Harrison Snape and the Magical Childhood: Part 1 of 8 in the Cursed Chronicles
Severus Tobias Snape was to say the least a hard man to unsettle having seen and done many things in his short 21 years of life. Things that would have caused many a lessor witch or wizard to run cowering for the nearest dungeon in which to hide. He had been to creepy and exotic places, done large stints of herbology research to create the deadliest potions one could imagine and even used a couple of them on a few unsuspecting victims who had happened to cross his former employer on a bad day or just in general. And admittedly enjoyed that, having been a mischievous boy at school with a rather dark and foreboding sense of humor, he liked to make up spells in his old books and scribble them in the margins.
Severus had always been the kind of young man who enjoyed an occasional hex on the help. Finding delight in his ability to get away with things-as most young men for his age often did. it was common knowledge around Prince Manor that the young master was a mischivious sort. one with a rather complicit mother at that. Eileen have never been one to believe her baby boy who was capable of such heinous acts , he was rather cherubic in his way and was not someone who was incapable of fooling somebody else; when in truth behind the angel face the mind of rather mischievious pixie who used his cunning nature to the detriment of others.
He had always had a rather macabre sense of humor, one where he found horror movies more humorous than frightening as it were, loved dark colors like black and was the sort of teenage boy who was apt to decorate his room in pictures of long dead and rather rebellious wizards. Snape was never what one might call 'goth' or emo; he did not cut himself or wear strictly black outside of his school uniforms and did not wear makeup on his face. But he did enjoy pulling mean-spirited pranks on the help at Prince Manner only to be petted by his mother and indulged with a tender tisk-tisk and sent on his way with a light admonishment to behave; which of course he never did.
Nasty spells that cut people up, made their tongues swell, messed with their minds to make them talk to and see things which were never actually there… and that was just in childhood. The tricks and spells he had dabbled in as a fully of-age wizard were the sort of thing one might read in a horror story meant to secure the behavior in an otherwise very naughty child. Something the boogey man might use if one misbehaved to drag them down into the belly of his otherworld where they would be tortured for all time. In fact, if that fool Cornelius Fudge over at the Ministry knew even a tenth of what he had done in the past four years since graduating school; he was sure he would have earned himself a one-way ticket to Azkaban no trials or questions asked.
But nothing had prepared him for this. The 21yr old man now looked upon the childhood friend he had always loved as she made a rather feeble attempt at a smile. He searched her eyes, hoping against hope that this was a cruel joke; some sort of payback for him not being home when she needed him. It wasn't of course, Lilly was many things but cruel was not one of them and she would never joke about something as serious as a baby being born. but the last two words from Lilly's mouth made him freeze as if someone had put him beneath a petrifying curse; he simply could not believe that she had gone and gotten pregnant at a time like this!
His innocent baby so fragile, so utterly at the mercy of their mother's fate he thanked god that Lilly was strong enough to hold him off enough for Snape to get there. To get there and force him off but then the monster had attacked little Harry. Seven hells! How Harry survived that he would never understand and wasn't sure he wanted to. But how could Lilly not have the good sense to not be pregnant right now when she was in so much danger just was enough to drive him crazy; surely, she the one-time head girl had more good sense than to be making a baby inside her and fight Death-Eaters at the same time! He could not wrap his mind around it, this was just too much for him and when he looked at Lilly all he could do was blink.
Lilly was pregnant… tonight's events had all happened while he wasn't home to protect his pregnant wife and baby son. He felt his stomach drop out from his body, how he wished he could run to the bathroom and deal with the sudden incontinence of his insides now liquefying rapidly. He had to swallow several times to swallow the bile threatening to force his coffee up from where it was using a mix of stomach fluid and acid to force it out of his mouth but it was of little help to him; his heart felt like a grapefruit being squished by a pain of giant leathery hands for its juice. He felt much like he imagined a grapefruit might just before it was served up for breakfast.
Cut open, his insides exposed to the large spoon that was his love for his wife and two children and being scooped out and mawed on by horrible knowing beast that was his fear. The terrifying realization that he had almost lost everything in one night. The knowledge that Voldemort could have killed not one of his children but two was a pain deep in his soul and he wanted to scream. Lilly was on her feet now having set her teacup down but he went to her and pushed her back down into the chair, no one spoke as the time seemed to restart again slowly ever so slowly, so slowly in fact that it was practically unnoticeable as all he thought of was how much he couldn't believe his ears… he simply couldn't believe it.
