Disclaimer-Harry Potter is a franchise owned by J.K. Rowling. I do not, in any way, own the characters, places, movies, books, etc….. The Ocs, however are my characters. There are families whose surname is Maurya, but I'm not using any of them as a character. So all Oc characters and NAMES would be my own creation. Any character resembling any person living or dead is entirely a coincidence.
Albus sharply turned to look at the girl, then at Severus. Papa?! He's her-no their father!?
"I beg your pardon?" Dumbledore uttered incredulously, looking between the two of them and finding the similarities immediately. The obsidian eyes, the same thin lips, the eyebrows that were raised by them both in the same way. He even saw the guarded expression that the girl had when he had first entered. Yes, there was no doubt about it; his spy was a father of two girls. For the first time in a very long time, Albus Dumbledore was utterly confused as he didn't know what was actually going on.
Okay Albus, focus… You've just found out that your Potions master is apparently involved with a woman and it is serious enough to the point of having children with her… Miracles do happen…
Severus looked shocked himself, as he turned his head to his right. The other girl was fast asleep. Severus rolled his eyes and muttered something along the lines of 'Sleeping in unfamiliar surroundings', but he was still shocked. From the looks of it, he wasn't expecting to see his daughters here either.
Albus looked on as Severus turned his head back to the girl in front of him and raised an eyebrow at her. The man's expression turned into one that he usually reserved for interrogating one of his mischievous students, but he wasn't saying a word.
Albus sighed. It was a clear indication from the Potions master to be left alone with one of his children. He relented, for now anyway. But he had something to think about in addition to this interesting revelation, if their magical prowess and Alastor's report was any indication. But for now, he'd observe carefully.
"Severus, my boy, please, do excuse me; I feel that you might want to have this conversation with one of your daughters." Albus said, with a look on his face that spoke clearly.
I expect an explanation from you, young man...
Severus finally turned his head at Albus' direction hearing the undertone in the man's voice. His jaw clenched for a second, knowing that he had to explain this to him quickly. He nodded after a few moments. Albus hummed and went out, patting the young professor's shoulder as he did. Severus looked on silently as his employer went out.
As soon as Dumbledore was out of the screens, he turned back to Anusha, his expression stern and admonishing. Anusha shrugged helplessly, squirming a little under her father's intense gaze. Severus sighed exasperatedly, pinching the bridge of his nose.
"You both are going to be the death of me," he declared, making his way to his daughter and hugging her as tightly as he could, keeping in mind her injuries. The fifteen-year-old put her left arm around her father, hugging him as tightly as she could. He pulled away enough to examine her bandaged hand and head closely and shake his head exasperatedly.
"I think I have told you both countless of times that it isn't safe for you both to be here. But as it always happens, you both don't listen," He berated her, huffing when she shrugged playfully.
"Sorry Papa. But I seem to remember telling you once that we were given lessons in defense against dark arts by Master Vikrant Singh! You know, the tall, burly man who's one of Nana's close friends, one of the greatest DADA masters in the world, not to mention adept in Animangi and-"
"Stop it! This isn't a game, Anusha! Those were the Death Eaters from one of the inner circles that you both so heroically fought!" he said to her sternly.
"I know that! Getting a fracture and a head injury on the first day of our holidays is quite the proof! And it isn't fun for us, you know!"
"Then you both could have used your brains at least!" Severus retorted.
"Tell that to Anya! She started it by saving a woman and her child from one of those idiots!"
Severus sighed, his anger dissipating a little.
"Do your grandparents at least know you both are here?" He asked tiredly. Anusha huffed, looking at him angrily.
"Yes, they do! And that's really rude, pointing the finger at us! It was Nana's idea this time! He wanted us to take a trip to Britain to visit you and Granddad! Nani was against it, you know."
"Yes, I knew I liked Sarakshi since day one," Severus muttered, causing Anusha to chuckle.
"Anyways, Nana had made arrangements for us at every single point – getting us to the ministry, making sure that we took all the necessary precautions and making sure Granddad was there the moment we touched down. It wasn't our fault that those portkeys were malfunctioning again!"
Severus sighed again, muttering to himself and shaking his head.
Little did he know that Poppy had heard the whole conversation from outside the screens. Her eyes were alight with rage, ready to spit fire at the Potions Master.
