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Ronald Weasley turned one and they were all invited to his birthday party. Alice and little Neville were there as well. It was a grand affair with a lot of wizards guarding the Burrow. Severus was surprised when the plans came together. It had been Narcissa's idea to have such a party.
"People will have fun, forget about the war for a bit and enjoy themselves it will be good for the morale of the Light." She said excitedly when she proposed the party. So little Ron had his party. There were magical games and the children ran about the yard and the pond. Lily was introducing Neville to Harry. They were crawling together. Harry did not pay much attention to his companion. His son was entranced with the chickens in front of him.
Ron was kissed and prodded until the boy squirmed and toddled off with Draco. The Weasley boy walked now while Draco tried to keep up with him and the twins. Severus drank some of the juice and stayed far away from the army of Weasleys and Prewetts. Tobias chatted with a redheaded woman called Muriel. He seemed to want to shoot himself. Molly and Arthur were accepting well wishes and gifts for Ron and their other children.
"Long time no see." Kingsley was by his side.
"Shacklebolt." Severus said as greeting.
"How is the ministry?" He asked politely.
"Peaceful as ever." Kingsley replied, "Frank is on duty today."
Severus nodded, "I met your son, lovely child." The man said with a laugh.
Severus smirked, "Thanks."
"I have a message for you." Kingsley said discreetly. The man approached him and slipped a piece of parchment on his robes.
"There is Emmeline, I must catch up with her." Kingsley left his side.
Severus opened the piece of parchment and read it carefully, "The cup has been found. Come at once." It was Dumbeldore's handwriting.
He vanished the parchment and went near Lily, "You have to go." She said with a frown.
The man arched an eyebrow, "How did you know?" He asked as he sat down by her on the grass. Harry crawled to his lap and pulled on his blue shirt.
"I saw Kingsley make a beeline for you. Kingsley and you are not close or pretend to small talk." Lily said with a smile because Harry tried to climb his father's torso and grab his nose.
Severus frowned when Harry screeched. "You are a demonic child." Severus said while tickling him. Harry squealed. "Dada, dada, dada." Severus laughed. "Did he? He did."
Lily smiled, "He called you dada." Severus kissed her soundly and tickled Harry even more. Harry called Lils mama a few days ago. It seemed he graduated to other important words such as dada. Severus felt very happy and determined to keep hearing all the words his son ever muttered.
"I will go meet Dumbledore and then come back. Stay here; don't go until I come back. Tell Black that Harry called me dada." Severus said and apparated.
He landed near the gates and waked into the school. He climbed the steps to the Headmaster's office and watched the cup. "It was in Bellatrix Lestrange's vaults. A fortunate event led me to it. I was Frank who gave me the information of a ministry raid. These have become so common now. Frank was confused when he saw the cup. It is a lost Hufflepuff heirloom. As it happens Frank's paternal grandmother was a Smith and her sister in law was Hepzibah Smith. She had a golden cup that was said to be Helga Hufflepuff's. He came to came to me with the piece of knowledge and I was able to extract it from the vault."
Severus looked at the object. "How did you steal it?"
"My dear boy, you do not expect me to reveal all my tricks, do you?" Albus said with twinkling blue eyes.
The younger man approached it, "How are you going to destroy it?"
"Fiendyfire has worked in the past." Albus grabbed him and they were in a deserted field.
Albus casted the curse and the flames consumed the cup. The cup tried to fight back as the locket and the diary did. The fire however was stronger than the horrcrux. Severus watched as the flames melted the cup. He could actually hear the mournful sound the cup made.
"Can you hear it?" He asked a little out of sorts.
"I can't. I fear Tom is becoming more aware that his horrcruxes are targeted. It sounds as if this piece is trying to reconnect with him. It is an educated guess; but my guesses are usually right." Albus said with an unconcerned air.
Severus felt oppression on his chest. "My son, my wife, my family." Severus said with a strained voice.
"Would be safer if you listened to me son." Albus said cajolingly.
The younger man looked at his old master, "No thanks. I don't trust you. I remember Regulus and I know about Arianna and Gellert Grindewald." Severus still remembered the Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore by one Rita Skeeter and that letter Lily wrote to Black. It made sense then.
