It was a glorious, amazing, and terrifically wonderfully perfect day in the Wizarding World. The Dark Lord was gone (for real and forever this time), most his followers had been captured and were being tried for their crimes and best of all there were very few causalities to the 'side of light' as they were commonly called in all of the papers within the articles (all of them front page) that featured the triumph over the Dark Lord. Even two weeks afterwards the downfall of Voldemort the event was still being wildly celebrated. All of the schools had to postpone lessons for that first week after the battle just because of the magnitude of the celebrations.
If Muggles had noticed the first time that there was celebration of Voldemort's defeat they practically were smothered this time because every wizard and witch (minus the former death eaters) old enough to comprehend what had happened was celebrating. Fireworks were exploding and a multitude of parties were held in various locales all over Britain. The celebrations were not limited to the United Kingdom however. There were just as many parties held on all of the other continents. Most of them were not like the British ones that started in during the morning and didn't end until the next one but they were happening. The Ministry could hardly tell the people to stop all of the celebrations although, the New Prime Minister of Magic did make a public statement so that it could at least be shown that he had attempted to get people to tone it down. The various other branches of the magical government around the world were experiencing the same kind of thing as well. All the authorities around the world could only hope that this all-out celebrating didn't lead to a very necessary mass obliviation.
But even with the happiness that was pulsing in nearly tangible waves through every Wizarding community worldwide Severus Snape wasn't celebrating. He didn't go to the parties or the feasts. He wasn't invited to many of them just because of what he had been but even the ones that he was welcome to attend he did not. A lot of people simply assumed one of two things was the cause. One he was still sympathetic to the Death Eaters and thus mourned the loss of Voldemort. Or two that he was just completely anti-social for some reason that nobody knew and because of that he was to crabby to even think of attending any parties. That one actually held some merit though because he was in fact a very anti-social man. Part of that was because of the past but a lot of it was simply because he was just extremely introverted. He had always been an introverted person and that facet of his personality was made even stronger by playing his role to both Voldemort and then his father during the time when he had spent as a spy in Voldemort's camp.
It certainly wasn't the first one because he was in no way sad at all to see the reign of the Dark Lord come to an end. Far from it actually, he was just as happy, or perhaps even more so, as anyone else was that Voldemort was truly gone this time. There were many reasons for this but the one on the top of his personal list was that he could finally formalize his adoption as well as Harry's. He, Albus and Harry were already of family before then but to be safe they had needed to hide it from the world. But that was no longer the case now.
With all the excitement about the Dark Lord's demise, it had hardly been noticed, but Severus's last name had now officially changed to Snape-Dumbledore. Harry's was now Harry James Reimis Potter-Snape-Dumbledore. It was quite long but all the names were highly significant.
Many people, outside of the small circle that Severus considered family, wondered why with no need to hide the adoptions anymore as well as the removal of Voldemort, Severus wasn't celebrating like most people. That could be answered in three words. Harry was gone. After the battle and the celebrations that had occurred when he was finally awake after a three day nap Harry just disappeared. There was no letter or note, and absolutely no warning whatsoever. One day there was simply another empty bed in the infirmary.
It was only the people closest to him that knew that he was so deeply affected by Harry's sudden disappearance. Of course most of the students, and the world were not aware that he was truly missing with his whereabouts unknown and not just on a trip somewhere to avoid the surge of fame, worship and anger from a certain few that his recent battle with the Dark Lord would no doubt result in. Severus knew that even if they were aware that he was missing most would still think that he was faking the attachment that he had to the boy.
Quite a few of the people that had taken the position that Severus had adopted Harry to save face. A lot of people were not privy to the fact that Harry and Severus had bonded as they had and so they thought that he had adopted the by as a protection of sorts from the public scrutiny since he had once been a Death Eater. In the eyes of the public he was merely using the boy to save his own skin and that couldn't be further from the truth.
Ordinarily Severus would have nipped that kind of thinking in the bud immediately but now that his son was nowhere to be found he found that he truly didn't care what everyone else was thinking of him because it didn't matter. Nothing seemed to matter now that the child that had forced his way into his heart had vanished. Nothing could help him cope or even for a moment take his mind off of the pain that came with losing his son like this and after a while he just stopped doing much of anything. He even stopped brewing potions. What was at one point his coping mechanism was now useless and no longer enjoyable.
