A/N: This starts out the same as "Always", and is the same up until Severus falls asleep. After that is when it changes. It will not have the same ending.


What to do now? It would be so easy to join her in death; I don't even have to think very hard to name the variety of ways. My wand would be easiest, with the same curse that killed her or one of the many others out there that can kill indirectly. Poison is another option; I should have something satisfactory in my stores. That is one of the benefits of being a Potions Master. There are other ways too, and yet I can't bring myself to do it. Suicide is the coward's way out, and I don't want her to think me a coward for all eternity. What happened to the boy? Potter's body was on the steps, easy to find. Her's is here, lying in front of the crib, but where is the boy? Is he actually alive under that wreckage?

Severus moved from his kneeling position by his dead love's body and proceeded to inspect the crib. It was half buried in rubble, and if the child had somehow managed to survive the curse, it would have been miraculous for him to survive being buried in rubble like that. Suddenly, he heard a weak cry, soft and hoarse, as though the voice had cried far too much.

"Help, Mummy, Daddy, help Hawwy! Hawwy owwie."

The child is actually alive, Severus thought incredulously, the rubble buried his cries enough that I couldn't hear them over my own. Distantly, Severus wondered why thoughts of the boy were enough to distract him from the crippling grief that threatened to overwhelm him, but at the moment he couldn't bring himself to care. He had a purpose, a focus, and he'd be damned if he let the boy die now.

Several moments were spent carefully clearing the rubble, ensuring that it didn't collapse further while he tried to free the child. As he worked he talked, trying to reassure the crying child.

"Hush little one, I'll have you out of there soon. Your mother and father aren't here anymore child, they've gone beyond the Veil. Hush child, I promise to get you out of there. I have no idea what to do with you afterwards, but I will find something. Hush child please, I need to focus."

All of this was said in the same low, even tone, and the silky baritone voice washed over Harry, making him feel safe. The man promised he was safe, and he wouldn't lie. Distantly, Harry wondered about his mummy and daddy, and why they weren't talking to him, but that didn't matter right now. He was tired and hungry, not to mention his head hurt, and the man's voice soothed him.

Soon, Severus cleared the last of the rubble away from the crib, and he looked into the wide, trusting eyes of Harry James Potter. Potter's clone, except for those eyes; Lily's eyes. Several bruises and scrapes, nothing severe, but he is probably hungry and I need to put some salve on that scar immediately.

Harry reached up to the strange man in black. He looked so sad; when he was sad, mummy always hugged him and he felt better. Maybe it would work for the strange man too.

"Up."

Severus reached down and picked up Harry, cradling him gently against his chest and ensuring that the boy didn't see his mother's body on the floor. Who's to say he won't remember this at some point? He doesn't need to see that.

Harry nestled his head comfortably against Severus's chest, sighing slightly. If it wasn't for his head hurting, he could go to sleep in the strange man's arms. He felt so safe. As if he had read his mind, the man put some strange stuff on his head, making the hurt go away.


A motorcycle roaring in the distance brought Severus back to his surroundings. He had been standing, who knows how long, watching Harry drift off to sleep, nestled in his arms. The motorcycle brought him back to his senses, and he unconsciously clutched the boy tighter. Whoever was coming for him would want to make the boy into some bloody savior, raising him like a pig for slaughter.

No, they won't take him from me. He's my last chance, the last part of Lily I have, and I'm not going to let him be used as I was, as a pawn in this pointless war.

Drawing his cloak tighter around his body and ensuring the boy was securely wrapped up, he disappeared, reappearing in his living room at Spinner's End. Only one knew where his home was, and he'd be far too busy to look for his errant spy tonight. Tomorrow, it would be too late.

He stumbled to the floor, his normally graceful landing hindered by his concentration on not waking Harry. He rose, looking at the child to ensure he still slept before moving to his sofa and collapsing onto it. He had to plan, had to focus…fake identities are easy enough to create…need to withdraw money from my muggle account at least…glamour that scar and our eyes, possibly our hair…

Slowly Severus's eyes closed, letting him sink into the sweet bliss of sleep for a few hours. His grip on Harry didn't loosen, nor did the boy's grip on his shirt relax. Even in sleep, they clung to each other. They were all each other had left.