"Severus Tobias Snape!" She shouted as she entered. Severus froze a little before he turned to look at the Mediwitch, who entered with a thunderous expression on her face. He clicked his tongue and grimaced.
Oh, I'm a dead man…
"How dare you, young man! I've known you since you were but an eleven year old! I've spent god-knows-how-much-time with you, trying to make you as well as possible as you lied on that cot, withering in pain from the cruciatus. I've seen you in naught but your knickers! I've healed every single injury that you had when you came back from those wretched meetings! And you don't even tell me that you are a father, or perhaps that you are married for god knows how long! How could you?!" She shouted. Severus gulped a little as he looked at her murderous expression.
I really should have cast 'Muffliato' before talking to Anusha…
"Poppy, stop acting like this please. I can explain-" Severus started, but the Mediwitch interrupted him.
"I would love to listen to your explanation, young man! And I'm sure even Minerva would love to have this particular conversation with me."
"And why not?!" A quiet, angry, Scottish voice came from outside the screens. Severus nearly face-palmed as he heard it. He had a comical expression on his face. Anusha raised her eyebrows at that expression.
Severus groaned as Minerva McGonagall, along with Dumbledore, entered the area. She had a thunderous expression on her normally stern face, while Albus looked at him sympathetically. Albus decided to intervene.
"N-Now Minerva, let's not be hasty-"Albus began.
"You stay out of this, Albus Dumbledore! And if I get to know that you knew about this, I swear, by the time I'm done with you, you'll not even have your brains to think about these harebrained schemes ever again!"
The Headmaster of Hogwarts shut his mouth and nodded quickly. Severus shot him an angry look. Albus gave him the 'can't-do-anything' look. Anusha snorted and coughed quickly to mask it.
The Gryffindor head whipped her head in her direction. Anusha flinched a little, but the woman just said, "Scoot a little, lass. I'd love to hear your Daddy's explanation."
Anusha gladly obliged and smirked playfully as her Papa glared a death glare at her. She leant back against the headboard, looking at the scene with barely hidden amusement. It was truly a sight to behold. Her father was standing there with a priceless expression on his face, while the women were both looking giving him the death glare. If looks had the power to kill, Papa would've been dead over a billion times now. Albus was standing there with a mask of pure sympathy on his face, but his eyes twinkled with amusement.
And here I thought that that pose was all Ma. I didn't realize that we had got this from Papa. This reminds me the time when we had snuck out from our beds at night to take a trip into the forests near the Maurya Mansion on our new broomsticks… God, the look on Papa's face when he found us….. that was one hell of a lecture we got…
Anusha snapped out of her thoughts as she heard the first question.
"Well, young man, do you have anything to say for yourself?" Minerva barked at him. Severus sighed and looked at his colleague and friend and straightened himself.
"No." He uttered. The women looked at him disbelievingly.
"NO?!" Minerva uttered incredulously.
"You heard it, Minerva! 'No'! It was important that I kept them safe so I let them stay in India."
"And your definition of 'safe' included not telling us?!" Poppy interjected anger and hurt lacing her tone.
"Yes. I apologize, but I had to!"
"How could you have not told us of this? We knew you for almost 25 years! First as a student, then as a colleague and friend! You are almost like my surrogate son! Why didn't you tell me this?" Minerva asked, hurt evident in her eyes.
"I did it for their safety, Minerva! It wasn't healthy here, what with the intense scrutiny and suspicions and allegations against me! At least they are safe with their Grandparents! If I told you and Albus, then at some point, Augusta would've known, then she would go and blurt it out to Molly Weasley, and knowing her, she would get it out to Emmeline and her 'tea party', and then one by one the whole Order would've known by the evening! And, knowing morons like Mundungus Fletcher, I am sure that the whole of the Wizarding world would've known by next morning! And last, but not the least by a long shot, The Dark Lord and his inner circle would've known! I would've been left with three choices – Either I would kill myself, be killed by HIM and his henchmen, or submit my girls to him and hope and pray that they survive the day! Either way, my life and the girls' life would've been over, for they wouldn't have been able to handle losing both their parents!" He finished, taking a deep breath to get himself under control.
Minerva and Poppy's anger dissipated as they looked at them both.
"Losing both their parents?" Minerva repeated, looking at Severus, dreading the answer, but still wishing it wasn't what she thought.
Severus looked away, not wanting to answer the question. It was too painful for him to answer.