He rapidly became ill and he might have even died had the others not checked on him and found him lying in his bed almost catatonically. He spent most of his time these days watching his patronus glide about as he waved his wand. His patronus had changed since he had grown attached to the boy. Instead of the doe which for the longest time was the form that the glowing white spell manifested as, it was now a small dragon but if one was to look closer that would see that instead of scales the beast had small feathers around each of the four legs and from the top of the head and to the mid-back.
Severus couldn't help but remember the last day that he seen his boy.
Harry had been the worst as far as injuries went. They were hard pressed to save his life and for a while it truly seemed to be quite hopeless. But he had pulled through in the end and when he was allowed visitors he was practically drowned by his friends and oddly enough even his cousin came to visit the two of them seemly had come to an understanding at some point or perhaps it was that the battle was still fresh in their minds. War was one thing that could make a comrade out of a mortal enemy. On the outskirts of the group was his aunt. Even though she and the boy had come to an understanding the years of abuse were still in both of their minds and that relationship would require a lot of work. Severus, of course, was always the first there and the last to leave meaning that he left for about three hours and slept then if he could at all. That was one of the reasons that he felt guilty. He should have noticed that there was something wrong. He could have done something. He was sure of it. the boy wouldn't have left without reason he had been happy, so very happy, yet something had happen to make him feel the need to run and Severus had the sinking suspicion that somehow it was his own fault and it didn't matter if it had been indirect or directly the result was still the same.
Severus was pulled from his thoughts quite abruptly when Minerva, Albus, Sirius, Remus, Vanessa, and Poppy walked into his room. Had he had any room left in his mind, or the energy to spare, in order to care he would have been mad about the lack of privacy that he had these days. As it was though he only turned his face away they didn't need to see him like this. They shouldn't want to be here. He was depressing to himself so he could only imagine what they felt in his presence. This wasn't what he wanted. He was supposed to be strong and cope with this like an adult. He was supposed to be stoic and be able to put on an air of nonchalance as he pretended that he had no concern over the boy. Instead he was a useless mess who could barely summon the energy to wake up day after day.
He felt Poppy's magic come in a wave and drift over him but he kept his face turned and his eyes closed. When the medi-witch had done all she could, she left- reluctantly- since she had quite a few people that needed her in the Hospital Wing. But if Severus took a turn for the worse she knew that she would be called and that was the only reason that she was able to force herself leave her heartbroken colleague.
"Severus," Albus sighed sadly as he sat on the bed his legs stretched on top of the blankets. Then he pulled the lanky Slytherin towards him and situating him so that Severus's head was pillowed on his chest. The old wizard then proceeded to wrap his arms around the man and smiled faintly as one of Severus's arms hesitantly came up and wrapped around his torso. There was nothing more that he could do to help his son. Of course he too was utterly heartbroken that his grandson had vanished but he knew that whatever he was feeling was far less intense than what his son was feeling. This had totally broken Severus and rendered the man absolutely incapacitated, it had taken him into his current state of acute depression and consequently that had led to illness as well and that more than anything showed them all just how much Severus had come to love Harry.
Remus, Sirius, Minerva and Vanessa sat down providing strength in their silence. "I miss him so much," Severus said after a minute of silence his voice was muffled since he had turned his head so that it was pressed more into Albus's robes and away from everyone's eyes. His voice was also shaky and they could all tell that he was, just barely, holding back tears.
Albus had his arms around the lanky wizard already so he began to gently rub his back. That more than anything was what finally made Severus lose his control and cry. He was ashamed that he was doing so and that there were so many witnesses to his weakest moment but in the end he found that it didn't matter. "I miss him." He said again.
None of them had ever thought that there was something that could take the snarkiness out of Severus Snape and all of them wished that they had never seen it happen. It was heart wrenchingly sad that they could only sit here and provide what they hoped was at least a bit of comfort to the man and to one another. Nobody spoke simply because there was nothing to be said. They all missed Harry so much that it hurt and if they felt that way they really didn't want to know how Severus felt. They all hoped with every passing moment that the boy would come back to them so that everyone could be happy again.
Harry knew that it was wrong of him to leave like he had but he knew that it would be in the long run. He had always wanted things to be the best that they could for his family especially for the man that Harry had come to think of as his Papa.
He was so alone and afraid but he knew that he couldn't go back. He could never go back. Taking his phoenix form he flew away from where he was. It was really warm now that the summer months were here and he thought that it would be a good day to fly and to put a little more distance between himself and the only place that was and ever would be a home to him. But no matter how fast he flew he could not stop himself from remembering all of the events that had put him where he was.
