Two days later, while Severus was finishing brewing the potions from the list he'd gotten from Poppy, there was a scratching on the window in the classroom Bobbie was helping to restore. She noticed an owl outside and let it in. It flew to the first desk in the row and held out its leg to show a letter that was tied up on it. Bobbie untied it and noticed it was for her. She thought that she needed to make a habit of keeping some owl treats inside her pocket at all times. Severus was probably going to kill her, but she went to the storage room for ingredients and found a glass container full of mealworms and fed some of them to the bird before letting it back out of the window.
She unfolded the letter and saw that it was from Harry. He asked her to go over the newspaper article they had written up and let him know if it was okay. Bobbie went to the teachers chair and sat down to read it.
Harry Potter: 'Professor Snape must be exonerated'
by Rita Skeeter
It is true that hero's come in all shapes and sizes. Who would have thought that the man who was considered one of the most wanted fugitives in Wizarding history turned out to be the man that was helping the 'Boy-Who -Lived' win the war against 'You-Know-Who'? Things truly aren't always what they seem to be...
This Reporter sat down with Harry Potter for the first interview he was willing to give. It turned out to be a most intriguing revelation.
Rita Skeeter: Mr Potter you revealed to me today that your former Potions Teacher, Professor Snape, whom we all know was the murderer of the late Albus Dumbledore, was helping you in the background to defeat You-Know-Who.
Harry Potter: That is right. I could have never done it without my friends and especially Professor Snape's help. Not only did we find out that Professor Snape helped me during all of the close calls I had with Voldemort during my school years, he also helped me find the horcruxes that kept Voldemort alive, and he gave us the means to destroy them.
RS: So, is it true that Professor Snape was Professor Dumbledore's spy?
HP: Yes it is! He infiltrated Voldemort's inner circle to get information on his plans. He saved thousands of people, including the townsfolk in the two small Muggle villages that Voldemort wanted to be destroyed on April 28th and April 29th, by alerting the Aurors. He was also our informant after Professor Dumbledore's death.
RS: Can you tell me more about the murder of Albus Dumbledore?
HP: Professor Dumbledore lost his life on top of the Astronomy Tower at the hands of Death Eaters. Professor Snape just happened to be up there. I saw the whole thing.
RS: Why hasn't anything about this ever come to light? Haven't you yourself spread the rumor that Professor Snape had been the one killing him?
HP: Professor Snape needed to protect his cover. He would have been a dead man if Voldemort would have found him to be a traitor.
RS: Wasn't Professor Snape appointed Headmaster by You-Know-Who and wasn't he torturing students?
HP: Yes, he was appointed Headmaster and No, he did not torture students. The Carrows who were appointed as his deputies were instructed by Voldemort to torture students. Anyone of the Hogwarts staff will tell you that Professor Snape send the students to the gamekeeper or the caretaker for detentions instead. He never sent them to his deputies. Only students who were caught by the Carrows themselves were tortured.
RS: As far as I know Professor Snape is still a wanted man.
HP: So was my godfather Sirius Black. By now everyone knows that he was in Azkaban for 12 years even though he was innocent. We can't let another injustice like this happen again. Professor Snape has been working against Voldemort for more than 17 years. He deserves to be a free man.
RS: Thank you for your time, Mr Potter
Now it will be up to the authorities to decide the fate of Professor Snape. Will the Ministry do the right thing and grant him the freedom he deserves?
Bobbie noticed right away that the truth about the death of Albus was a little smoothed over, to say the least. Harry didn't really lie but he also didn't really tell the whole truth. She decided she was going to show the article to Minerva and ask her what she thought.
Bobbie walked to the Headmistresses office and found Minerva standing in front of Albus's large book shelves trying to figure out how she would fit her books in there too. There was still some room left but clearly not enough. When she saw Bobbie she asked her what she thought about adding another shelf. Bobbie knew that there were some books that she and Albus both had so she suggested keeping the copies that still looked best and put the rest into the library, and maybe also weed out outdated books in both her lot and the ones Albus had. If she still needed a shelf for the books that weren't double or outdated she could always add a shelf later.
"Oh, right, I didn't think about that. I'm losing my mind trying to get everything situated before school opens." She shook her head and sat down behind the desk. "What can I help you with?"
Bobbie gave Minerva the article and said, "What do you think?"
Minerva's eyes flew over the letter. When she was done she said, "Looks reasonable to me. There are a few half truths but people see what they want to see anyway."
"I agree! I like that there is nothing personal about Severus, and Albus still comes out in a favorable light. It is nobody's business that he asked for his death."
"Would be nice if we could get a few people protesting against the fact that Severus is still a wanted man after all the good things he did," Minerva mused, her hands steepled in front of her mouth. "Let me see what I can arrange."
