that You-Know-Who is beneath their notice. The new heir to the Malfoy name is his young grandson Draco Malfoy." Severus nodded, having met Abraxas years ago when Lucius had first brought him to the man's attention.
"Lucius was a known recruiter, it is not surprising," Severus said, "He was the one who talked both Regulus Black and I into our descent and the clutches of the Dark Lord. I, fortunately, came to my senses and was able to cut ties. However, poor Regulus died after earning the Dark Lord's displeasure. He was in agreement that Muggle culture should be kept out of Wizarding existence, but was unable to handle all of the death and torture, not that I agreed with it either." He grimaced, "If it wasn't for the fact he was the favorite cousin of Bellatrix he would have…" The man broke off and both women glanced at him sympathetically. "The easiest sentencing would have been use as cannon fodder otherwise he might have been used as a play thing for the more vicious members. Many of the younger recruits, not caught up in the zeal, were looking for a way out but were stuck. I do not doubt they will be committing themselves to the Continent or the US after this with whatever wealth they can scrounge up from their families before fleeing."
"True," Augusta said, her animosity towards Severus had waned when she learned of his spy work over the past two years, as well as his staunch defense of the Potter scion and to the lesser extent Neville. He was a formidable young man, as well as quite intelligent. She could understand being lured by knowledge and power.
She continued, "The idiot we have as Chief Warlock, however, tried for easier sentencing. For some blasted reason he believed that it would fortuitous to delay proceedings. Blasted man is out of his barmy mind."
"Dumbledore is far too… I don't believe I know the word for it," Alice said, "Severus?"
"Battier than a belfry," Severus snorted, "The man has been clearly overdosing on some sort of sedative to believe the 'good' in people can come from a never ending series of second chances. Second chances come once." He was firm with this, "You take it like I did and do not repeat after you repent or you should be put down. Idiocy only breeds more idiocy."
"Well said," Augusta said. "We've labeled the Lestrange Family as an extinct family, stripping it of its nobility and have designated its remaining prodigy as Rabastan Betrayer. He'll have no standing as anyone ever again. The other trials, from those named under Veritaserum, will be happening in a week. Currently, all previously mentioned have been captured and placed in holding cells at Azkaban. The only one missing that we haven't been able to track down," she frowned in apology at this, "Is Peter Pettigrew." Severus nearly spat out his mouthful of liquid.
"Oh my," Alice said staring wide eyed. "Tha-that's not good."
"You bloody well better believe so!" Severus snarled snapping to his feet, "I'll need to inform the others. Please excuse me." Augusta nodded.
"I believe poor Peter Pettigrew messed with the wrong men." Alice said watching as the lanky man strode off, anger bubbling in her own blood.
"Couldn't happen to a worse man. Betraying someone like that, especially as a Secret Keeper!" Augusta snapped, "You have to have the intimate trust of the caster for such a thing to take!" Alice nodded grimly.
"He better hope I never get a hold of him," Alice muttered darkly.
"I don't believe anything will be left of that man if either of young Lord Potter's godfathers got a hold of him without the DMLE nearby."
Sirius glanced up in surprise when Severus slammed the door open to the shed he was currently in and claimed for his motorcycles. "Snape?" He asked in worry. He glanced around for Harry for a moment before remembering Frank and Remus had them for the afternoon, letting Alice and Severus enjoy a tea with Augusta.
"Is something wrong?" He asked. Severus' pale features answered yes as he nodded.
"Pettigrew has evaded capture," Severus bit out. Sirius straightened immediately, and dropped the towel he'd been using to clean one of his bike rims.
"That dirty rat," the man muttered. Sirius paced a bit before turning to face Severus once more. "Have you informed Remus yet?"
Severus shook his head, "He's with the children. I thought it would be better to do so tonight once they are a bed."
The Black Lord sighed with a nod and paused to think.
"How would he even escape capture, Black?" Severus asked when the silence got to him. "What kind of escape could he have taken?" Sirius froze.
"That dirty rat." He hissed out. Severus arched a brow.
"We've determined Pettigrew's character, I believe Black, something of new merit would be better serving at this junction." Severus stated dryly.
"No," Sirius replied grimly, "Peter Pettigrew was an animagus too."
The werewolf's head went up in surprise as Sirius jogged towards him, Frank and the boys, flailing his arms wildly to capture his attention.