Four months ago
"Harry it's nice to see you mate. How were your holidays?" Ron asked when he found his Harry.
"They were awesome." Harry said smiling happily. "But a whole lot of stuff happened and there is a lot that I have to tell you and Hermione."
As though summoned by the utterance of her name Hermione chose that moment to walk into the common room.
"Hello Ron. Hello Harry." She greeted them as she sat down next to them on the maroon sofa.
'Hey there Hermione," both of the boys said at the same time.
"Harry says that he has a whole lot to talk to us about." Ron told Hermione.
They both looked at their friend and waited for him to speak.
"Well you see…" Harry trailed not sure exactly how he was going to tell them everything. He had thought that he would have some time so he hadn't exactly thought of how he was say that Draco was his sort of friend, Voldemort's snake was their ally now and that he was slated for death unless they could find a way to remove the part of Voldemort's soul that was within him. Oh and he almost forgot the little tidbit of information concerning his cousin and his aunt's move into the castle that would be a lot of fun to explain.
As fate would have it the first thing, quite neatly, took care of itself. There was a knock on the portrait and when the door swung open it revealed a platinum blond boy who was practically over the moon about something. "Harry did you hear the good news yet?" Harry didn't get to hear this good news was because at the moment that Draco came through both Ron and Hermione stood and that was when Draco noticed them.
Showing courage usually found only in Gryffindors the Slytherin boy stood his ground. "Hello there Miss Granger. It's very nice to see you again Mr. Weasley. Did both of you enjoy your winter holidays?"
Both of the Gryffindor's in question looked very shocked. Who was this boy and what did he do with Draco. "They aren't royalty Draco," Harry laughed when Draco finished speaking.
"Well how was else I supposed to greet them?' Draco asked. "It's not like I can call them by first name without one, if I was lucky, or both of them punching me and you were the one that told me that I couldn't insult them so I had no choice in the matter."
Harry ruffled the boy's platinum blond hair and Draco pretended to be mad at him.
"Guys Draco is… different now." At the twin looks of incredulity that he received he looked around to be sure that there was nobody there to overhear and then he launched into the tale giving the more important details about what had happened during Christmas starting with how Draco had proved that he wasn't a big a prat as he had seemed and ending with how he had seen his cousin and got adopted. He left out a few bits that he didn't have the right to share. One of those bits was the part about Draco being an animagus and it came as a surprise when Draco showed Ron and Hermione of his own accord.
It was only then that Harry realized that his Ron and Hermione's auras were different. After they knew that Draco had an animagus form they showed him that they had been practicing hard over the break. Ron was a lion he had red fur and oddly enough looked kind of like Simba from The Lion King or the bits of it that Harry had seen from the stairs a lifetime ago on Privet drive. Hermione turned out to be a Snowy owl. She was a bit smaller than Hedwig and a tiny bit darker but she was very pretty.
There was an overwhelming urge to put them into second form but he was able to resist. He would consult his Papa about it soon.
"So," He said once everyone was human again, "What was the news that you had come to deliver?"
"Vanessa's sons are going to study with us for a while. They will only take some classes but they are going to hang around."
That of course led to an explanation of Vanessa since Harry hadn't said anything about her yet.
A week or so later there was a trip to Hogsmede scheduled. Normally it was reserved for Third years and beyond but some of the second years got to go as well. Harry was restricted to the castle though because leaving the castle was too dangerous for him at the moment and with some classes canceled because the professors had gone to watch over the students Harry was left a bit bored.
Eventually he ended up going to see how the Dursley's were fairing. There had been terms that had been set for them in the castle. Harry's request that day, was that they were to be confined to their room when not being escorted by someone that he trusted. Failure to comply with the term would be met with severe consequence.
Part of him wanted to see how they were and another part was wondering if they felt different here since there was magic all around them. There was still no news on what it meant to have a Dark core and frankly Harry was curious.
It was quite fortunate that he did decide to visit because it was there that he discovered that there might very well be a way for Vanessa and himself to survive the fight with Voldemort. Harry was plenty excited when he discovered.
Luckily it was later in the day and all of the students and professors were back from the field trip. Harry had run down to the dungeon barely able to contain his excitement. Somehow he had managed to keep what he had found out a secret and he had told his Papa that he needed to gather everyone so that he could relay what he had found.