Albus eyes turned hard, "We have destroyed three out of the five horrcruxes. There is a need to find that ring and that something Raveclaw." Severus took the lead and added to conversation. "I believe it is a diadem. It is the only artifact that makes sense to me."
Severus explained his theory of the lost diadem of Rowena Ravenclaw. "It is far fetched but it is the only artifact known to belong to her." Severus had read about that diadem since they started their search of horrcruxes.
"The search for that artifact could take years." Albus said carefully.
The younger man ran a hand through his hair, "I don't have years. I don't want my son to grow up hiding." He was exasperated. Harry deserved to grow up happy like Lily had. He deserved better than hurried outings and quick visits with his friends.
"I have a lead on the ring Severus. We have to be patient." Albus replied and then apparated. He was dismissed. The young man apparated back near the Burrow.
Lily and Harry were laughing on the grass. Harry crawled behind an old chicken. Dad played football with the older boys and even the twins seemed to have been invited as well. Black and Narcissa were playing with Augustus and Percy.
Black was in his dog form and chased after the little fluffy rabbits she conjured. Remus walked with a sleeping Draco. The blond boy took a liking to Remus. Narcissa was wary of it at first. She still was but she seemed to loosen up her grip on Draco to the point where she let Remus, Molly and Black take care of the little boy. Remus sat on a lawn chair with Draco on his chest.
Severus sat back on the grass with his wife and child. "I thought you would have been inside by now."
"You were not gone for too long." She kissed his chin. Severus lie down and placed a sitting Harry on his belly.
"Dumbledore only wanted me to corroborate some information." Severus said as explanation for his absence.
"I am not asking for explanations Sev. I understand that there are some things you are not at liberty to discuss. I trust you Sev." Lily said simply. Severus loved her more every single day.
"I will never hurt you. I never could, you know that?" he asked with fear.
"Of course I know. Severus, I love you and I know you want to keep me and our son safe." Lily laughed when Harry attempted to bounce up and down on his belly.
Severus laughed as well and grabbed Harry by his belly and shook him lightly. "Narcissa outdid herself."
Severus shrugged, "She has training in the arts of party organizing." Severus growled and teased Harry until their son attempted to growl as well.
They stayed on the grass patch until Gus came running, "Come on Sev, we're playing football. Come and play." Severus faked sleep and then was dragged by three energetic Weasleys and his little brother.
He was surprised to see Remus there as well. "I was always curious. Your father is teaching me how to."
Severus grabbed the ball and started running with it. Bill was good and could maybe attempt to take it from him. Remus was useless. Dad could still play; they ran around and Dad laughed when he took the ball away from him. He could tell people were watching them and some cheered for him. Lily cheered for him as did Cissy while Molly and Arthur cheered for his dad.
Severus ran faster and took the ball from his old man. "You were better as a kid." Tobias said as they lie on the grass with the children.
"I stopped playing." Sev said.
"You went to Hogwarts and suddenly magic was all you spoke about." Tobias laughed.
Severus frowned a little, "Dad did mum ever speak about magic with you? I mean before you came back."
"Not much, only about the houses and Slytherin. She was ecstatic and so very surprised. You were mine as well, a child of both worlds she used to call you. She was surprised you were sorted there."
Severus frowned, "Did mum ever speak of other houses?"
"Not really. All she spoke about was about her house and you." Tobias replied.
Severus saw Lily's extended hand. "Leave me here, I'm tired."
"Come along. We are going to cut Ron's cake." The words were not fully out of her mouth when the children ran toward the big tent. Tobias stood up as did he.
"Where's my grandson?" Tobias asked.
"With Sirius." Lily replied.
"I don't like that boy." His father went to get Harry.
"Dad knows best." Severus grinned.
Lily laughed. He pulled her close and they walked to the tent.
"Happy Birthday." The all sang, Ron kept his eyes fixed on the big chocolate cake. The baby was used to a lot of people and did not seem in the least embarrassed or scared.
The children sat around in tables and ate their cakes, messily he might add. Harry was eating cake with his grandpa and messing his shirt in the process.
Draco and Ron were together playing and eating cake. Narcissa and Molly were busily serving more cake. Alice helped them while Neville was asleep on a playpen.
Severus ate his cake and saw as many of the guests left. Alice said goodbye quickly and grabbed Neville. "What is it with her?" Severus asked Lily once they walked about the garden.
