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Severus felt the tension in the now cramped headmaster's office. Charlus and Dorea Potter sat in front of the headmaster. Lyall Lupin and The Snapes sat in different couches. Lupin, Lily and him sat in conjured chairs by some bookshelves. Black and Potter sat next to the elder Potters.
Minerva was by Albus's side. She stood quietly while everyone else sat down. His old friend had been beautiful. She looked positively fuming. The young Slytherin had changed to fresh clothes, as had the others. Remus looked sickly but he had been adamant that he wanted to be present for this disciplinary hearing.
Dumbledore addressed the students for the first time. "The events of yesterday night are deplorable. Four of you are lucky to be alive. Your parents are rightly concerned about this. We have come to an impasse. Ms. Evans, I have sent a letter to your parents. Mrs. Snape agreed to explain them about these events. They are aware of the circumstances and trust you will come to the right decision. They are scared Ms. Evans but understand this is a grievous accident." The old man paused looking over his half moon glasses to the young girl. "As Severus correctly pointed out all of you are adults and as such have the option to alert the ministry and pursue additional punishment," Dumbledore sighed and asked Lily.
"Lily will you press charges?" his young friend met his gaze. Severus tried to convey a negative answer. Lily and him rowed minutes before. She wanted Black and Potter to be held responsible for their actions.
Lily looked at him and then held his hand, a gesture of trust no doubt. "No."
Dumbledore smiled. He then turned to Severus. "I must ask you again Severus. Do you wish to press charges?"
Severus would have loved to have these choices last time. He would have not hesitated and declared Lupin a werewolf. He would have sent all of them to Azkaban given the opportunity. Now he had to step back and think, not like the teenager that he was supposed to be but the adult he was. The adult Severus who had been in two wars and had seen Potter's dead body, Black's cynicism and Lupin's broken spirit. Harry needed Potterin order to be born. Some things did not change. He had still seen Lupin's werewolf form only this time he did not owe anything to Potter. This time Lily owed him a life debt.
"No, I don't." He saw as Black and Potter smirked and he realized how much he still hated them. It was irrational and visceral. Severus hatred for these two men had not diminished. "Very well Mr. Snape. I want to commend you for your wise decision…" Severus let his mind wander as Dumbledore lectured them.
Severus paid attention again when Dumbledore announced the correctives. "Mr. Potter and Mr. Black are forbidden to set foot outside of Hogwarts Castle until the end of their careers here. They will not take part of any apparation courses in the castles and will serve detention with our caretaker Mr. Filch every day until the end of their Seventh Year. In addition Mr. Potter will be stripped of his captainship and place as a chaser in Gryffindor's Quiddicth team." Minerva looked sour.
Potter and Black had their mouths agape and looked every bit surprised. Lily spoke up. "Will they be suspended?" She glared at Potter and Black. "They wanted to kill Sev. I heard them speak of how he would meet them in the Shrieking Shack. They planned this. They hate him, only because he's different." Her temper flared and she stood up. Potter looked crushed. Black stood up. "Ask him what he did to Marlene. Ask him to tell you. This bastard did something to her." Black stated rancorously.
"He's done nothing to her." Lily said. "You can't accept that Marlene likes him. You are an arrogant little prick who is in love with a girl who does not even like him. You lured Sev into the shack because you are jealous of him."
Severus had never seen Black so angry. He was surprised none of the adults did anything. They could only watch as the two teens argued. It was mildly entertaining. "Snivellus is nothing but a death eater in the making. Open your eyes Evans. He is evil he probably follows Voldemort. He hates your kind. He will turn on you."
"That is a very grave accusation Sirius." Charlus Potter said, finally interrupting.
"Indeed it is." Eileen said. Her eyes shone with anger. Tobias looked confused and hazarded that it was not because of any charms or lack of them.
Lupin Sr. looked uncomfortable and Dorea Potter glanced speculatively at Severus.
Dumbledore frowned. "Do you have any proof?" He asked with a steely voice.
Black glared at him and Severus glared back. "He does not have the mark yet but it is only matter of time. I know his sort. He spews pureblood propaganda and hates muggles. He is evil. He enjoys hurting people."
"Have you forgotten what Mulciber did to Mary or when Snivellus cursed Peter with that horrible rash?" Sirius addressed Lily once again.
"Albus, Are you harboring death eaters in the makings amidst our children? This young man should be expelled immediately." Dorea Potter said haughtily.