That was how twenty minute later found Albus, Severus, Remus, Sirius, Minerva, and Vanessa in the Headmaster's room. The room was shielded with charms so that no one would be able to eavesdrop on the conversation.
"I think I found out how we can remove the pieces of Voldy's soul from me and Nessa."
"Pray tell how you discovered this," said Severus. He wasn't mad or anything it was just that he had been searching for the answer with no success and he was a skeptic by nature there was nothing that he could do about that.
"Well I had went to check on Dudley and somehow we got to comparing Muggle and Magical Fairytales just to see if there were any that might overlap in some way. He seems to really like magic now that his other parent isn't around to discourage it." Harry said almost as though he was speaking to himself. "Anyway he brought up the story of Humpty Dumpty," At the looks he received his shook his head. "That's not the important bit. The thing is in response I told him The Wizard and the Mouse." He got blank stares again.
"A few months ago a children's book came out," at this he refused to look up. He knew that he was too old for children's books. "It is about a lonely young wizard. One day he meets a mouse and he and the mouse become best friends. But then one day an evil wizard comes and tricks the nice wizard into splitting up his soul. Then the evil wizard hid the pieces around the world. The mouse was very sad because her friend wasn't himself without his soul and so she did the only thing it could. Piece by piece the mouse put the nice wizard's soul back into him. When the nice wizard was all back together he turned the mouse into a person and they lived out the rest of their days together. Does the 'splitting of the soul' bit sound familiar to anyone?"
"It sounds sort of like horcruxes with the exception of the fact that no one was killed in order to make them," Remus said as he caught on.
"That's what I thought as well," Harry said nodding. "Most fairytale contain at least a grain of truth to show the moral of the story. This one was written so recently too so I wonder if we can find the author and ask him where he got the idea for this story. He wrote it under a pen name and he hasn't published anything since or before that story so he's kind of hard to track down since he's not that popular."
"It's the only lead that has been found so I supposed that we shall investigate and see where it leads us." Dumbledore said. Turning to Harry he asked, "Do you have the book with you at this time?"
"Yes it's in my bag," Harry said then he went to go get it.
The cover was quite nice. It had a tall wizard that was perhaps middle age and he had on dark blue robes. He was smiling as a mouse with silver-white fur that scurried from one of his shoulders to the other. Underneath the picture in a flowing script was the title. The slightly smaller was the pen name of the author which was Solin.
A few days later, after using a few connections in places that some would probably not expect a headmaster of a magic school to have connections, Dumbledore found that Solin was really a young wizard named John Ravensong. The man had indeed only written and published this one book in his lifetime. In his everyday life he ran a small bookstore in Diagon Alley. He lived in the room atop the shop.
After classes were out Severus, Harry, and Albus went to the shop. Harry because it concerned him the most out of everyone, Severus because there was no way in the world that he was letting his son go anywhere without him when there was the slightest chance of danger. Albus because the two of them were trouble magnets and there was no way that he was going to let their combined bad luck doom them and the entire Wizarding world.
Unknown to the three of them they were being followed. A very red phoenix and a snowy white owl were on the lookout. All of the men had bad luck and they were not letting their pets go anywhere that was this dangerous without being there to back them up if needed.
When they got to the shop they saw that it was empty and that there was no one other than the man behind the counter. "Can I help you?" he said politely. All of them were disguised and had been since the start of their commute. With a swish and flick of Albus's wand the disguises vanished.
The man's brown eyes widened in understanding and he hurried to lock the door to the shop and sealed the door by activating the spell on it. Then he hurried with his guests to the room above. He pulled the curtains shut and allowed Albus to shield the room. He would have done it himself but he wanted to be sure that they knew that he was locking everyone else out and not locking them in. the last thing he needed was for any of them to think that he was in league with Voldemort.
Once that was done they all sat in chairs and the three wizards got a good look at their host. He was dark haired and about average height. His robes looked to be second hand or at least quite old but they were well maintained and he looked quite pleased to have them here.
"I'm so happy that it work." He started as he served them tea (which was discreetly checked with a spell just in case). "I had no idea if it would work she said it would but I didn't know if it would bust she told me that it would so I should have known."
