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This is a little long but I could not bring myself to stop writing. Please read and review
Thank you Mu-nition, Amar 2 and librarywitch (welcome back ).
The first week of summer was ordinary. Lily flew to Ireland by muggle means two days after they were out of school. She was to stay with her grandmother for the rest of the summer. The Evans returned that same week. He had hoped that Lily would be back with them but she and Petunia decided to take care of the old woman. Severus barely remembered the woman. He most assuredly had spent his fifth year summer with Lucius. Once Lily was gone he delved into the secret stash of book his mother had. Not so secret anymore since it was now in their rather small makeshift library. There was absolutely nothing about time travel. The young man longed for the room of requirement. When he first stepped into this bizarre reality the room had given him boundless knowledge and materials to reference and cross-reference.
He was growing increasingly worried. He never had a brother, how would this change the future? Severus figured that a sibling would not change so many things. He pondered the notion and even the most rational explanations could not dispel the distress. A child changed things but this individual's life was not his doing. If anything Severus Snape was the least pleased with his parents' rekindled marriage. He was certain it was a matter of time before Tobias abandoned Eileen and this unborn child who would be born in late December according to his calculations. This boy, his mother had performed a sex telling charm on her belly would be a peer for Nymphadora Tonks and Charles Weasley. Severus could not help but feel his theories change and shift. There was room for change, in his books there had been a determinism almost pessimistic. The books outlined that events such as births, prophecies and deaths would always find a way to be. These would run their course; a time traveler would do best to let those happen. Severus was utterly confused, this brother of his was not supposed to be conceived. He had been conceived after his father came back home. He tried to think on the feeble excuse his mother gave him. "Your father has changed for good. He has not touched a drop of alcohol since he came back." Severus did the math and this child was conceived in April. Tobias's return changed the timeline. Severus thought of all the things he had done differently. In his old life, he was to be inducted next month; instead he was to be home for the holidays. Severus stood up from his bed and paced. He would not be a death eater. The old man said this was his chance. He would change things; no one would deliver the prophecy to the Dark Lord. Lily and her child would be safe. He would protect Lily and Harry against Pettigrew's treachery. He needed to know how this child could affect her. He was sent back to protect Lily, to make sure she and Harry lived, to atone for his wrongs. Severus would not forget that it had been him. He had sealed her fate that night when he told the Dark Lord about the blasted prophecy. This time around he would fix things.
He needed to know why? Why did Tobias return? It was three in the afternoon. He would be at his office at the law firm. He changed from his pajamas to a blue plain t-shirt and a pair of dark jeans. He brushed his teeth and walked down to his mother. She was cooking dinner. "Mum, I need the address of the law firm." She looked at him as if he had grown another head.
"Why?" She set the knife to chop some onions. It was bewildering to see her using magic so freely. The food tasted incredibly better now that she was free to use her magic.
"I want to ask him something." Severus opted to be truthful.
Eileen smiled, no doubt thinking that it was a step into fixing their father-son relationship. "Wait until he's home. It's Friday, he comes home early." She said happily. Severus remembered the days in which she dreaded the weekends. Tobias would drink from Friday night to Sunday night.
"It can't wait I have to ask him now." Severus grew impatient with his mother.
She waved her wand and wrote an address on a piece of paper. "Thanks." He said and kissed her on the forehead. It had been years since he did so. His mother died during his sixth year. He always regretted not kissing her or hugging her enough.
He took the bus to the busy Manchester Street where Tobias worked. The building looked like any other. He went to the ninth floor. A lady with a bad perm sat in a desk. "Good Afternoon." She said with a kind voice.
Severus replied the greeting and asked. "I am looking for Tobias Snape."
The woman nodded and used her phone. "Tobias, there is a boy here asking after you."
She looked at him, "What did you say was your name sweetheart?"
"Severus." He replied quietly.
The woman frowned, "He says his name is Sebastian."
"Severus." The young man said forcefully.
"Oh your son. Oh, I see the resemblance." She laughed. "How silly of me. You look just like your father. Have a seat, Tobias will be here any moment now."
He didn't have to wait long. Tobias came to the reception immediately. "Severus. Is it mum? The baby?" He looked worried and out of breath.
Severus frowned, "They are well. I need to speak with you."
The woman behind the desk looked at them interestedly. "Come into my office." They walked a long corridor and then were inside a modest if cramped office.
"Let me finish here and we will go home." Tobias sat and used a calculator and a big book. He waited for half an hour and then they were going to his car.
He remained silent for a few minutes and then asked. "Why did you come back?"
Tobias did not answer. He drove them to an old football field. He stopped the car and went to the benches. There were kids training in the field. "I don't know if you remember but we used to come here with your mum when you were little."