"I will not have my son treated like a criminal by a spoiled little boy. My son has done nothing wrong or illegal. Those two young men tried to kill him." Tobias said. "I don't rightly know who this Voldemort fellow is but my son is not a sadist or any of what you are suggesting young man."
Potter's eyes rounded. "Your father is a muggle. You are a half-blood."
Severus remembered hiding that fact through out his teenage years and early adulthood. He remembered hating Tobias; almost believing that if he was a powerful death eater Lily would think him worthy.
His father looked puzzled. Severus looked at his mum who wore an angry scowl but was silent. "My son is a hard working young man. Yes, I am a muggle." Tobias said with a glare.
Charlus Potter looked at Eileen for the first time. "Little Princess." He said with a smile. Dorea Potter gasped. "Oh Love. It can't be you. You look beautiful." The older woman's haughty expression vanished as she hugged Eileen Snape.
"Dear, why did you not say anything? We been speaking about our children for hours and you did not say who you were. You look so different."
Severus was puzzled and shocked. Where did these women know each other? Potter and the rest of them were equally surprised by the tone and change in Dorea.
"What is going on now? Eileen? This woman accused our son of being a criminal if I'm not mistaken." Tobias and Severus wore matching scowls. "I apologize for our behavior we did not know he was your son Little Princess."
Eileen blushed. "Eileen, explain now." Tobias said harshly. Severus could not even bother to reproach him for his tone because he felt the same exasperation. It was Dumbledore who hastened things and regrouped.
"Dorea, Charlus, do you agree with the punishment?" The headmaster asked with a smile.
"Oh, of course. Jaime should have never behaved in such careless manner. Sirius will follow suit too. I am sure Walburga and Orion would accept the punishment." She said dismissively.
"On the matter of Remus. We would like to assure you Lyall that we will not disclose his affliction. James and Sirius were completely out of line. We are very grateful for Severus's and this young lady's mature attitude." Charlus Potter stated seriously.
"Mr. and Mrs. Snape, are you comfortable with the terms?" Eileen nodded but Tobias shook his head. "Not at all, but Severus has decided to not press charges. I trust his judgement." Tobias said with a scowl.
"Lyall you have my word that this will not happen again. I will make the trek with Remus from now on." Dumbledore said placidly.
Lupin Sr. nodded and then looked at Severus. "I have no words young man." the young Slytherin stiffly nodded and shook his hand. "Headmaster, I would like to take my son home. Hope is beside herself with worry." The older man nodded.
Severus watched as Lily hugged him. "I am so sorry Severus." He said with a pained voice. He remembered the older Lupin, broken, beaten by life. "I am too." Severus offered his hand. Remus silently shook it. The young half-blood noticed that Remus did not glance at his long time friends.
McGonagall escorted the Lupins out of the office. "I would like to know how you know Potter's mother." Severus said when he noticed how animatedly she talked with Potter's parents.
"Oh you don't know." Dorea said and kissed his forehead. He was very uncomfortable by the gesture.
Tobias looked puzzled. James and Black looked disgusted. Lily looked out of place. "I should go." She said and left the office. Severus wanted her to be with him but it was best if she left. He was to busy speculating now.
Dorea Potter smiled at him like a grandmother would. "We are related. Well, Eileen and you are related to Charlus."
James and him said no at the same time. "It can't be." James Potter hissed. The elder Potter frowned. "Yes. It can. Aurelius, Eileen's father and I grew up together. He's my cousin; his mother was my aunt Irma Potter was his mother. Eileen spent many afternoons with us when she was growing up. Didn't you little Princess." Charlus hugged his mother.
"You and Severus are cousins." Dorea said delighted.
"We are not." Severus said defiantly.
"Leen, I don't understand. How could you never say anything? That boy has bullied our son for years. You could have prevented this." Tobias said, how very hypocritical of him when he had inflicted his fair share of abuse on both of them.
Eileen shook her head. "Well Tobias, your son like you is very stubborn and did not volunteer any names to his aggressors. How was I to know that it was Uncle Charlus's son?" She offered bitingly. That calmed Tobias. He still frowned.
"Oh Sweetheart, don't trouble yourself. We searched after you when Cassiopeia owled me. You should not have run away Eileen."