At the looks that he was getting from them he blushed. "I'm sorry I was so excited that I forgot my manners. I am John Ravensong. You see it was my mother's dying wish that I write a book based on a story that has been passed done in my family for many generations. My mother was a seer and her last vision was about the need for the book to be written. I'm guessing that all of you are familiar with the version that I made for the children's book yes."
All three of them nodded.
I changed some of t from the true story because my mother said that should I place the story in its entirety upon the pages of a book it would only brig great danger to instead I edited it so that I could make a children's story out of it."
"I think we all want to know how the real version of events go but first would you mind answering so questions under the veritaserum potion. You understand that we have to be sure of your intentions in this dangerous time." Severus said.
"Of course," John agreed. "I am surprised that you have waited this long. I have nothing to hide and if you want I will tell the story as I know it under the effects of the serum."
After the potion had been administered and the things that John had said before were validated he launched into the tale.
"The start of the story in the book I fairly accurate. There was a wizard and there was a mouse who became good friends. There was also a dark wizard that practiced forbidden magic. In the story the good wizard was forced to split his soul but that was not exactly how it happened. The good wizard made horcruxes. The bad wizard had tricked him. Every time that a new one was made the bad wizard obliviated the good wizard. In this way he made the good wizard split his soul and did not remember the deaths associated with it. The bad wizard was attempting to see how many times the soul could be split and still left the person alive."
"The big part of the story that went untold in the book was about the mouse's hunt to restore her friend to his previous self. The horcruxes had been hidden but once she had found one it led her to the others. But in the end though she had gathered all the pieces of the soul she had no idea how to put her friend back together. In the storybook, once all the parts of the soul were in the same place the wizard who had gone cationic due to the all the times that his soul had been sliced, he woke up repaired with no ill effects. In reality it was far more difficult."
"The mouse had gathered all of the pieces of soul and had no idea what she could do after that. It was only then that a strange woman turned up at the residence of the good wizard. The woman was known as Darkor. Or as the witch that is not a witch. By her side was a small girl. The girl was an orphan that Darkor had adopted as her own child and raised. They had traveled for a year before Darkor found that the little girl was a seer and a powerful one at that. She traveled with the girl always moving lest someone try to take her because a true seer was rare even then."
The mouse knew nothing of this but there was a feeling of deep trust that was there the instant that the mouse lay eyes upon Darkor and her female companion. "Will you help me?" the mouse asked the two of them."
The girl nodded and picked up the mouse. Together the two of them channeled magic and desire into the witch who was not a witch and with the shared goal in mind they were able to restore the wizard.
"But what of the mouse. Did she really turn into a human?" Harry asked.
"Yes. She was what could be called a reverse animagi. Her spirit had grown so strong that she was able to sustain a human like form although at times of distress she returned to her original form."
"You also said that they had channeled the magic through Darkor. What exactly did you mean by that?"
"Her core was dark. It had no magic of its own but when it was infused with another's magic then it made the magic more powerful and if her will and the will of the magic aligned there was nothing that was impossible for her."
"How do you know that this is true?"
"It is my history. I am a decedent of Darkor. I too have a dork core just as she mother was a decedent of her companion. The woman that I call my mother was not the woman that gave birth to me. During the War my birth parents were killed and she took me in and raised me as her own. When I was older she told me the story for the first time."
"How is a dark core passed down?" Albus asked. "Does it occur spontaneously or is it genetic?"
"Females can pass it to male children and fathers can pass it to female children."
"Do you know of any other people with a dark core?" Harry asked.
"No I had always assumed that I was the only one with a core like this since I have no siblings. If there are more than me alone then I have never encountered them. It was said that Darkor spent most of her life trying to find others with the same kind of core that she had and she didn't succeed. I traced back my gene map a while ago and I fear that I am the only one that has a core like mine since all of my biological family that could have inherited a core like mine are deceased."
All three of the other wizards look at one another. It couldn't be that Petunia was related to this man somehow. That would be far too convenient to happen in reality. But even better was that this man had lived with a dark core his whole life so he would be able to teach Petunia and Dudley about them. Also now there was hope that they could remove the horcrux from Harry and the one from Vanessa without having to kill either of them.
After the serum had ran its course Albus told John that he would be in contact with him later. With that they left heading back to the school to share what they had learned with the rest of the team.
They were still a long way away from having a functional plan but the start of one was forming and with the newly acquired information there seemed to be a light at the end of the tunnel that would involve all of them being alive at the end of the battle.