Severus awoke an hour later to the sound of someone knocking on his door. The wards were keyed to his blood, and would only let someone enter if he wanted them to. He looked at the mirror, hanging by the door, which reflected the front porch. Albus Dumbledore stood outside his door, looking ridiculous in magenta robes with blue stars. He was humming to himself, but seemed somewhat worried.

No good will come from Dumbledore knowing my plans, Severus thought, rising from his seat on the couch. The movement woke Harry, who looked at his new guardian in slight confusion. He could sense that the man was tense, but he didn't know why.

"I'm going to transfigure a crib for you," Severus said softly, taking the child into his bedroom. Dumbledore knocked again, and Severus knew he was running out of time. He had five minutes to get Harry settled and answer the door. He could pretend he was decanting a potion in his lab and didn't hear the first knock.

Quickly, he transfigured a silver crib out of an old box. The bedding was green, a shade darker than Harry's eyes, and there was a small stuffed snake lying beside the green and silver pillow. Slytherin furnishings; Lily would kill me. He sat Harry down in the crib, watching as the boy immediately grabbed for the toy and hugged it close.

"Lie down and sleep now little one. Tomorrow will be here soon enough, and we will have much to do."

Harry yawned. He was really sleepy, and he trusted this strange man to help him. He was nice, like mummy and daddy. Maybe he knew where they were. Harry yawned again, laying his head down on the soft pillow and hugging his snake to his chest. After his nap he'd ask.

Severus covered Harry with a small green quilt he summoned from the attic. His mother had made it when he was small, and he recalled that it was warm and soft. He caught himself brushing the hair out of Harry's eyes and frowned. What am I doing? Before he could answer that question, Albus's third knock made him remember the deception he had to play. He cast spells, ensuring that he would know if Harry woke up, but Albus would be clueless.

As he went to open the door, Severus was grateful for the tears still on his cheeks; evidence of his apparent grief.

"Headmaster, what may I do for you?" Severus asked hoarsely, making sure that he looked the part the headmaster expected him to play. The grieving lover, even though Lily had never looked twice at him.

"Ah, Severus my boy, I need your help," Albus said, making no move to enter the house.

He's not planning on being here long, Severus mused before asking, "What do you want Albus? If it is to tell me of Lily's passing, I have already heard. The explosion was on the muggle news tonight. I went to Godric's Hollow myself and saw her dead body." More tears trickled down his cheeks. His grief for Lily was still strong, but it wasn't as all-encompassing as before. He had a purpose, to ensure that Lily's son was raised right, not treated like some bloody savior.

"Did you see Harry when you were there?" Dumbledore asked urgently. That was his whole point for visiting Severus. He needed to know if his spy had heard anything, if he had seen another Death Eater take Harry away.

"What would I care for Potter's brat?" Severus sneered. "I didn't see a child there, but as you know he wouldn't have been my concern. One of the others probably took him away after the Dark Lord fell." Severus knew that no others accompanied Voldemort that night. He was arrogant enough to believe he could get rid of the Potters on his own, and so had none of his followers accompany him. Dumbledore didn't know that, however, so it would be best to get him to focus on catching Death Eaters and questioning them. The charade would only last so long, but it would buy enough time for Severus to take Harry and flee.

"Do you know who was accompanying him?" Dumbledore asked, ignoring Severus's attitude at the moment. "Can you go and talk to some of them, see what they know?"

"No. No more. I am finished being a spy," Severus rasped, anger and grief mingling on his face. "I helped you because you promised to save her. Find yourself a new spy, and a new Potions Master. I quit."

"Now Severus…" Dumbledore began, but Severus cut him off.

"You will not convince me otherwise Albus. My decision has been made, now leave me be." He hadn't planned to add on the last part of his sentence, but his charm was going off, alerting him that Harry was waking up. He needed Dumbledore to leave so he could take care of Harry.

"Perhaps you will reconsider," Dumbledore said, turning to go. "I will come and visit again in a few weeks, and perhaps you will be more reasonable." With that, Dumbledore apparated away, going to the Ministry to discuss the capturing of the Death Eaters.

Severus let out a breath he hadn't realized he was holding before he closed the door and went to take care of Harry. After bathing and changing him, Severus put the boy in his transfigured crib once more.

He got ready for bed, considering aliases for them and where they could run to. Somewhere where Voldemort was nothing more than a name on the news, somewhere they wouldn't be recognized even without the glamor. With a small smile, Severus fell asleep, realizing the perfect place to go.


A/N: Well, we're they going? Guesses?