"Oh boy," Frank muttered adjusting his hold on Neville with a chuckle, "I wonder what he's gotten himself into now?"
Remus kept from rolling his eyes, barely.
Sirius was rather dramatic.
He shifted Harry to a more comfortable spot on his hip and smiled fondly as Sirius finally, nearly tripping on the last few feet down, finally skidded to halt.
"Pa'foo'," Harry squealed excitedly and the dogfather, as Severus sneeringly named him the other day when he caught the man transforming into his large wolfdog form to give Harry 'doggy rides,' jerked his head around in excitement, overlaying the dismay on his features.
"Did he just call my name?"
"Pa'foo' and Mooey!" Harry giggled.
"Our boy is very smart," Remus confided not-so-secretly to Sirius as he swooped over and grabbed up Harry to twirl him around. Neither man had seen Harry much before the unfortunate night, Lily and James having to keep a low and unseen profile. Only Dumbledore and Peter had had any idea where they were, although even thinking about the rat made both sides of Remus' personality growl.
"Any news Sirius?" Frank finally asked, amusement coating his words, "You seemed to be a bit… Upset."
Sirius came to a sudden halt, pausing in the rather weird dance he had been doing with Harry a look of dread crossing his features.
Remus instantly frowned.
"What is it, Sirius?" He asked concerned.
He gray eyes met amber and he whispered.
Remus' breath hissed out in an angry growl.
"How dare he escape!"
"He's a self-serving, traitorous rat."
"After what he did to Lily and James! Betraying them!"
"He will get what he deserves."
"I would like to feed him to Moony!"
"It would give him indigestion. You wouldn't want to eat that mangy bastard, now would you? Calm yourself Black."
Sirius paused in his rant and turned to stare in disbelief at Severus who was keeping a firm hold on Remus' knee as the other man visibly tried to keep a hold of himself, his features flashing from a more feral look to his usual gentle visage.
"Now," Severus said, his voice forced into rationality and calm, Occlumency shields pulled to the forefront, "I want to know just how we are going to handle revealing Pettigrew's animagus' form."
"W-w…Well, we need to tell them what his shape is, as well as get me registered." Sirius admitted.
Severus arched a brow but didn't comment.
"And when they ask you why he's able to do such transformations?" Severus stated dryly.
"We'll tell them it was to assist me," Remus answered quietly.
"Moony!" Sirius exclaimed while Severus arched a brow.
"We need to Padfoot." Remus chided the Black Lord kindly. "We need to contact Amelia Bones or Moody. It's important that we get this information out. We need to capture Lily and James' betrayer so he can be punished properly."
Sirius' mouth flattened into a fierce, unyielding line and nodded.
"Then that is what we shall do."
"We have to find…a gray rat?" Amelia asked with an arched brow. Her promotion to Senior Auror along with her partner Moody had her handling more difficult and important cases, like catching Death Eaters. She wasn't like Crouch or Rufus who were hard in the arse about capturing dark wizards, but she was working for the betterment of her community and would settle for nothing but her best from herself.
"Peter Pettigrew is an animagus." Sirius' head said bobbing in the floo fire. She arched a brow. Sirius might be ten years younger than her and goofball, but she could tell when he was actually being serious and not 'Sirius.'
"How do you know this?" She asked narrowly.
He visibly fidgeted.
"James and I were animagus along with him to accompany Remus during the full moon to make the change easier on him." Her brows shot up as her mind instantly turned to what that little detail meant.
"Remus Lupin is a werewolf?" she asked in surprise. Sirius nodded.
"That is correct," Remus' voice said his head joining Black's in the floo.
"Mr. Lupin," she said calmly. He glanced at her wearily.
"I'm registered," he replied tiredly, "I did it the day I graduated." She narrowed her eyes at the connotations of such a statement but let it go.
"You are willing to submit a full description of Pettigrew's transformed shape?" She asked. "It will take some work," she stated uncertainly. They both nodded.
"Would you like memories as well?" Sirius asked seriously and she blinked before smiling.
"That would help a lot. Send it as soon as you can," she said, thinking about how she was going to arrest a rat let alone capture it. No doubt Pettigrew would attempt to set him up somewhere comfy and magical. She'd just have to draw him out some way… she just wasn't sure yet how.
Both men merely glanced at each exchanging some sort of silent conversation before Remus stated:
"Look for our owl."