The three adults turned to Anusha as she cleared her throat to get their attention.
"Ma… was murdered five years ago. It was brutal, and it was painful for all of us, especially for Papa."
Silence reigned for a few moments.
"Is the murderer-" Albus started.
"Yes, he's caught and he's dead. She was going to expose him to the ministry for smuggling various muggle drugs, addictive potions, women and Occamy shells. He came to know through his sources in the ministry. So, he got her killed and the files destroyed. But Ma had one copy made, just in case. She sent it to Papa, who then finished the work Ma had started."
The Gryffindor head stood up, and went to her friend and colleague. She just stayed there for a few moments, before saying, "I'm sorry for your loss Severus. I know how it feels like to lose your spouse before their time and understand how hard it is to live without them."
He said nothing to that, but she saw his jaw clench a little. Sighing, she put a hand on his cheek and made him look at her. The pain in his eyes was unmistakable. She offered no other words, instead choosing to embrace him tightly as she stroked his head. He didn't push her away, but instead leaned a little into the embrace and pulled away gently after a few moments.
"She must be worth of all the tears that you've had in your eyes these past years," She said, stroking his cheek gently.
"She was way more than my tears, Minerva," He said, straightening up and getting back his composure.
"I am still angry with you, you know. And it is going to take a lot for me to calm down." Minerva said, folding her arms across her chest. Severus scoffed, his pain subsiding. Minerva cracked a small smirk, which was returned to her as he shook his head.
"Like I don't know that, McGonagall."
Anya slowly opened her eyes to find herself wrapped in a soft blanket which had a sterile smell to it. She felt a little dizzy and her head throbbed with pain. She clenched her jaw as she touched her forehead to feel the bandage wrapped around it. Just the feel of the bandage increased the pain. Her hands were well, though. Only a few starches and bruises. Master Singh's lessons paid off after all. He would've been proud, before scolding them badly for getting distracted.
Well, we would've deserved it…. I would've… I slept like a bloody rock in totally unfamiliar surroundings… though I have no idea if it was a dream that I heard Papa and a few more voices...
She looked around to observe her surroundings curiously. It was a plain white room with cots lined one after another and neatly made up beds. It smelled fresh, sterile, like a hospital, which made Anya crinkle her nose. The positive side was the huge windows which let the room fill with the soft, orange glow of the sunset on the Horizon. It was quite a beautiful scene.
She looked on the other side to find her sister surrounded by people.
"Anusha?" She called out confusedly. The others, along with Anusha turned to look at her.
"Hey!" Anusha called out to her, waving with her left arm. Anya raised an eyebrow at her twin's broken arm and was answered with a shrug.
Anya took her time to look at each individual. The one sitting beside Anusha on her bed was a severe, middle aged woman who was wearing Tartan Robes. She had beautiful emerald green eyes, grayish brown eyebrows, a sharp nose, thin lips and a strict face which had the beginnings of wrinkles. Her slightly graying hair was swept in a high bun that made her intimidating.
Beside the witch, another witch, presumably the Mediwitch here, she thought. She looked about the same age as the woman beside her, give or take a year. She was a little plump, had honey colored hair with quite a few number of grays in between, had a small-ish nose, and full lips. Her face had quite a few frown lines on it. Anya was a little unnerved when the woman looked at her, scrutinizing her, as if she'd find an injury that was hidden from her.
The man beside the mediwitch looked like one of those Merlin reincarnations. Or even Santa Claus'. Long beard, wizened baby blue eyes (what an oxymoron! she thought) wrinkled face, crooked nose- he looked like the storybook version of a grandfather. But there was something… something eerie about him, something suspicious. And his eyes… she almost saw a glint, before it disappeared. She decided to ignore it for now.
And beside him, stood the very man she had missed for the last two years. Her face brightened with a blinding smile. She got an exasperated smirk in return.
"Papa!" She exclaimed, immediately getting off the bed to embrace him, but her head started spinning as she fought a wave of nausea. She slumped on the bed in a daze and clutched her head, barely avoiding letting out the contents of her stomach. The resulting pain made her groan loudly.
"Easy there, Anya. It's probably a concussion."
"Nope, it's just a slight head injury-"
"No, young lady, it isn't just a small head injury! You are not going anywhere for the next few days! Not till I say it's alright!" Madame Pomfrey said, bustling over to her and checking over her injuries.