Bobbie walked back to her room and scribbled a note to Harry letting him know that the article looked good and to thank him for his help. After that she took the note to the owlery where she sent it off with a small barn owl.
Next morning during breakfast in the teachers' lounge, where they had their meals when the students weren't present, Filius smiled when he went through the newspaper. He gave it to Severus pointing at the article from Rita Skeeter and said, "Looks like you have some friends in the right places, Severus."
"What is that Potter brat thinking?" Severus hissed after he read it. "Who gives him the right to meddle...?"
"I did!" Bobbie interrupted him.
"The both of us did!" Minerva added.
Severus looked from one to the other and then growled, "Why would you do such a thing? You both know I don't like intrusions into my privacy."
"Neither does Harry and he hates to be called 'The-Boy-Who-Lived', but he agreed to it anyway because he wanted to help you, Severus. Aside from the fact that I want you to be free, I would also like to have my teacher back when the school is opening again," Minerva said.
"And I would like my husband to be a free man. Harry didn't put anything in there that would expose you or in any way interfere in your privacy. He sent me the finished article before it was published, so I could read it first and give my consent," Bobbie added.
"I know it only scratches the surface and Harry used some half truths, but it gives you the privacy you prefer, it will keep the reason why Albus is dead under wraps and hopefully you will be exonerated faster and easier than a trial would do," Minerva added.
Severus's jaw muscles were working. He still wasn't too wild about all the attention it would bring him, but he couldn't deny that Minerva, Bobbie and Potter may would be successful with this. He finally let out a long breath and said, "Very well! Let's see what happens. It is too late to do anything about it anyway. After all, the papers are printed."
The next day there was a published letter of an anonymous reader calling for a protest to help free Severus Snape. Filius, usually the first to get his hands on the paper in the morning, since he was the first inside the teachers' lounge, shoved the newspaper across the table to Severus again.
Severus looked at it, his eyes flying over the text. When he had finished he slammed the paper back onto the table and got up pacing.
Bobbie grabbed it and read it, then looked at Minerva who tried hard not to smirk. Bobbie knew that it came from her and grinned. Then she got up and went to Severus and said quietly, so only he could hear her, "You are wearing a hole into the floor, Baby. This is a good thing. It means people have forgiven you. Now, if you only could forgive yourself."
"They haven't forgiven me because they don't know what I did."
"Yes, they do. At least the older people do. They know that you started out as a Death Eater and that Moody locked you up in Azkaban for it. But Albus got you out and you have changed since then. You are a good man. A lot of people believe in second chances." Bobbie tried to appease him.
He looked at her with sad eyes. She framed his face and whispered, "I love you, Baby. You are a good man. I would never want to be with you otherwise."
He looked into her eyes and said quietly, "I wish I had your confidence, my Love." Suddenly he looked across Bobbies head and saw his colleagues all looking at them with smiles on their faces and embarrassment flooded through him. He had totally forgotten that they were in the room. Had they heard what he said? No, he had been speaking too quietly. Still, he didn't like anyone seeing him in a vulnerable state like that. He felt like he had been caught in something he wasn't supposed to do and barked, "What?"
Minerva smiled and slowly shook her head. "Severus, can't you just except that we are happy for you?"
He didn't know how to handle the fact that people seemed to care about his happiness. It was so new to him, it made him uncomfortable. He never trusted anyone but Albus and now Bobbie, and the strangeness of it wasn't lost on him. He looked at his colleagues around the table and then softly pushed Bobbie away from him and walked out of the room.
Bobbie sighed and said," Sorry, he just doesn't know how to deal with all of this. It was much easier to shut everyone out than admitting to any feelings."
"I understand! It is something he has done all of his life. To him is must almost feel like someone pulled the rug out from under him," Minerva said. "Go after him, girl."
Bobbie nodded and left the room. When she caught up with him, she saw him standing in front of a large window staring out over the school grounds without focusing. She walked up behind him and wrapped her arms around him laying her head against his back. He blinked and put his hands on hers. They stood like this for quite a while until Severus said quietly, "I am sorry."
Bobbie slowly pulled away from him and walked around him and pulled him down on the large window seat. She sat sideways so she was facing him and then took his hands in hers. He looked at her when she started speaking, "I understand that this is strange for you but nobody was making fun of you or anything like that. They are just happy for you. Sometimes it is okay to show people that you are happy or content with someone. You don't have to present it to the whole world but it is okay in front of your friends. We are getting married on Saturday. Everyone who sat at the table is going to be there. Have you ever seen a wedding? We are expected to hold hands and look at each other during the ceremony, and the last words of the person who is performing the ceremony are 'you may kiss the bride'."
Bobbie smiled when she continued, "I really would appreciate if the man who just married me would kiss me even though there are people around to see it."