"Frank and her are not getting along." Lily leaned into him as they walked.
"They have been together since our third year." Severus muttered.
"Alice feels trapped in the house. She cannot stand all the rules and restrictions while Frank is able to work at the ministry as an auror." Severus felt uncomfortable.
"Do you feel that way?" Severus asked her.
"No, sometimes but I don't resent you if that's what you are asking. You don't apprentice and are as trapped as I am." Lily said carefully. "Besides, I have Cissy, Sirius and Remus to keep me company when you go away. It is not as if you go away every day. I am with you almost every day Sev."
Severus kissed her. "I am almost done with my theoretical practice and I finally finished with that mandrake leaf on my mouth."
"Sirius will have a cow." Lily muttered. "I wonder what you will be. Maybe you are a doe like our patronus."
"That would be too feminine" Severus scowled.
Lily guffawed and he hugged her tight. "Let's go back to the house."
"I want to stay with you a little more." She replied and kissed him.
"So you want to snog me like a wanton teenager." He smirked and pushed her to a tree.
"Maybe I do." She giggled when he chuckled and bit her collarbones.
They snogged and played some slap and tickle until they had to go back to the Burrow. They entered laughing and found the adults drinking tea. "Thank you so much Cissy." Molly kissed her goodbye. Severus went and retrieved Harry from the crib. Sirius held Draco but did unfortunately manage to wake him. The blond baby screamed. Harry woke up and yelled as well.
"See what you've done." Severus hissed and shushed Harry who thanked the gods was too tired to fuss much.
Draco however was having none of it. He was red on the face by the time they reached the living room. The boy had a proper tantrum until he saw Remus. His godson looked at Remus and made a pouting face and stretched his arms on his direction.
His friend took Draco from Black and the baby quieted and nuzzled his neck. The boy put his arm around the man's neck and looked at everyone with half closed grey eyes. Narcissa tried to take him away from the man but Draco merely snuggled closer.
"It is fine Narcissa." Remus said carefully as if afraid the woman would lash out against him. Cissy nodded and then kissed Tobias goodbye as if nothing happened.
Severus said his goodbyes to the adults and then apparated with Lily and Harry to muggle London. Cissy and Remus were behind them while Black trotted along as a dog.
They entered their home. Severus placed Harry in his nursery. "Sleep well Harry."
Lily and him showered together and finished their snogging session and then went to bed.
"Remus likes Narcissa." Lily said as he trailed kisses on her back.
"I don't care." Severus rasped. Lily giggled.
"It would be nice if they ended up together." She mused.
"Not going to happen." Severus said and then kissed down her belly. Lils forgot about meddling with other people's lives.
Draco turned one with a small celebration at home. Lily baked him a cake and they sang Happy Birthday around him. Draco watched in awe his one candle. Narcissa almost cried when Remus came with gifts. He had not been there because of his mission with the werewolves.
"I swung by the Burrow and Molly had this for you. It's for Dragon. Alice sent this and Tobias sent this. This one is mine, "Where is the birthday boy?" Remus swung Draco up and down and the little boy hugged him and babbled. "Mooy, mooy." The boy chanted and held onto his face.
"I never thought they would get him anything?" Narcissa said with a broken voice.
Remus frowned, "Why not? Draco is a lovely child. You are one of us Cissa." Lily winked at him. Severus rolled his eyes.
"Let's see what your gifts Dragon." Remus sat on the floor and gave him the Weasleys' gifts. Draco tore the paper happily; it was a beautiful book with fairytales Narcissa held it closely. The boy giggled. Tobias sent him a train set, muggle of course.
"How did he get that?" Severus mused.
Draco opened the next gift, from Sirius; it was a toy broomstick. Alice sent magical racing cars. Lily and him gave him assorted toys but the best gift or at least the one Draco like the most was Remus's. The man gave him a huge brown teddy bear, it hugged the little boy and he hugged it back. Draco squealed.
"Thank you Remus." Narcissa smiled a bit.
Harry's birthday went along the same vein. He received as many gifts as Draco. Tobias however sent a shiny toy horse. Narcissa did not have any money but she knit him magical clothes that would always keep him warm. Remus gave him a toy wand while Sirius gave him a toy broomstick. Severus gave him a black kitten. Lily squealed. "It's beautiful Sev."