He did not remember. Tobias looked saddened, "I have been a worthless dad and I don't want to repeat the same mistakes with the new baby."
Severus could not care less about the insecurities of this man and his impeding parenthood. "Why did you come back?" Severus asked determined to get an answer.
"I wanted to make it right." He replied and took out a cigarette. Severus took one out too. If Tobias could smoke so could he. His father did not dare say anything.
He laughed, "It does not sound like you at all. You despise us, what mum and I are. Why did you come back?"
"I had a dream, a nightmare really. I saw you and your mother dead. She was in a bed, a hospital and you were crying. Then I saw me bitten by a snake but I wasn't wearing my regular clothes but robes and then I realized it was not I. It was you. You were dead. You looked so very unhappy son. I thought I was losing my mind and did not drink for a day." He smoked some more. "I drank again that night and saw me killing your mother and you."
"I want to say I realized I needed to come home but it was not as easy. I went to a place and they helped me. I came back because I care. I became what I did not want to be. I became my father. A mean drunk, I remembered our last encounter. How I almost hit your mother. saw this disgust in your eyes when you pushed me away from your mother and I saw me when I was your age. I want to fix things because it is not too late. I can still of use."
Severus paled, "How did I die?" He asked softly.
"A snake bit your neck. There was a boy who held you and tried to help you but it was too late."
"What else did you see?" Severus could not believe Tobias was telling him this.
"Nothing else. Severus I want us to have a second chance." Those words, they rattled him and he tried legilemency without any use.
He stood up and looked at him. "What happened? Tell me." He yelled
"I was given a second chance because of you son." He said.
"It sounds mad but I died Sev, I do not deserve it but I was given this chance to help you. I know the last thing you want is to have a relationship with me but I want to be there for you." He said honestly. Severus could see the car that ran over him. Tobias did not die. He went for help and went back to his wife and son.
Severus glared at him. "I do not need your help. I have been fine without you and I will be fine when you go back to your bottle."
The young man had no money for a train to town so he rode with his father. He did not comment. The old Tobias would have tried to hit him but this man quietly drove them home. Dinner was strained. It became clear to Eileen that father and son were not in the path of reconciliation. Severus did not sleep at night thinking about what Tobias told him. Could his father have been awarded a second chance like he did? No, it could not be. Tobias Snape did not deserve it, but neither do you; a voice reminded him every sleepless night. He spent the rest of the time thinking about the mess with certain Ravenclaw girl.
Marlene wrote to him every week. He replied reluctantly. She urged him to visit her in London. Severus invented a hundred and one excuses to not do so. Lily wrote to him too, he corresponded with her happily. He avoided his parents and their talk about the baby.
By the third week of summer Severus found a job in a library helping sort books and clean up a bit. He wanted to be out of the house as much as possible. He could not bear to look at Tobias with his elated face when mum spoke about the baby. They were excited about him. Severus spent sleepless nights thinking about the impact this baby would have.
He was walking back home when a girl ambushed him. "Severus." Marlene yelled happily.
She hugged him and kissed him. He kissed her back because it was something to do. She looked so happy to see him.
"What are you doing here?" The McKinnons lived in London near the Blacks if he was not mistaken.
"I took a portkey." She motioned to a bobby pin. "It activates at 9:00 PM." She gushed. It was 5:00 PM. Severus nodded and walked with her. He took her to see a film, well fifteen minutes. Marlene was entranced by the concept of cinema. She spoke too loud and they had to leave. Severus could not help but laugh at her lack of knowledge. Marlene was fun if only he could fall in love with her.
It was 8:00 PM. "I have to go home." He said lightly. They were eating fish and chips. The Ravenclaw girl nodded. "I still have an hour and it would be lovely to meet your parents." Severus frowned.
"I don't think that's a good idea." He said stiffly. He remembered why he had been avoiding visiting her. She was bloody pushy. "Marlene, you wouldn't like them."
She stood up. "Let me decide that." He did not budge and they stayed in silence for the remaining hour. Marlene pouted but he stood his ground.
She kissed him goodbye. Severus thought she would not speak to him for a short while at least but he was mistaken. She wrote to him three days after her visit.
Severus decided to cool things a bit with her. Lily understood that they could not be more than friends. He did not really need Marlene anymore. Severus did not know how to let her down or break up with her.
Lily came back a week before they were to leave for Hogwarts. She looked exquisitely beautiful.
"How is your Gran?" He asked when she met him in their spot by the park.
"She is better now." She explained about her recovery and the fact that Petunia would stay another week.
"I came back because I have to buy new robes and the books for the term." Severus offered to take her.
"Tobias will let me drive." Lily looked doubtful.