While people were plotting how to find Peter Pettigrew, the slender rat animagus was scurrying through the undergrowth nervously. While he had been able to keep a low profile for the past few weeks, already the wear and tear of living in one's animal form was starting to get to him. It was a known fact that the longer you stayed in your animal form the like the animal you became. Already his eating habits were changing, and the last time he'd seen himself in the mirror his two front teeth had extended and slimmed, forming a similar shape to their rodent version.
He had to get somewhere magic was easy, the people were oblivious, and he could watch and wait and strike the heart of the light if it was ever required by his master or an Elite Death Eater.
After all… his dark mark was still there showing his master would return one day.
He just had to survive until then, and then hope the consequences of hiding himself instead of seeking his lord did not end in his death.
Juliet Crouch stared at her husband silently. For the past month since the reveal of her only child's true political leanings, his work with the Dark Lord, his attack on the Longbottom Manor and other deplorable actions, and his death she had spent it thinking.
Her only child was dead.
He had been driven from her side by her own husband's selfish self-serving overbearing personality. He had changed her son from the hard working determined to please sweet little boy she'd read to nightly to a murdering rapist who targeted children and defenseless women and men in their own homes.
She was sickened by it.
When her husband returned home the next night he was greeted by an elf with a divorce suit and she'd taken every single heirloom he'd gained by marrying her, along with her wealth and connections and left for the Swiss Alps to die quietly, alone but happier.
She never knew that by leaving him she was saving himself from the slow lead poisoning he'd been inflicting on her so he could finally have full control of the family fortune.
Bartimus Crouch Sr., after the scandal of his Deatheater son and his high-society wife walking out on him and his heavy handed methods being replaced by an even mannered one under the reign of Ameila Bones and Alastor Moody, was a broken man.
Rabastan Lestrange was sentenced to twenty-five years of heavy confinement in Azkaban Prison followed by Death via the Kiss or Veil of Death. He was placed in a magic restraining cell that had no windows and a small nearly non-existent cat flap where a small tray of food was shoved through. He sat against the wall, one armed chained to it and one free.
He was miserable.
He was cold.
He was seething.
Tormented images of his dead sibling and sister-in-law featured in his mind. They were terrifying images, and were accompanied by the torture he'd suffered whenever he displeased his lord. Fearful dreams and horrible memories plagued him, undoubtedly the work of the Dementors.
His sanity and voice broke and left behind cold-hot rage and wickedness.
The mark on his arm, though faded and indistinct, still existed.
He had no doubt his lord would return for his faithful.
He just had to bide his time.
And then, when he was free…
He'd get the traitor and his little boy too!
The deranged cackle from Lestrange's cell sent shivers down the guards' spines.
They were only fortunate that whatever broke in him, would never happen to them.
Harry didn't exactly know what was going on. However, he was happy. He played with Neville and watched his uncles happily, especially the new one that didn't turn into a doggy or try to throw him around, even if he did like being in the air.
The toddler pulled himself up unsteadily and inched around a bit using the couch before falling back on his bottom. He pouted a bit but was easily distracted when Uncle Sev's familiar hands appeared and scooped him up.
"Good boy, Harry," his new uncle's dark and smooth voice whispered in his ear. "I see you've been busy."
"Sev!" Harry squealed happily, his arms wrapping as much as they could around his neck and cuddling into the now comforting scent of wood smoke and citrus. Harry giggled when the man ran a soothing hand over his back, rubbing it and carrying him until his eyes started to sag and he felt sleepy.
"Go to sleep Harry," Uncle Sev murmured in his ear before starting to hum almost silently, the tone kind and relaxing. Harry sleepily nodded and soon dreamed of bright happy flowers, blocks of multiple colors and his favorite stuffed animal, Rory the Lion, playing with him.
He heard the thud of his uncle's heart under his ear and knew he was safe.
Severus settled Harry onto his cot next to his bed and sighed in relief. Knowing the little boy was safe and close by eased something in Severus' chest. He heard the door creek and glanced up to see Alice poking her head in.
"He asleep?" she asked softly and he nodded. "Come have tea?" she offered and he nodded again, following her out of the room, making sure to cast a small charm over the boy so it would notify the Potion Master if anything disturbed the toddler or if Harry needed him.