"It is Harry's not yours." She punched him lightly on the arm.
"What is his name?" Narcissa asked while petting the little kitten. Draco hid behind her dress. She now wore dresses and muggle clothing; they all did.
"Whatever you want." Severus shrugged.
"Knox." Lily said and placed the kitten on Harry's lap. His son petted the kitten softly as Lils did. Draco came close and petted the cat as well.
Ginevra Weasly was born and her parents were ecstatic. Black had to give the money for the bet and laughed when she looked at the little baby.
"You did well." He laughed and kissed Molly on the cheek.
He became an animagus on September first, three days before the deadline. Sirius watched as Severus transformed into a sleek black panther. It was the eve before Remus's transformation and for the first time in years Remus drank the wolfsbane and did not stay in the shack but ventured to the woods with Black and him. Severus did not want to do so.
"I am not a replacement for Potter." He spat to Remus.
"You never could. James is gone but I could use the run." Black said.
"It is not safe. Need I remind you what happened the last time I ran with you?" He asked with a harsh tone.
"You will not be human. You will be an animal, they don't get afflicted." Black continued.
"You want to do it or are you too coward to try it?" Black taunted. Severus glared and agreed.
They ran all night; Remus woke up in a better mood and less weary. The three of them would run together until Tom Riddle fell for the first time.
Severus prepared for October 31st and nothing happened, there were no anomalies. Riddle was said to be traveling. Severus stayed on watch but nothing happened. All was quiet and well until February 3rd. It was a starry night. Narcissa, Draco and Remus were in the Burrow since they were invited to visit Ginny. Lily did not feel well and opted to stay Severus stayed back. Black was away with recruiting duty.
Severus was in the living room when he sensed wards being lifted. Someone was lifting the wards rapidly. It was him.
"Lily, take Harry go. He's here." He yelled and hoped she heard him. The door blew open there he was. Lord Voldermort.
"How silly of you to think you could stop me?" He hissed and aimed his wand immediately at him. Severus avoided the green light and trained his wand again. He tried to apparate and held the pebble like Lily's but could not do so. He dropped the anti apparation wards. Severus thought the pebble would be enough. He thought of Harry and Lily. Maybe they had escaped before Voldemort dropped the wards.
Severus aimed and casted the killing curse, his soul be damned. He would not let him kill Lily or Harry. It would not happen again. They would live. He would die for them.
Voldemort glared and cast the cruciatus on him. Severus twitched on the floor and tried to move away from the green light. He rolled and covered behind the tattered sofa.
Severus aimed the wand, "Avada…" he couldn't finish because Voldermort headed closer to the stairs. Severus pushed him aside with his body and landed on the stairs. He must have thought him unconscious because he went up to the nursery.
The young wizard tried to hex him once more. Voldemort turned to him and bowed, "Your persistence amuses me. You could have been so powerful under my wing."
"Shall we do it in the nursery so your wife and child can see you?" The monster pointed his wand and him. Severus tried to block him but he was faster than him.
"Imperio." Severus struggled but ultimately ended in the middle of the nursery. Voldemort was behind him. The older wizard let out a growl when he saw the empty room. Severus knew better, his family was there. He could tell that she was by the far corner, the toys by the floor shook a little, his Lily was trembling like a leaf and the toys moved a little.
He would notice; he would notice the movement and kill them. Severus waved his hand and petrified them. He wished the other wizard did not see that; the man stood between the Dark Lord and that corner. The invisibility cloak did not protect against spells. He had to put space, a barrier between them.
Voldemort was too focused on the lack of Harry and Lily. "Where are they?" He waved his hand and Severus prepared for the assault.
"Legilemens." The Dark Lord said. Severus occluded, gave false information. Lily and Harry away in New York, him and Lily fighting. He painted a picture of marital trouble and fear.
"Where are they?" He advanced on him. Severus was weakened but tried to hex his old master.
The megalomaniac laughed at his attempts; he hissed and looked at him, "We shall duel and then you will tell me exactly where your lovely wife and child are." Severus bowed once more and pointed his wand at him. He was not going to wait or play for the wizard. He would aim to kill.
"Avada Kedavra." He yelled and aimed at Lord Voldemort once more. The Dark Lord also aimed his wand and the curse hit him just as his hit the Dark Lord.