More like he did not want to believe it for he was not a stupid man and knew very well that it took more than one person to make a baby. But still at a time like this, of all the time to tell him… Severus was reeling from shock and time seemed to freeze for everyone in the room. It had become so silent that one could hear a pin drop and his breathing sounded like roaring in his ears. The combination of his breath and the incessant noise was causing his head to pound mercilessly in his temples. All around him he seemed to be surrounded by relentless noise, meaningless idle noise that was driving him insane and he found his eyes darting wildly around the room as if looking for a means of escape from the racket to no avail.
Clattering of tick-tocks and beeps and thumps as clocks, hourglasses and metronomes seemed to make a cacophony of noise so painful on the ears that Snape had to summon every ounce of control to keep from wincing. The sounds that were so ordinary under normal circumstances that no one would have taken any notice of them were now excruciating. Minute things like the snoring of Dumbledore's phoenix seemed to rumble in the background like a growl of a dangerous beast rather than a bird who looked to be near burning at any moment. Snape was glad of this and of the fact that his son was too young yet to understand that the majestic bird was soon going to die and come back to life again absent its pretty colors.
He, himself had seen the life-cycle of a phoenix many times over the course of his life, his mother having owned one all his life or at least so far as the now grown wizard could recall. Hers was named Bambi after a muggle picture about a deer that she had seen once when he was a little boy. It had been her favorite but he had never really been allowed to watch it because he was always so attached to his mother that the very image of a mother dying was and was just too much for him. Severus was not one to admit it but he was deep down a very sensitive man even more so as a young boy and the thought of his mother dying was simply unbearable.
In fact, as he had been little more than a small boy, just nearly five years of age at the time his mother had gotten him a present to make him feel better about it all. Presenting her son with the bird that had accompanied him to Hogwarts and had been his lifelong friend throughout his childhood. The bird which his mother had brought him a phoenix with plooms of feathers in deep emerald and pine green with dark chocolate eyes. Snape had always had a soft spot for green and thought Bambi to be the most beautiful bird he had ever seen. That was until the ruddy animal had one of his burning days. It had been sick for some time and little Severus had tried everything he could to make it better, every tonic and potion his mother had a recipe for in the house but nothing seemed to work.
He had been sad and told his mother of his worries but Eileen in that true Prince fashion had told her son that it was best to let these things run their course; assuring him that all would be well in the end. Severus was unconvinced as children often are and insisted upon moving the bird into his room to keep a closer eye on his pet. Eileen, not being able to deny her boy very much if anything at all agreed and the two of them -the boy and the bird- were together ever since. He was heartbroken when one morning he had made the bird some tea and tonic (which the bird promptly refused to drink) before squawking and freaking the hell out of the poor lad who wailed that his feather friend had gone and left him forever; only to see that amid his pain and sadness the blasted thing did not even have the common sense of decency to be dead.
Rather his feathered companion had succumbed to the fire; only to pop back up stark naked and squeaky as an unrepentant church mouse, only to begin its life all over again. From then on, the curious boy had watched it closely finding it beautiful when it flourished and honestly ugly beyond description when it was having a burning day. Every half decade or so the animal would just burst into spontaneous combustion complete with orange flames leaping about and a horrible stink of burning flesh. Only to pop back up back up naked and pink as the freshly spanked behind of an infant. Minus the feathers and all it was a shell of its former self and was in truth an ugly little thing reminiscent of a rat. A naked rat as a matter of fact; as squeaky and vein-ridden as anything and not very pleasant to look at.
But not nearly as horrendous as this mess of a sickly bird lolling and lollygagging about on his perch which squeaked as it swung rather pathetically back and forth in the confines of his bars. It was really a hideous sight, all malting and spotted bald at points where its once lovely crimson feather laid smattering along the metal bars of his gilded cage. It bugged Severus for some reason, and he found himself wishing it would just burn already and have done with it. Severus would have considered himself to be very rude were he a phoenix to be lingering in such a state to have the whole world eyeing him in such a state when it wasn't like he would not be reborn in a moment or two after death. And in front of his baby boy and wife no less, most inconsiderate of him if his opinion was asked.