It was the weekend and for the first time that week Harry went down to dungeon. He was sad that he was going to have to get used to only being in his room on the weekends again but he wasn't complaining.
He had just finished his homework when a thought came to mind. He got up from the table and went to the door that led to Severus's room. He had long ago learned the lesson that he was allowed to knock on the door if he needed to talk to his Papa but it was still hard to do so. But he was brave so he took a breath and knocked.
"Yes?" He heard the voice call out.
He opened the door and found Severus on was on his bed reading one of the texts that Harry had given him for Christmas.
"There was something that I have been wanting to talk to you about." Harry said.
Severus marked the page he was on, closed the book, and patted the bed.
Harry took the invitation and climbed into the bed and faced his Papa. "You know that Draco is an animagus? Severus nodded and gestured for him to continue. "Well Hermione and Ron are too and so I was wondering if I should lead them all to their second forms or if it would be better to wait."
Severus really considered. In the ideal world it would be better if they waited because he could just imagine all the havoc that those kids would cause if their second forms were as destructive as say his own was. But on the other hand a war was coming and if any of them forms that would be helpful had he would never know if they didn't know what their forms were. So he decided to compromise.
"Why not wait for a while. Then we can decide if they are strong enough to handle it. If they are we will sit down and have a talk with them to be sure of what they want. How does that sound? He asked.
"That's a good idea. I'm glad I asked you."
The next two and a half months passed quickly in some ways and slowly in others. School was fun and they were getting into more challenging magic. Naga and Negi were in the classes now and they hung out with Harry, Hermione, Ron and Draco. Ron and Hermione were reluctant to accept Draco into the group but when they saw how the rest of the Slytherins had begun to shun him they figured that he must have done something right.
The weekends were mostly spent with Severus and sometimes if the man was in a good mood, which seemed to be more often nowadays. Harry would bring one or two of his friends over and they would have a mini sleep over in his room.
Harry visited with his aunt and cousin sometimes too and now that he was in an environment where he held the power he wasn't as scared anymore. Even better was the fact that the power didn't matter. They were nicer now. Not that it was a complete one eighty or anything but it was better and if their attitudes stayed like this then the mending that had begun might very well continue. It was a nice thought to think that he would be able to get along with his blood relations. He knew that they would play a part in defeating the snake-faced demon that called himself Voldemort. But they hadn't been told of the dark core yet.
The thing that made it feel so slow was the fact that the battle was right around the corner. It could happen at any time. There would be hardly any warning and there were an untold number of things that would affect how the battle would play out.
Then finally as April started the War that they were dreading finally broke out. Voldemort had finally decided that he had enough followers to storm the castle and kill Dumbledore and Harry Potter. Once the two of them were dead the spirits of the fighters would be lost and then he would be free to finish what he had started more than twelve long years ago.
Dumbledore and the group had not been idle. They had called in Aurors to protect the school and John had come to lend a hand in whatever he could as well as meet the others who like him had a dark core. Harry had been taught how to better control his magic because the plan that they had made truly rested on his shoulders. Harry in turn had led Draco, Hermione, and Ron into their second forms. They had made all the preparations that they could and would only have one shot that to implement the plan that they had come up with.
It was night when the first Death Eater was spotted and in less than five minutes the battle was in full swing. Spells were being thrown quickly every which way. If not for the screams it would have looked like a party with dozens of fireworks.
In the thick of the fray was Dumbledore and Voldemort.
"It's been a long time Tom."
Voldemort growled. "That is not my name anymore."
"It's that a pity I always liked that name better. 'Tom' was such a strong name. But look at you now. Pale and as frail as the day you were born."
"I'll show you what true strength is you senile old fool! Avada Kedavra!"
The battle was on.
On the other side of the courtyard protected by a group of aurors was a Freya. If any of the Death Eaters got through they would taste her venom.
Behind her were a bat, a lion, a wolf, a dog, a cat, an owl, and a dragon all in a circle. Nessa was in her snake form she was inside the circle. They were generating magical energy and feeding it into John. John was in turn feeding the amplified energy into Harry. Harry would be pushing the incredible amount of magical energy out though Petunia and Dudley. Once the pressure was high enough they all of the animals in the circle changed into their higher forms and with a scream Harry pushed all the magic through the two conduits.