"Don't be daft! It's nothing! I'm fine, see?" She argued as she tried standing up again, and her nausea came back tenfold. Madame Pomfrey gently pushed her down on the bed to sit her again.
"Now, young madam, you're going to stay in your bed until I tell you otherwise. The same goes for you too." The mediwitch said, looking between them both.
"And if you even think of escaping, I'll stick you both to your beds! Understood?" She said, putting her hands on her hips and looking at them in a very menacing way. Even their Nani had not given them that look since that hair accident when they were twelve. They gulped and nodded. Poppy shook her head and muttered, "Just like their father!"
A few moments later, Anya was settled back into the bed. She looked at her father confusedly.
"How did you know we're here? Are Nana and Nani here too?" The last part was said with underlying fear. Severus rolled his eyes, as the others chuckled.
"Nope. We're at Hogwarts, sis." Anusha answered the first part as Severus went to her twin's bedside.
"And I've not told your grandparents. Well, not yet anyway." He answered the second part, before sitting down beside her and embracing Anya tightly, resting his chin on top of her head. She wrapped her arms around his waist, embracing him back just as tightly. Her face was hidden in the folds of his robes. She smelled her father's familiar smell- Books, parchment, leather, and herbs and that hint of cologne Ma had bought him (Seems like he has finally learnt how to brew that particular mixture, she noted) and sighed contentedly.
He stroked her head softly and frowned when he felt the bandage on her head. He leaned away just so he could see her head. He turned his attention to her upturned face. His eyes stared back at him, with her curious expression. He smiled a small smile before giving the girls both stern looks.
"Now that we've got the pleasantries out of the way, explain yourselves."
"We had just given our Fourth year examinations, Papa." Anusha interrupted her sister. Her twin glared at her and stuck her tongue out at her. Anusha rolled her eyes and continued, "We had done well, with O's in five of the subjects-Potions, Transfiguration, Runes, Arithimency, and Defense, and E's in the other three- Astronomy, Sanskrit, and Latin."
Anya continued, "As a reward, Nana decided to send us to Britain for our holidays. He had made all the arrangements – The portkey, the duration of stay, making sure that his appointed guards were there to keep watch on us, and that Granddad was there the moment we arrived. He even had the Portkey tested, to be sure."
"And it still wasn't enough." Severus interjected exasperatedly, shaking his head.
"Did you really expect anything else with our luck?" Anya commented incredulously.
Anusha picked up from where they had left off.
"Because of some fault in the portkey it transported us to the outskirts of a muggle village instead of transporting us to the British ministry. Thankfully, we were prepared; Nana had given us some muggle money too, so we decided to look for some place to go to so that we'd contact Granddad from there. But as we entered the village, lo and behold! Masked men apparated there and started firing spells, creating panic, ruckus and going crazy. And, as it always happens, Anya decided to jump in and save the day, getting her ass in line in the process-"
"Hey!" Anya said, giving a death glare to her sister.
"Language!" Severus warned.
"-so I had to go and help her out. We defended ourselves pretty well till another group apparated in the area and started getting the situation under control."
"I got distracted, one of those masked idiots hit me with a spell and I was knocked unconscious, getting a huge bump on my head as a parting gift from that jerk. And from the looks of it, Anusha followed me not long after."
After listening to the Twins' side of story, Severus stood quietly for a few moments.
"You both just can't have a proper, quiet day, could you? Even the precautions your Nana took weren't enough! I'll suffer a heart coronary at this rate! I have half the mind to lock you both up till you were thirty! You know, it really isn't a good idea to…"
Anya and Anusha shared a quiet smile as he used that tone of his voice which he normally reserved for mischievous students, totally unperturbed by the tone of his voice. Severus stopped after a while and looked at the two of them for some time, before sighing and shaking his head, muttering something under his breath, 'girls' and 'incorrigible' being the only words they heard.
"Well, I suppose we'll leave you three to it. Severus, my dear boy, you'll find me in my office after supper, if you still wish to discuss the curriculum and the placements of the houses. The password is the same as before. Have a good day." Dumbledore spoke up after a few moments, looking at the three of them with twinkling eyes. Minerva and Poppy nodded to them, getting up as well. The twins turned their heads to each other.
"You know what I think is suspicious, Anya?"
"Yeah, I do."
"You're free to do the honors."
