Author's Note: This is the second to the last of all my Dark Prince stories and the first one to be told from someone else's point of view. I highly recommend you read my little known one-shot "Betrayal" because it is one of the inspirations for this story. Also, if anyone out there in FFN is an artist, please, please email me. I am dying for a picture of Snape as the Dark Prince. Please, I want to commission two pictures!! And so onward and upward.
"If however, he begets a son
Who sees all the sins, which his father has done
And considers but does not do likewise...
He shall not die for the inequity of his father-
He shall surely live."
Ezekiel 18: 14, 18b.
"Now brother will betray brother to death
And a father, his child;
And children will rise up against parents
And cause them to be put to death."
Mark 13: 12
Sins of the Father
Harry Potter tucked his knees under his chin and tried not make a sound. He rubbed swollen, red eyes and felt like if the world had suddenly come to bear on his thin, young shoulders. His entire body ached from the battle a few days ago. He wrapped his arms around his legs and gripped the fabric of his jeans. But his fingers still hurt from the tenderness. He felt another wave of exhaustion overcome him but he didn't want to close his eyes. If he closed his eyes the dreams would come again.
But he wanted desperately to sleep. He hadn't felt this cold since his fourth year. He hadn't experienced this mind numbing feeling of emptiness since Cedric Diggory's death. Then, he had been allowed to sleep.
This time was different.
He heard voices talking but he didn't want to look up and listen. He didn't want to hear the voices, or understand the meaning behind the hush words and stoic tones. He heard the voices and began, against his will, to match names and faces to them.
"Severus, I…" That was Sirius' voice.
Professor McGonagall's followed. "Not now Black, come on, not now."
Dumbledore's voice was somewhere father away. "Severus? Are you..."
"Alright?" Snape's voice, finally. "No, I don't believe I am."
Harry finally got the courage to lift his head. From his hideout under the table, he could only make out the hems of robes. He liked it under his table. Under there, there was no war, no terror, and no death. Under his table, he was safe. It reminded him of his cupboard. He saw black robes approach him. It wasn't unusual, everyone there was wearing black, but Harry knew whose black robes these belonged too.
Professor Severus Snape kneeled down and looked into his eyes. He watched Harry for a long time but didn't speak. Harry didn't squirm as he had so many times when Snape gave him looks because this look was different. And Harry could only wish for those old hateful looks now. Snape had an odd look in his eyes now, a sort of disbelieving look. But the look was patient and Harry swore there was a bit of tenderness in it. The feared Potions Master extended his hand to Harry.
"Coming out?" He asked in a tone Harry had never heard before. It was soft and infinitely patient.
Harry felt his throat go dry. He wanted to speak but knew if he did, his voice would break. He shook his head no.
Snape sighed wearily and gave him another look. This one was a bit more familiar, one of annoyance crossed with amusement.
Then, the Potions Master did something unexpected, he rose up and moved the table from over him. Now devoid of shelter, all Harry could do was look up at his teacher and wait.
Harry couldn't exactly place what he was waiting for. He wanted Snape to yell at him, to scream, rant and try and get him expelled. He wanted him to deduct points, insult him, order him to detention for the rest of his life or perhaps even physically hurt him. Anything. He just wanted him to do something.
Something to make this all go away. Something to jar him from this nightmare and bring him back to Hogwarts before all this happened. He wanted Snape to do something that reminded Harry that none of this was real. The events that ran over and over in his mind, didn't exist and that Harry would wake up and all this would be over.
And nobody would be dead.
Instead, the teacher sat down besides Harry and waited. He mimicked Harry, folding legs under his chin and wrapping his arms around them. He looked over at him and waited, saying nothing, doing nothing; just waiting for Harry to be ready.
It took Harry two long minutes before he was ready. Then, he allowed it. Harry allowed all the grief that had welled up inside him out and it came like water from a broken dam. He cried. It was the cry of anguish, despair drowned in regret. It was the cry of lost innocence and countless other things that could never be recovered. It was a cry only one who had been through it all before could comfort. And Snape did. Harry felt arms wrap around his shoulders, strong but thin arms that despite himself; Harry felt safe in. He felt them pulled him closer, heard Snape whisper something into his ear.
"It's not your fault, Harry."
"But it is!" Harry cried again. It was a broken cry, half-angry, half-tormented and it rang out crisply against the June night. But that's not right, Harry thought, it couldn't be June already. That meant the school year was over. That meant it had all been true.
That meant it was all real.
"No." Harry whispered. "This isn't right. It's all wrong…"
To when? To before all this happened, before June, before this all…
Rewind to when Kaiya stood, her eyes smiling but her voice concerned. "I forgot to tell you Harry, I'm Auror but more importantly; I'm your guardian. Listen…"
The Dark Prince is here but Harry isn't afraid. Dumbledore's there, and McGonagall, and Lupin and now, even Kaiya. No, he's not afraid now. Right now, he is safe.
And everyone is still alive…
No, too far back…
To when? To the beginning of his sixth year at Hogwarts, to where is at started…
Fast-forward to September 1st and the start of term banquet. Harry looking at the photograph of his father and the friend. Dumbledore is making announcements as always. Lupin is still the Defense against the Dark Arts teacher, Snape is back at Potions but there is still the face from last year. She's now called Alchemy, the new adjunct professor.
Somewhere a baby cries, and Dumbledore pauses just long enough for Alchemy to slip away. Harry notices both Lupin and Snape rise from their chairs, concerned but she shooed them back. They sit, begrudgingly, and begin to fiddle, Snape with his drink and Lupin with his fork.
No, that's not right either.
Where does it all begin?
It begins at the Leaky Cauldron, London. It begins with the man.
The man with the wine colored eyes and hair as dark as the night around him. It begins with the easy smile he gives Harry, with the hand he extends to him.
"Mr. Potter?" The man asked, giving his hand over. "My name is Mordred Eames and I have something that should belong to you."
"What is it?""It belonged to your father…"