There were two magical beams that shot forth. They encompassed every color on the spectrum and were mesmerizing to look at. One of the beams flowed like a missile straight to Voldemort. The thing that was once Tom Riddle screamed. In that beam the one piece of the soul that had existed in Vanessa combined with the larger whole. The other beam had circled the battle field before it to made contact with the Dark Lord reuniting with the other pieces. This one was also infused with feelings and memories. Every hurt that Voldemort had ever caused to the ones that had generated the energy. It was the story of lost parents, lost loves, stolen futures, slain family, and fears of what would be all wrapped up in a compact package. The defining emotion there though was of course love. They were all doing this for love in someone. To protect their friends and family and to be sure that nobody else would suffer the pain and the hurt that they had went through because of a young boy's lust for power and revenge.
Voldemort's soul was already unstable and when the two other pieces came back and tried to reintegrate themselves he had cried out in pain and dropped his wand. When the second beam made contact with him he did something that he had not done in the longest time.
He shed tears.
With more than half of his soul returned to him he could feel all the things that he had spilt his soul in order to banish. With a horrid cry that was like nothing that anyone had ever heard the man that was no more than a frightened boy that had made himself a monster collapsed.
Dumbledore went to him. "Tom," he said shakily. The man had done a lot of damage but there was once a boy and he, Dumbledore, had failed him.
Tom looked at his old mentor and with one last labored breath he pushed out the word "No," and after than whispery word the monster that had brought such calamity and pain to the world breathed no more.
Once Voldemort was dead the battle was quickly wrapped up. With their King's demise the Death Eaters and their comrades either ran or were captured by the aurors.
But this went unnoticed at least by Severus for he was cradling Harry in his arms. The boy had passed out the instant that he had pushed the beams of energy through Petunia and Dudley. His breathing was slow and he felt as though he was running a fever. "Harry. You have to hang on. Please for me."
He was in the Hospital Wing for a long while. It had hurt having all that magic gather within him and he could still feel the aftershocks of being the vessel for the magic that strong. But he would do it again if he had to because it rid the world of a psychopath and that was worth any price to him.
The first time that he had woke was only for mere moments and when he heard that everyone was fine drifted back into unconsciousness.
The second time he woke Severus was not there. The Wing was very quiet since it was in the middle of the night and he could hear people talking.
"I wish he would just disappear."
"Yeah I agree with you. Have you seen Snape lately? Since Potter's been sucking up to him he's become soft as a marshmallow."
"I know what you mean. But don't speak so loud Potter has a lot of allies now that he has saved us all again." Sneered the voice.
The voices disappeared and Harry lie awake afraid that if he slept he would have nightmares. The next day when Severus came in Harry took in the man's haggard appearance. The boys had been right. He was making Snape soft. Before when he had been nothing more than a thorn in the man's side this amount of worry would never have happened. The more he looked around the more it was true. Everyone was so worried about him. Even some of the others that were hurt cared less for their own injuries in favor of caring about Harry's.
That was when he had decided that he would leave. It would be better for everyone. Sure they would care at first but after a little while they would forget him and then they would all be happy again after all they had one another so everything would be fine.
Anyway now he wouldn't have to find out if it was all just pretend. He had done what he was destined to do now there was no need for them to treat him well. No that he no longer stood between Voldemort and the world he did not matter. He was no longer important.
Draco was worried. In fact all of Harry' friends were worried. Harry had been gone for so long and he hadn't even taken Hedwig or Silver. That was how they knew that it was a lie that he had been sent away to avoid the rush of reporters that would come to get the inside scoop on what had happened.
Then Snape stopped coming to class. That was another indictor. Snape's favorite past time was torturing the students with grueling potions work so it was unlike him to miss classes. When Snape hadn't taught for more than a week the worry grew.
Eventually they were all brought into the loop. They were told that Harry had ran away and that Severus was very ill and that it wasn't looking as though he would be getting better anytime soon.
More days passed and now congregating in Severus's rooms had become a ritual. The man was beyond help. Once they had seen that he wouldn't last much longer they decided that they should be with him as much as was possible. So it was that every afternoon after classes they were down in the dungeons with Severus.
The man was rail thin on a good day and was positively skeletal now. He was pale as a ghost and the only way to see that he was still among the living was to take his pulse because the man was hardly breathing.
One day as they were congregated in the room the man in the bed opened his eyes and began to breathe hard. "He's coming back!" he whispered breathlessly "I can feel him. He's coming!" he said as he struggled to free himself from the sheets on the bed.
