Chapter 1

Disclaimer: I own nothing. J.K. Rowling is the Queen of the world.

A/N: Well, I'm finally back after such a long wait. Breaks in my school work have finally allowed me to publish my second story. I hope you all enjoy this and I hope to post more soon. Without further ado, here is the first chapter.

As the floo fire went out, Severus Snape sighed heavily and moved for the door. He expected that Dumbledore would want to meet with him after the events at the Quidditch World Cup. Severus did not see the point of meeting as he was already aware of everything that the old man could tell him. Either way, something bad was coming.

Severus reached the Headmaster's office and impatiently spat the password. He seriously hoped the meeting wouldn't take up more than five minutes of his time so that he could return to his work. He pushed open the door and entered the office.

"Severus, it's good to see you. Please have a look at the paper on my desk. I'm afraid it's quite urgent." Severus swept past Dumbledore to look at the copy of the Daily Prophet that sat there on the old wooden desk.

DARK MARK APPEARS OVER QUIDDITCH WORLD CUP!

Rumors of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named Returning Spread Throughout the Wizarding World.

"Why show me what I already know?" Severus asked nonchalantly as he turned to face Dumbledore again.

"So the mark is becoming clearer again." It wasn't a question. "How serious is it?"

"How serious do you think it is?" He barked as he pulled up his sleeve to show the faint tattoo to the old man. "The sheer fact that it's even there is cause enough for concern." The tattoo on Severus' left arm had been non-existent for the last thirteen years. For it to be reappearing meant something awful was at hand.

"I suppose there is no denying it then." Dumbledore concluded. "It is very likely that Voldemort will return in the next year or so. We have to be ready."

"If that is all we have to talk about, then I'll just…" Severus started to leave.

"Wait Severus." The potions master stopped in his tracks. "Are you so eager to leave? I did not call you here to tell you about the return of Voldemort. I knew you knew about such things already." He held up an envelope. "This is why I asked you to come here."

"What is this?" Severus inquired as he took the envelope from the Headmaster.

"I'm afraid I am not the right person to tell you Severus. The answers you seek lie within that letter."

Severus opened the letter slowly. Damn the old man and his riddles, he thought as he began reading the letter.

Severus,

I know that if you are reading this, it means that James and I have been killed by Voldemort.

Severus stiffened. The letter was from Lily.

I want to start by saying how sorry I am for what happened between us. Leaving you was the hardest decision I have ever had to make. It was not the best option I had, but it was the one I assumed would keep me safe. When I found out that you went missing, I went straight to Dumbledore for help. He told me that I should marry James for my own safety. What I am about to tell you is the most important fact that this letter contains.

I did not marry James so I could keep myself safe. I was looking out for someone else as well. Sev, I was pregnant when I went to Dumbledore for help. I was pregnant with your child. When I told him this, he gave me an ultimatum. I could either pretend that the child was James' and lie to the Wizarding World, or I would be forced to terminate the pregnancy.

I opted to marry James of course. I could never think of harming our son. I cast numerous glamour charms on him after he was born. In doing so, I caused him to look exactly like James save for my eyes and nose. If our son is still alive, he should be fourteen now and hopefully at Hogwarts. I assume that he's been placed with Tuney and that worries me. I implore you to find our son. Should you wish to make contact with him, his name is…

Severus froze when he saw what lay on the next line. In Lily's perfect handwriting was the name that gave him the greatest shock of his life.

Harry James Potter.

Severus was astounded. He didn't want to believe it , but at the same time, he knew that it had to be true. He braced himself as he continued reading.

His legal name of course is Harry James Snape, but that fact can never be allowed to come to light. I am telling you this because you are the best hope that harry has for a family. I would never dream of having Harry stay with Tuney. She hates magic far too much for her house to be a safe environment, especially with that lump Dursley she married.

I truly hope that Harry has survived and that you will be there to care for him.

I really am sorry that you are not learning this until now, but I did try to explain myself to you before and well, we know how that turned out.

Severus was reminded of the fight he and Lily had immediately following his return. He had assumed that Potter was the father of her child and had accused her of cheating on him.