"He was going to make me marry Orion Black." If anything the teenagers were more surprised than anything. Severus had never even contemplated his mother's life before he was born. All he knew was that Aurelius Prince disowned her after she married Tobias and that she had been an only child. Severus received the entire Princes' assets once his grandfather Aurelius died in 1980, two years or so after mother died.
Severus and Black glared at each other. "I am very glad you ran away." He said, for the first time relieved that Tobias was his father. In another life he would have been related to Sirius Black, they would have been brothers. He shuddered at the idea.
Black frowned and was about to retort when Dorea Potter spoke again. "You vanished darling. We looked everywhere. No wonder, you married a muggle. You must have stayed in the muggle world.
"Yes auntie. This is Tobias, my husband." She said quite happily.
What followed was surreal even he had to admit this was very unexpected. Soon mother was arranging meetings with the Potters. Tobias looked as displeased as his son. The Potters and his mother walked out of the office. Black and Potter left too, to their common room no doubt.
Dumbledore politely ordered Severus and his father out of his office. Severus was cold and distant, still in shock that he was related to James Potter and to Harry, the boy who lived was his cousin once or twice removed. He could not care, he cared that Dumbledore omitted the information. He was not naïve enough to think that the shrewd headmaster did not know about his blood connection to Potter.
"Where are we? I must go back to work." Mother's charm was wearing off. He contemplated letting his father wander around the castle until mother found him. He dismissed the thought when they reached a corridor full of Slytherins. They would torture him.
"You are in Hogwarts, my school." Severus said and tried a lucidity charm. It worked, Tobias walked around the castle. "This place is ancient." He said in a small voice. "I was not able to see the structures when your mother pointed her wand at me. This place is beautiful. His father looked out to the great lake. "There is a giant squid. It is not warm enough to see him yet." Severus explained.
"You must love to come to this place. Your mother used to speak about it when we first met." He said sadly. Severus wondered how mum could omit the magic in this place.
Severus was quiet. Tobias walked along the walls and watched the portraits moving. "They do that all the time. He wondered whether his father could see the ghosts. Apparently he could because he was entranced with the Grey Lady who glided away crying pitifully. The Bloody Baron trailed after her. "Your mother said they were real. I never thought…"
They walked past a few Ravenclaw girls. He did not notice until Marlene hugged him. "I heard you were in the infirmary. What happened? I heard Sirius tried to kill you." She sobbed and cried.
"Marlene, I'm perfectly fine. I'll talk to you later." He said frowning.
Tobias looked at the girl and then at his son. "This is the young lady you were seeing?" He asked quietly.
Marlene looked at him is askance, "Marlene, this is Tobias Snape, my father." his father offered a stretched hand. The girl shook it, "pleased to meet you sir." She then looked at Severus. "I'll meet you in the library tonight at seven." She kissed his cheek and walked away.
The two men walked some more to the Quidditch pitch. Hufflepuff and Gryffindor trained alongside. Tobias looked at the brooms and the different balls flying. "Can you do that?"
"Not very well, no." He said. He wanted mother to be done with her conversation and take Tobias away from his world.
"That girl you introduced me to… She's pretty but not as pretty as Lily." Tobias attempted to strike conversation with him. Severus wanted nothing more than to have his mum take Tobias away.
"Severus, are you being careful?" Tobias sounded hesitant.
It dawned on him that Tobias wanted to have the talk with him. "You don't have to talk to me about it."
"I want you to be safe. Well, that boy implied some things. I know you would never do anything like that but if you are having sex I want you to be protected." Tobias stammered out.
"No need to worry. I know how to take care of things." Severus blushed. He never expected to have this conversation with Tobias.
"So you have then." Tobias prodded.
"Yes, I have, now can we discuss something else? We should look for mum now." He walked ahead of his father until the found her and the Potters looking at pictures of baby Augustus.
"He is precious. You must come visit darling." Dorea said with an open and kind smile. She looked completely different from the cold haughty woman who implied he was a death eater. Mother seemed to have forgotten that incident and happily agreed to visit with Augustus next weekend.
It had to be the most surreal experience in both his lives. In the span of three days he had Dumbledore discover he was not an ordinary teenage wizard. He encountered a rabid werewolf, saved Lily and discovered that he and bloody Potter were related. He did not include Tobias in the equation. His father defended him and was in Hogwarts. Tobias, who hated magic, the same man who prohibited all magic in his house while his son grew up.