Most of the professors were torn between wanting to believe and thinking that Severus had finally lost his marbles. All thought was pushed aside though as some of them went to help Severus. The man had lain so long that he was hardly able to stand and he most surely would have fallen on his face had Sirius not helped him stay upright.
When Sirius tried to put the man back in the bed the Slytherin growled. "Get me outside you mangy mutt!"
Sirius laughed. That was the Snape he knew. He never in his life thought that he would be happy to be called a 'mangy mutt' by Severus of all people.
"Hush up you brainless bat," Sirius retorted but he still helped him up taking nearly all of the man's wait upon himself.
"Who are you calling brainless?" Snape asked angrily.
"If you need to ask you prove my point." The man replied.
Severus growled again. Everyone laughed. It was relieved laughter. If Severus was insulting people Harry had to be coming back.
Soon they were outside. It was a warm day and the sun was still up turning the sky a pleasant red-orange. But none of them were paying attention to that because right in front of them was a boy. His clothes were ragged and he was in need of a haircut. But more importantly his green eyes were looking at them with a mixture of emotion present in them.
Snape didn't wait for the boy to speak. He would care about everything else later but right now all that matter was that his boy was back. With a push he broke Sirius's hold on him which had gone lax as he took in his godson. Stumbling more than walking he made his way over to the boy as fast as he could. He practically fell on top of the boy as he hugged him with all the strength that he could force into his arms.
Harry was stunned he had not expected this to happen. He had not expected his Papa to look so frail either. Was that his fault? He had the sinking feeling that it was. But if that was true why was Severus so happy to see him if he had caused this much pain to him.
"You are never doing this again. You're grounded forever. End of story." The man said as he hugged his son.
"You'll take me back? After I did all this to you you'll take me back and still love me?"
"You silly boy how could I do anything else." With that he removed his wand. "Expecto Patronum," he said quietly and his dragon galloped out and ran around them three times before disappearing. "You are my reason now and… I love you, you silly brat."
"Expecto Patronum," Harry whispered and a huge winged basilisk emerged from the tip of his wand.
"Do I even want to know why you know how to do that spell?" Severus asked.
"Probably not. But you might be interested to know that before it used to be a stag."
"You're still grounded forever," Severus said as the others began to come closer. He saw the boy smile and just knew there was trouble to come in the future.
Epilogue 12 years later
Try as he might not eve Severus Snape was able to ground Harry Potter for the rest of his life. He succeed in doing it for about a year in a half though so he felt like he hadn't done badly for himself.
Sometimes he wished that he had been successful because if he was he wouldn't be going to this house of horrors.
"Come now Sevy is it really that bad,"
"Yes Vanessa it really is that bad."
"Don't mind him dear he really is happy he just shows it like this," said Dumbledore as he appeared out of thin air with Minerva two seconds behind him.
"I know. He really is a sweetheart." Vanessa smiled. She and Severus had been together for quite a while now and she knew that he was really as sweet as sugar if you could get pass the façade of ice that he like to portray.
"Ugh did she call him a sweetheart? I think I'm gonna be sick." Sirius complained as he and Lupin arrived.
Before a spat could break out Dumbledore said, "Since we are all here I guess we should go in."
When the door opened three kids ran to Severus. "Grandpa!" they shouted. Harry's kids absolutely adored Severus and though he never said it in so many words everyone knew that Severus loved them and he just pretended that he didn't like visiting.
When he was able to shove the little monsters off on his father he went to the kitchen where Harry was icing the cake that he had baked.
"Looks good." He told his son.
"It should since it's your cake. Happy birthday."
"You really don't have to make a cake every year you know. You could order one."
"Nope cause you won't eat it unless I make it."
"That's the point." Severus muttered. Harry only laughed and picked up the cake so that he could place it on the table.
"Come on everyone it's time to sing!"
Severus groaned. He hated the singing.
A/n That's the end. El Fin. Done. There.
Oh my God this was long. But I loved it. I got stuck so many times but the thought of all the people that were waiting for me to update spurred me on. What else do I say at the end of this massive thing? Umm… thanks for all the reviews favorites and follows. Sorry I took long to update. Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed this chapter. If there is a question about the story feel free to ask it. I have a few things that I think will be asked but I won't type them out I'll wait for people to ask. sorry I didn't mention a lot of the other characters but it is such a lot here so that's my reasoning. Umm… that's all I guess. Thanks for reading. Bye.