Severus rolled his eyes, "He feels guilty and it is trying to make amends."
"You shouldn't take advantage of him Sev." Lily said with doubt in her green eyes.
The young man grabbed her hand. "He should feel guilty. He left us and will leave us Lily, mark my words. Now, do you want to go with me tomorrow?"
She nodded and switched the conversation to their summer assignments. Lily wanted to review her potions essay. Severus went to her house and they worked for the rest of the afternoon. Mr. Evans refused to let them work in her bedroom. They were only allowed to work in the living room under the watchful eye of Mrs. Evans. He felt uncomfortable by the looks Harry Evans gave him. The man looked at him as if he was defiling his precious daughter. Lily was of course oblivious to the dirty looks her dad threw his way. Mr. Evans had distrusted him ever since he found Lils and him in that compromising situation over Christmas holidays.
It took a lot of prodding and begging on Lily's part for the Evans to let her go with him to London. Eileen was not too keen to let him go but as expected Tobias supported his decision and even gave him some money for petrol and food. He enjoyed their little trip. It was very comfortable to drive and sing along with Lils who joked and looked breath taking beautiful. She wore a blue summer dress and big sunglasses. She told him a billion of stories of her Nan and her time in Ireland.
Once they were in Diagon Alley they bought books and ate ice cream when the bloody marauders made an appearance. Potter was the first to approach their table. "Evans, fancy meeting you here." The messy haired teen ignored Severus fact that suited him just fine. Black and Pettigrew sulked from afar; neither would dare to come by Severus's side. Well the mutt was too bloody proud and that vermin of a rat was too cowardly. Lupin greeted them both. Severus had no quarrel with Lupin, truth be told he hated him all those years because of his association with Potter and Black. It did not help that he almost tried to kill him in his werewolf form.
Potter was perfectly civilized and only his look of contempt evidenced him. Lily was not keen on speaking with her Gryffindor classmates. "Come Evans. My parents are out of town. We have a big party tonight. I could nick a portkey from my dad's office and have you back to your home in less than a minute." He smiled, a big bloody perfect smile. He remained passive. He would not say anything if not provoked. He waited patiently for Lil's reply. She would not accept. She had not liked Potter until late in her sixth year. They had been elected Head boy and Head girl. Lily smiled politely but declined. "I have to go back home." She stood up. Severus paid their bill and helped her with her bags. If anything Potter was relentless and so full of himself it was a trait that he despised, particularly in Potter who was the picture of pureblood arrogance. For years Severus brooded about the unfairness of it all. James Potter, Sirius Black even Arthur Weasley on occasion. They were purebloods fighting against bigotry and yet they knew virtually nothing about muggles.
They were crusaders of a cause they barely knew. Severus suppressed more unkind thoughts. During that last year at Hogwarts he would have given everything to dine with obnoxious Molly Weasley. At least she seemed to care about him and Arthur always gave him a kind word. He should not speak about the Weasleys; they were nothing but good people. Potter and Black were arrogant, vicious in their own righteous way.
The marauders followed them to the busy London Street. Black seemed to know his way around the streets. Lupin was a half blood and as such was more comfortable in muggle settings. Pettigrew and Potter were outright stupid. They pointed and looked out of place. He could not believe how far they were following them. All the while Potter tried to convince Lily to attend to this party at his home but Lily politely refused time and time again. They walked for about seven blocks until they got to the car. Suddenly Black approached them. He had hung back but seeing the car sparked his curiosity. Severus oddly remembered the bike the mutt used to own.
He hated the attention the bloody car was getting. "Evans, I didn't know you had a car. Can I get behind the wheel? I have been trying to drive one of this for months. Mother and father would not let me but now that I live with the Potters I bet they could let me get one of these." Severus snorted as he put the boxes of books and other supplies in the trunk of the car. The grey car was not even the latest model out. He doubted this little shit would be used to getting anything less than the latest gadgets.
The mutt noticed his snorts. "Something funny Snivellus." Black snarled. Severus sneered at him. "Only you." He spat.
Black glared at him. "What say you Evans? Let me try…"
"Come on Evans be a sport. Let Padfoot have a go." Potter seemed really excited to see his best mate "have a go" as he put it.
Lily shook her head, "We have to get to Manchester." She got into the passenger seat and looked out the window. "And it is not my car. It's Sev's, his dad gave it to him." Severus smirked and got into the driver seat.
The marauders, especially Black looked astonished. It was no secret that Severus did not come from money; his robes were clean but worn and sometimes mended. Well, the last year his mother had bought him new everything. She could afford things since Tobias had a steady and well paying job. Severus did not refuse the money, he resented Tobias but he was not stupid.