His family was not paying much attention to the situation really, Lilly, too polite in her nature to say a word even if she did notice the condition of Dumbledore's pet and little Harry was asleep on Dumbledore's lap. Lilly was still in the chair having summoned a steaming pot of herbal decaffeinated tea to the office and was sipping the brew with her swollen and no doubt achy feet on a wooden crate. She was smiling as she watched Harry sleep his thumb in his mouth and a tiny smile on his face as Albus smoothed his messy dark hair, combating his mother's usual battle of flattening his hair for her to no avail. Every time he smoothed it; the messy hair popped right back up again, although it didn't seem to disgruntle the old man in the slightest.
Frankly he was rather enjoying himself and made cooing noises at the child much to his mother's enjoyment and she giggled. But his father took no interest in the baby now as the world spun around him, making him dizzy; making him sick. His stomach and lungs clenching like the insides of an accordion being played out of tune by a huge mountain troll. The color drained from Severus's already pale face to make his already chalky complexion appear ashen white. He looked as though he might be ill at any moment, nauseated and more than a little shocked at the news that he was soon to be a father again.
The only thing Severus could focus on was that Lilly had been in so much danger when Albus had sworn by Merlin that no harm would come to them in exchange for his cooperation. But that had been a miscalculation on his part; Severus had to be fair as it were, for he was certain that the man with all his great magical abilities and so on and so forth had no way of knowing that the dark lord would appear to them that night in all his vengeful glory. Let alone take out his anger on a pregnant woman and a baby boy; Severus had known to the Dark Lord to be many things over his years of servitude. Not the least was cruel, selfish and vengeful, certainly, manipulative to name a few but never irrational and it seemed very irrational for him to take his anger out on a baby and an innocent woman waiting alone for him at home.
The weight of that simple five letter word coursing over and over through his mind nearly knocked the wind clean out of his chest. His wife had been alone and in danger and he had been away leaving his wife and his family at the mercy of the evilest man since Grindelwald and his baby, unborn though they were being so helpless inside of their mother's womb and he placed a protective hand over her belly as his new employer watched him with bright, curious eyes, Albus, if he had not known better would have thought the man to come down with a bad case of the muggle influenza. Pale and ashen as he was, Severus sank weakly to his knees before the woman he loved.
His surrogate father not daring to move as he saw the young woman stroke his hair and the man then begin to weep openly; long shuddering sobs that went through him, causing him to shake so much that they seemed to be dragged forth from his very soul. His black eyes normally as deep and unfathomable as the galaxy itself were gleaming and bright as a turbulent of emotions traveled across his face. Everything from fear, sadness worry, panic and absolute adoration. He dropped to his knees, long spindly fingers clasping desperately at the hem of her robes; tears running down his face as he twisted the suede fabric of her nightdress in dark blue balls of fabric so tight that his white knuckles turned slightly pink from the exertion.
Severus released her abruptly and turned pointing his wand at a self-cleaning washbasin he summoned it to him and at last, much to the relief of his fractured nose and constantly turning stomach, gave into his nausea and vomited freely. The coffee and tea-sandwiches he had eaten earlier emptied from his stomach and he stood up with great dignity and took his pocket handkerchief from the front of his robe. Severus was fumbling as he tried to unfold it so Lilly smiling gently, took it from him and dipped it into the vase of tulips for water and washed his face off. She was still smiling as she finished her task but there was no joy in her face; the smile was more to comfort him then her for he sobbed and shook so violently that he could not hold his head up and laid in her lap, face hidden as he let out a long-suffering wail. Her hands gripped his hair and she too began to cry as the same aforementioned thoughts pummeled her brain causing the most splitting headache and for the second time that day he began to weep and shake and cry.
"Seven hells, " Severus groaned, rubbing his now throbbing temples. Everything hurt, from his head to his veins it was all abuzz and burning, he felt faint and sick to his stomach.
Dumbledore spoke out first, "Easy Severus easy," he soothed, blue eyes twinkling.
Severus glared at him, "my wife was pregnant and alone and you expect me to take it easy!"
Albus stood slowly, he could only imagine his would-be son was feeling right now. He had promised him that he and his family would be safe; and indeed they were. Alive and well and no worse for the ware. But nevertheless, the terror the three of them were no doubt feeling was visible. Easing the man down into a chair he gave him some water and rose solomely to his feet.
"I know it is difficult but I promise you everything's fine." then slowly he added, "for now..."
A/n shorter than usual but this just seemed the perfect place to stop.