Chapter 3 – And the dead shall walk again
Previously on Platform 9 3/4
"Ron, what couldn't have you seen," Ginny asked her brother.
"What's a snape," Harry's daughter Lily asked.
"The great bat of the dungeon," Hugo explained to his cousin. "He was the meanest teacher at Hogwarts but he's dead, right Da?"
"What have you been telling our son, Ron?" Hermoine was more than a little exasperated with her husband. While it was true that Snape had been not the nicest man, he had ultimately given his life for the cause (or at least Lily's memory) and deserved at least a little respect. "Professor Snape died at the end of the war Hugo. I don't know who your father and Uncle Harry saw but it couldn't have been him."
Ron disagreed. "I'd recognize that greasy git anywhere, anytime. It was him."
"Not now 'Mione," Ginny interjected. It was an old argument between the couple that she really didn't need to hear again. "Are you two sure that you saw him?"
"I think so, unless Snape had a twin brother we don't know about," Harry said with a touch of worry in his voice. "He was with a woman who looked to be about our age."
Hermione latched on to Harry's comment and her mind went into overdrive. "That could explain it. Maybe Professor Snape had a squib for a brother. Keeping him hidden would have been the only way to keep him alive back then."
"And the squib had a magical child," Ron scoffed. "You're reaching a bit."
"It's less of a reach than Snape coming back from the dead," his wife shot back.
"Really? It's not like someone well versed in the Dark Arts hasn't done it before," the red-headed wizard pushed.
"Hold on you two," Harry said. "Ginny, I want you take the kids and Hermione for a surprise visit to the Burrow. Ron and I will tail our mystery man. Hopefully he hasn't gone to far."
Hermione shook her head. "Ginny, you take the children, maybe I can find something at the Ministry. Hugo, mind your manners while visiting your grandmother. No pranks this time."
"Ron, let's go," Harry said as they hurried towards the entrance to the muggle portion of Kings Cross.
As soon as the men were out of sight, Ginny heaved a sigh. "You're not going to the Ministry are you?"
"Of course not, Ginny."
"Mom," Hugo was shocked.
"I never said I was actually going to the Ministry Hugo," she explained. "I'm going to try to keep your dad and uncle from doing something they may regret."
"Why do I get the idea that you would have done well in Slytherin?"
Her sister-in-law grinned. "Maybe we're lucky I'm Muggleborn."
"Go on then, they should have enough of a head start by now."
Buffy and her husband had known there was a chance that in coming to the station themselves Severus would be outed. Earlier in the week it had been Dawn who had taken Minerva to Diagon Alley for her school supplies. Today they had taken the chance that the crowd would be large enough, and distracted enough, that they could pass unnoticed, just one more set of parents seeing a child off. As a bonus, unlike in Diagon Alley, virtually everyone not boarding the train was wearing Muggle-style clothing. There probably wasn't a person alive outside of his immediate family that ever seen Severus dressed as anything other than a wizard. So with Severus dressed in a casual, yet stylish dark gray jacket and tie, they had decided they would take the risk.
A few minutes after leaving the station, Buffy realized that they were being followed.
"Sev, someone is following us," she said as she leaned into her husband, gripping his hand a bit tighter
"I know. We've been followed since we left King's Cross."
"And you didn't think to mention it," she queried.
"I was waiting for you to notice," he smirked as she looked up.
"Are we going to skip the butterbeer?"
"No. I believe I know who is tracking us," Severus said.. "We might as well make it fairly easy for them so we will head to Allston's. I wouldn't want to overtax them. Yet."
"You have something in mind?"
He was silent for a moment as he considered his options. "Follow my lead. If I am correct about the identity of our shadows we will be safe enough. You may even get a chance for hero-baiting."
"I think it is time for Professor Snape to make a brief appearance."
Buffy was surprised at how quiet Allson's was. It was her favorite tavern since she discovered the yummy goodness that was butterbeer. It catered to the wizarding community but its décor was much nicer than the Leaky Cauldron. She made a point of stopping in whenever she visited London. Normally, the Friday lunch crowd would be arriving by now.
"Most wizards and witches take September first off from work, even the ones that weren't at the station seeing off their children." Severus responded to her quizzical look. "A simple privacy charm will suffice once they arrive."
She was about to ask for the identity of the mysterious they when the server came by to take their order.
"One butterbeer and a pumpkin juice to start with," Severus ordered from the girl as they were handed menus.
"That pumpkin juice had better be for you," his wife growled as she looked over the menu. Hmm, maybe a double order of bangers and mash.
"Hardly. You know that pumpkin juice is better for you in your condition."
Her jaw dropped. "You know?"
"Of course," he said. "And here they come."
The two aurors realized that they had been spotted the moment the entered Allson's. Since there was no longer any reason to hold back, they headed straight for the couple sitting towards the back of the common room. There was not doubt in either of their minds that Professor Snape was back from the dead.
"Mr. Potter, Mr. Weasley," Severus greeted them. "Is there a problem? You look as though you've both seen a ghost."