He followed Alice down to the small cozy seating area and slumped wearily into seat.
"How are you, Severus?" Alice queried after giving orders to an elf to fetch them a tray with tea and sandwiches. The black haired and obsidian eyed man glanced at her tiredly.
"I miss her," he admitted and Alice's eyes filled up.
"It isn't fair," she sniffed. Severus reached out a hand and she latched on to it, sobbing as they both went through the new ritual of sharing their grief over the mutual loss of their best friend.
Some nights they would share stories over the tea.
Others they would, one alone or together, always giving each other comfort.
Severus didn't know if Lupin or Black or even Frank did something similar but he knew they were all coping, badly.
It hurt to have missed the funeral
It hurt to know that such a vital part of their lives was missing.
Taking a deep breath and letting it out at night when none of the children could see was their way of letting go. Freeing the pain they hid inside.
At night the parents wept for the things they'd lost while by day the moved on.
Luckily, the open wound was ever so slowly being covered by scar tissue, baby talk, the sweet smell of toddlers, and the comfort of kind and dear friends who cried with you and told you even when it hurt everything eventually would numb and you would be able to look back on them fondly, wistfully.
Albus Dumbledore was in a snit.
The elderly wizard strode back and forth before his fireplace. 'Fawkes' watched this all, amused and pleased. Nothing like some comeuppance against this old bastard to make his decade, not that it happened often enough for Gellert. He'd have to settle for brief moments of satisfaction and his burning days where he was able to light Dumbledore's damnably long bear on fire 'accidentally.'
"My plans will not go astray," Dumbledore hissed angrily, only slightly aware that he was speaking without heed, "I will find Harry Potter and Neville Longbottom and manipulate them back under my banner and thumb."
He lifted two small silver pieces off of the fireplace mantle and stared at them intently. One of them was a delicate planet that looked similar to Saturn, its rings glittering prettily. The other was a small lion, proud and upright. Both of them had a small jewel at the center that glowed warmly.
They were illegal blood and magic monitors on both possible 'saviors.'
Having carefully extracted the blood from each babe, unbeknownst to their parents, he'd crafted these items through a mix of alchemy and dark magic. With each jewel carefully crafted to monitor the toddler's health he knew they were happy, healthy, and magically strong.
They also showed the amount of loyalty they felt towards him. Which was none.
Dumbledore scowled heavily and set them down carefully, though he was more in the mood to hurl them against the wall.
Somehow his plans were being foiled and his gems were escaping from his fingers. His throne was blackened and his power displaced. If he lost his authority over the Wizarding world, all that he had tirelessly worked for in the past hundred years would be for naught. The sacrifices he made of his family, of his unsuspecting lover, and of those who had followed him would mean he wasn't the light lord.
The Greater Good…
Was his after all.
Minerva penned yet another letter to Augusta begging her for an update on little Harry and Neville. While she devoured the rare mention of them in the newspapers her heart still had not slowed from the worried, fast pace it had continued at.
Her hand shook and she set the quill aside to take a long steady breath.
She pulled another sheet of parchment towards her and began to painstakingly write to each of the Potter godfathers and the Longbottoms. The mailward she'd been faced against was worrying, but she hoped against all hope that they'd write back soon. Carefully she penned:
Dear Mr. Lupin,
I know that this may seem abrupt, but I do hope that this letter reaches you. I have tried several times to get in touch with you to ask after Little Harry Potter's health. I know you may only see me as your former head of house, but I was close friends with Charlus and Dorea Potter before they passed on five years ago. I was, am still, exceedingly fond of all the Potters and had the pleasure of being one of the first to know of Lily Potter's pregnancy with the young toddler. I sincerely wish to know he is well and if there is anything I can do for you.
Anything, absolutely anything at all, please let me know.
Please, let me know how the bairn is,
Minerva sent the letter off with yet another owl and wept into her handkerchief.
She could only sincerely hope that her letter would get through, and patted her eyes before writing another letter to Alice Longbottom nee Smith.
Maybe this one would get through.
…I love myself and hate myself. I have finally updated though. I'm so sorry about this taking so long. I've had a hell of a time updating. I think I'm going to move into a slight time skip, maybe half a year or so after this. But I'm not positive yet. But since you've gotten an update, let me know what you think and any suggestions you might have!
Lots of love, y'all. Happy Turkey Day ahead of time too.