Severus gaze went to their hands. He had never thought about that part of it but he knew she was speaking the truth. If he wouldn't hold her hands they couldn't be bonded. So far he had been able to avoid other people, aside from Poppy or Albus, seeing him in a compromising position with Bobbie, but there was no way around it on Saturday. If he wanted her to be his wife, which he wanted more than anything else in his life, he needed to go through with it.
Bobbie just sat there watching him fighting the war against himself in his mind. Knowing what she knew about his former life, she felt for him. It had cost him a lot learning to trust her over all these months and he didn't like the thought of exposing himself to ridicule. For him it was something people could hold against him.
Severus finally said, "I will do it!"
"Baby, this is supposed to be the happiest day of your life and you are making it sound like it is this huge chore. Any other woman, who knows you less than I do, would run away right this minute." Bobbie smiled and stroked his hair.
"It will be the happiest day of my life, I just don't like the... that there... that everyone will be watching us," he said.
"It is only during the ceremony. What we are doing afterwards is going to be very private. I assure you," she said with a feral grin.
She saw his eyes glint and heard him gasp before he pulled her up off the window seat and stormed off with her in tow.
"Where are we going?" she asked.
"To the place where I kissed you for the first time... I want to do now what I longed to do then," he said with a husky voice.
When they arrived at the empty classroom just down the corridor from the infirmary he pulled her inside and locked and sound warded the door after them. Bobbie bit her lip in anticipation and Severus pulled her into his arms and kissed her deeply and passionately. He slowly pushed her against the wall and held her there with his body weight, his erection pushing into her stomach.
Bobbie moaned and hugged him around his neck wrapping her legs around him. Severus picked her up to his level. He put a warming spell on the wall and then spelled their clothes off. He entered her with a low groan that matched Bobbies. Their lovemaking was short, primal and urgent with deep thrusts and throaty moans. Afterwards Severus conjured a blanket around them and he held her to him like he never wanted to let her go. His eyes were closed and he drew in deep breaths of the scents of her skin and hair.
Then the moment was shattered when he suddenly looked at her like a deer in the headlights, his eyes shiny with unshed tears and he said, "Merlin, I am so sorry! I don't know what came over me. I just... I just needed... I needed to have you. Oh, Merlin. How can you still want me...?" He gently set her down on her feet and spelled their clothes back on and was about to leave.
This time Bobbie caught him on the arm and said in a stern voice, "No! Do not run off again! What is it with this room that you always feel you have to apologize and run out on me?"
Severus stood there like a scolded child with his head hanging.
"Look at me!" she said fiercely.
When he did she continued, "Did you hear me complain? If I didn't want to do this, I would have told you so, and I would bet everything I own that you would have stopped."
Bobbie then led him to the only chair that was in the room and sat him down and she sat on his lap cradling his face and talking to him softly. "Baby, please don't do this to yourself, second guessing everything you do. Even though I may sound like a psychiatrist to you now, I say it anyway; there was nothing wrong with what you did. Even the strong and brave Severus Snape has a right to feel apprehension once in a while. Your emotions are running amok because you don't feel comfortable with the fact that some people will see you in a situation where you feel you have no control. You feel like a sitting duck. Even with your duties as a spy you had the knowledge that you were deceiving Voldemort and his minions. That is a sense of control. Standing in front of people bearing your heart, so to speak, is not. Just think about those people - Minerva, Poppy, Filius and maybe a few others. There won't be very many and everyone is there to support our union. They aren't there to find some fault or ridicule you. They are there because they are rooting for us, they are our friends. I know you haven't had too many of those before and even the ones who called you their friends, like Lucius Malfoy for instance, weren't really friends. He would gladly throw you under the bus if he would have something to gain by doing so. True friends are standing behind you, no matter what."
Severus's jaw was working and Bobbie watched how hard he was trying to digest this information and she thought she would make it a little easier on him by adding, "Trust me when I tell you that no one in this wedding will wish you ill will." Then she winked at him. "You are marrying a Nevari. I know these things."
He finally wrapped her into his arms and said, "Forgive me if I came on too strong. I promise it will never happen again."
She suddenly realised that the way he thought he had 'treated' her was actually what bothered him more. In his inexperience with relationships he had no idea when he was crossing the line from making love to actually forcing himself on someone. He was still holding her like he was about to lose her, and she gently pushed him off to look into his eyes. "Sev, there has never been anything wrong with a little spontaneity and I will tell you that this little tryst was very sexy." She grinned. "Please don't be so restrictive on yourself. You would have known if I would have been unwilling and I also would have told you to stop."
After a lot of tender kisses and holding her, which Bobbie suspected was for Severus some sort of making up for what he presumed a 'forceful-coming-on-to-her', they quietly made their way to their rooms. Bobbie suspected that he still blamed himself, but she didn't want to push the subject any further. He would learn it along the way in their relationship that he hadn't done anything wrong.