He was about to start the car when Lupin spoke up, "Snape, Could you give me a lift to Birmingham?"
"You wouldn't dare Moony." Pettigrew put his two cents in.
Black and Potter looked very self assured that Lupin would not get in the car or that he would not give the werewolf the lift.
He looked at Lily who stared at him with those hopeful almond shaped green eyes. "Get in." He said before he could make sense of his words.
Lupin thanked him and got to the backseat amidst the marauder's protests. "But Moony you have to come to our party."
"Can't, I've got a family thing with mum." The werewolf shrugged his shoulders. Severus did not think Lupin was a party animal. This family get together was probably a ruse to avoid socialization.
Severus grew annoyed with their whining. He started the car and sped off the London streets. Lily was the glue that held the car conversation together. She was witty and drew both young men into small talk. He was not really interested in being friends with the werewolf but he did enjoy some of their talk about muggle history. As it happened they both were interested in power struggle and republic formation in medieval and post renaissance Europe. He remembered older Lupin suddenly; the werewolf was as a sober man. Severus had reluctantly, very reluctantly corresponded with him after his tenure in Hogwarts. Dumbledore forced him to brew wolfsbane and he had needed to know his address. Old Lupin was almost a recluse by the time he saw him the last time. It had been during Potter's sixth year by Christmas. Severus knew about his relationship with young Nymphadora and disapproved. Lupin, he did not why, chose to disclose it, maybe it was the fact that they were the last of their generation. No one else could understand he supposed.
Severus and Lupin were the last surviving members of a graduating generation of at least twenty-five people. He did not count that scum Pettigrew. They spoke sporadically. Severus remembered when Lupin told him he was in love. Severus almost laughed in his face and left but something made him stay. "I am no good for her." He said and Severus only nodded because it was true. For all they were neither Black, Lupin or him were good company for anyone. They had seen war too close, they were damaged and could not have honest relationship normal women wanted.
He drove in silence as Lily asked Lupin a million and one questions about his summer and what he would do and whom he thought would be Head boy next year. Lily had a knack for smoothing awkward situations. She managed to include him in their conversations. Once they were close to Birmingham Severus asked where to drop him. "Fine here. Lupin said as they got to the main road. I can take a bus and get to my uncle's home from here.
The sandy haired man thanked him and smiled at Lily. "Thanks Snape."
They turned back to the main road. "That was nice wasn't it?" he could practically see the wheels turning in her head.
"Do not think this will happen again. I do not like Lupin or any other of his idiotic friends." Lily rolled her eyes and pouted.
Severus drove happily and in silence for about half and hour. "I just think you two would be excellent friends."
He laughed, a mocking laugh. "Please hear me out." She said and proceeded to tell him why Lupin and him would be great friends.
"You need more friends too." She said with a serious face.
"I have enough friends thank you for your concern Ms. Evans." He said with an equally serious tone.
Lily glanced at him sideways. "Name them, name all your friends now."
Severus frowned. "You, Narcissa, Magnolia, Regulus and Marlene." He replied. Lily's eyes saddened at the mention of Marlene but she recovered quickly. "Five, three because Sirius's brother does not speak to you anymore and Marlene is your girlfriend." She retorted.
It was his time to frown. "Well, that still leaves me three good friends and that is more than enough."
"No it does not. You need to have more friends." She was very stubborn that he would give her that.
He prepared for a rousing debate on friendship. They had about an hour to get home. Severus enjoyed this part of their friendship. He had discovered in these past few months that he was back that Lily and him could argue. He had been too afraid when he was sixteen the first time. He lost the fear because this time he would not let pride, death eaters or anything get in the way of their relationship. They debated and talked more. She would huff but he would make her laugh and they would speak of something else.
It was getting dark when they arrived to her place. "I don't need more friends." He said as he closed the lid of the trunk. They carried her bags to her house. "You do. Black and that other girl will leave this year then you will only have one friend."
He grumbled but ended up laughing when Lily said he could befriend some of her Gryffindor classmates including two Prewet boys named Gideon and Fabian. Severus thought he had heard those names before.
Lily closed the door to her house and they could hear the Evans in the dining room. They were chatting and laughing. "Mum, Dad I'm home." She yelled and climbed the stairs to her room. Severus followed her. "Sev is here. We are going up to my room."
Harry Evans was by his side in less than a minute. "I'll carry those, you can go home Severus." He said it with a kind smile.
"Yes sir." He said with a nod. He waved goodbye to Mrs. Evans.
Lily came from her room when he was opening the door to leave. "Bye Lils."
"Bye Sev." She hugged him goodbye. He smiled at her and was going to kiss her cheek when he saw Harry Evans's piercing green eyes glare at him. Do not touch my little girl they said.