"Wait, Headmaster." Anya called out. All the heads turned in her direction curiously, waiting for her to say what was on her mind.
"If you don't mind, could you answer my query?" Anya asked. Albus chuckled.
"I'll try my best, my dear child." He answered warmly.
"Why are we in Hogwarts? Why aren't we in that hospital… St. Mungo's?" Anya asked, looking at her father for conformation, who nodded and turned his head to his employer.
"No offense to you ma'am," Anusha interjected, looking at Madame Pomfrey apologetically, "But logically, anyone would send us to this… St. Mungo's without even thinking twice. So, why treat us here… in a school infirmary, sir?"
Albus was quiet for a few moments, looking at them carefully. His eyes weren't twinkling anymore and he regarded them with a serious expression.
Well, they do know how to ask their questions… Well put and in the middle of witnesses… They're very good….
He blinked back to reality and smiled at them benignly.
"I wanted to thank you both, for saving the woman and the child and helping the group of Aurors out there. I do like to see bravery in youngsters. Especially now, when so many of our own are backing off from taking actions that they feel would put them in a bad light and may attract attention from these Death Eaters and Voldemort."
Also, I wanted to know your identities… Keeping an eye on you both would've been easy then… flashed in his mind too. Minerva and Poppy seemed to accept the explanation, flinching when he said 'Voldemort'. The twins and Severus said nothing, but kept looking as Albus nodded to them and walked out of the area.
Albus sighed tiredly as soon as he was out of the infirmary.
That removes all doubts from my mind… they are Severus' daughters… That does bring me to think on quite a few things…
"Crucio!" A snake like voice hissed at the man in front of him. He fell to his knees, gritting his teeth in pain from the spell, before dropping to the ground, screaming and withering in pain.
Voldemort screamed in anger and frustration, increasing the power behind the spell and having little satisfaction at the way the man withered more than ever.
Oh, they are so easy to break… Just one bout of Cruciatus and look at him - a screaming, whimpering mess… How pathetic…
"You are telling me that two fifteen year old girls put up a fight with fully grown men in the middle of a village and defeated some of them!?"
No one dared to open their mouths. There was a pin-drop silence in the room. Every single one in the room was terrified of their Master.
Their 'Lord' let the man in front of him wither for a few more minutes, before lifting the spell off him. He started pacing angrily, thinking about his failed plan.
The tortured man was a sweating, trembling mess. He groaned loudly in pain.
"Avada Kedavra!" Voldemort hissed, pointing the wand at the groaning man in front of him, already fed up of the noise. A flash of green light hit the man and he slumped, his eyes open wide and lifeless as he stared at the ceiling.
Voldemort turned to the remaining followers in the room. All of them flinched badly as he made eye contact with each and every one of them.
"Parkinson!" He barked out to a tall, stocky man at the back. The man scrambled to his feet and all but ran to the front.
"Y-yes, my Lord?"
He barely controlled himself not to stumble backwards as the Dark Lord rounded up on him suddenly.
"I want their names. I want to know who they are. And I want the information immediately! Do you hear me?" Voldemort screamed, some spit hitting Parkinson's face as he spoke. Parkinson nodded vehemently.
"Yes, my Lord!"
Parkinson bowed to him, before backing off.
"Lucius!" Voldemort hissed, calling the tall, blonde albino before him. The man came and bowed to him.
"Yes, my Lord?"
"Tell me, how far along are you with your assignment?"
"Fudge has been manipulated successfully, my Lord. He is willing to hear everything we tell him and use it against Dumbledore and his side."
"Have you found out the whereabouts of young Harry?"
"No, my Lord. He is taken to a secure location, my Lord. We need to keep on looking." Lucius answered warily, willing himself not to look at the man standing in front of him.
"Well," Voldemort began after a few moments, "you may not have to do it anymore Lucius." Voldemort hissed, smirking. His eyes were blood-red as he looked ahead, a plan formed in his mind as he thought of what he had discovered earlier that day.
It starts now… Harry Potter… soon, you'll be in my control and then, you'll be out of my way… for good...
Hundreds of miles away, in a shabby, smelly, desolate house, a fifteen year old boy with unruly hair and thunder like scar on his forehead groaned painfully, thrashing a little against the mattress. His scar glistened a little with blood as he groaned again…
So, this is my second chapter... And I really need to know how you guys feel after reading this... your reviews would tell me where I'm going wrong...