The important thing is that now you know and you have the opportunity that I will never have. Please find Harry and tell him the truth. Also, know that I truly regret what I did to and know that I will love you forever.

Yours Always,

Lily.

Severus set the letter down on the desk. For a few moments, he just stood there, frozen with shock. Potter, the boy he had despised and treated terribly for the last three years, was his… son.

"What are you playing at Dumbledore? Certainly this must be a joke."

"Severus, you should know me well enough to know that I rarely make jokes."

"But...How?" Severus managed to get out.

"Severus, I trust you know how these things work." The Headmaster replied slyly.

"That is not what I meant Dumbledore! Why was I never told?"

"Severus, you have to understand. Lily thought you were dead. We all did. There was no way we could be certain-"

"That I would return!?" Severus snapped. "You never thought to wait before having Lily marry someone else."

"She chose…" Albus tried to speak.

"She chose nothing old man! You gave her little choice in the matter. You knew she would never give up the child. If you had waited a little longer, I could have been with her. I could have protected her." He sank to his knees.

"Severus, you were a spy. If Voldemort knew that your son was the boy in Sybill's prophecy, you could very well have been killed and Lily and Harry would have died as well."

"But Lily died regardless. Besides, that is not the point. You let me believe that boy was Potter's son. I have treated him horribly because he looks so much like that bloody Gryffindor and now I find out that is all an illusion. I always wanted a family and you knew that. Why could you not have sent him to me after we knew the Dark Lord was gone?"

"I had to be sure he was truly gone, and look where we are now. You know very well what the mark on your arm is telling you. It's too dangerous for you to claim Harry now. You must continue to treat him as you always have."

"Then why show me the blasted letter in the first place?" Severus had all but lost his temper. "I just found out that the boy I have hated for the last three years is my son and you expect me to do nothing?"

"I'm afraid we simply cannot risk it. If Voldemort returns, you and Harry would be in grave danger. Eventually you can tell him, but there are more pressing matters at hand. We have the Triwizard Tournament to prepare for. You know full well that Igor Karkaroff is the Headmaster of Durmstrang now. Being the coward he is, he will likely be fretting about the Dark Mark. I want you to keep an eye on him. That is your highest priority. The business with Harry can wait until a safer time. Am I understood?"

Severus clenched his teeth and drew in a harsh breath. Who was Dumbledore to tell him that he wasn't allowed to claim his son? Still, even if he told Harry, what were the chances that he would even want Severus as a father? As much as he hated to admit it, the old man was right, for now.

"Understood." With that, Severus turned and left the office. He swept down to the dungeons and entered his private quarters. All he wanted was a drink. He uncorked a bottle of Ogden's Firewhiskey and poured himself a glass, which he downed quickly. The drink burned his throat on the way down.

Of all the things that could have happened this year, finding out that Harry Potter was his son was certainly near the bottom of his list. He angrily threw the glass into the fire and sunk into the chair at the corner of the room.

He was angry, angry at Lily, angry at Dumbledore for forcing Lily to marry Potter. Most of all, he was angry with himself. If he had just listened to Lily when she came to speak with him, things could have been different.

What was he supposed to do? Just ignore the fact that the boy was his flesh and blood. Students would be arriving in a little over a week and he would have to face his son sooner or later. In order to maintain his cover in case the Dark Lord returned, he would have to continue to treat the boy terribly. It was all that he could do, as Dumbledore forbade him from doing anything else. Making sure the school was safe during the Triwizard Tournament was his top priority after all.

Deciding that sleep was the best thing for him at the moment, Severus headed for his room in the hopes that he might actually get some rest.

So what did you all think? Let me know by reviewing. I appreciate reviews because they let me know that people are actually interested. So if there is something you like about the story, whether it be a plot event or a phrase I use, let me know. Also, I know that everyone does this, but I will accept constructive criticism. The only thing I cannot abide by is when people's stories are bashed. I wouldn't do it to someone else, so I wouldn't want them doing it to me. Anyways, I hope you like this chapter and that you will continue reading this story.

A.E.