Cauldrons and Lilies

Chapter 42

I don't own Harry Potter

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Chapter 42

This was the second time it happened, Severus woke up surrounded by white light. It was King's Cross but without the trains. He was seated on a bench and wore jeans and a black shirt. Lily had given him that shirt last month, for his birthday.

He was dead; the killing curse hit him. Severus sighed, he was dead once more, but this time he was not sorry or had any regrets. He protected Harry and Lily; they were alive. He waited there until he saw a figure. It was a man he thought it was James Potter but it could not be. The man was older; he was in his late thirties. This was not James, but Harry Potter.

"Professor." The man sat down next to him.

"You are older than I remember." Severus said.

"You are younger than I remember." Potter said.

"What is happening? Are you dead as well? Where is Albus? I thought he would come and lead me to the other side or wherever it is that I am going."

"Neither of us is dead. Well, we were but we have come back from that." Potter said with a half smile. "You and I both have lightning bolts in our foreheads but you don't have a piece of him inside of you."

Severus grew impatient, "This is ridiculous; you don't exist, you were never born."

"Not in your new timeline but I do exist in the old one. I have three kids; I named my second after you and Albus. I married Ginny." Potter said with a smile.

"Then I'm going back to the other timeline." Severus frowned.

"Not exactly; you are going back to your timeline, to your wife and your son. I am here to tell you that you do not have a horrcrux on you and that the diadem is in the room of requirement."

Severus looked at him, "Why? How can you do that?"

Harry Potter smiled, "You helped me, protected me."

"How are you here?" Potter sighed, "A raid, I am unconscious at St. Mungos, my children and Ginny are waiting for me to wake up. I will be back as will you. We are not dead."

"Will you remember any of this? Will I?" Severus asked.

"I have no doubt you will sir but I don't know if I will." Harry said with a shrug.

"I will come back then." Severus assented and mused, "When will you come back to your time?"

"When my body heals. Ginny must be beside herself." Harry said. Severus shook his head, "the room of requirement." He muttered and then felt weak and tired.

Lily was there. He tried to explain to Albus that he was fine that there was nothing to worry about. Severus tried to tell Lily everything about Harry Potter before he forgot. He was not making much sense but he needed to make sure Potter did not lie. The snake was there and he felt nothing, he couldn't speak to it, it hissed but Severus could not communicate. Albus scanned him, as did Lily when they were in the room of requirement.

"Lily, let me explain, that day in the common room, I asked you the date because I didn't know it myself." Severus started.

"I remember clearly Sev, you were not eating, always writing on that book of yours. We were preparing for our O.W.L.'s." Lily caressed his face.

"No sweetheart, I didn't know it. I died, in the other lifetime. I died in the Shrieking Shack, Tom Riddle killed me because he thought I was the master of the Elder wand."

"That's a fairytale Severus. There is no such thing as an unbeatable wand." Lily knew about the deathly hallows because of Narcissa, she read the story to Draco and Harry about a week ago. She became interested in the book Molly gifted Draco for his first birthday, "The Tales of Beedle the Bard."

"There is, they exist. I think they exist." She looked at him as if he was crazy. "I am not tired or disoriented, Lils, this is important, please."

She nodded and listened, "Potter's cloak is one of them. It makes sense; it came to me once you told me about the tales. Mum told me about them when I was a child. I never realized they were truly real until then. I don't know where the resurrection stone is but the wand and the cloak are real."

"You cannot believe that death fashioned three hallows and then gifted them to three brothers." Lily said.

"I don't, but I believe these brothers to have made the hallows." Severus said and kept talking. "Riddle killed me because I killed Albus, he thought to truly be the master of the wand he had to kill the previous owner."

"Sev, you are not making any sense." She said with worried eyes. "I am worried now. I am going to call the headmaster. Something is off."

"Don't. I will explain everything, I only beg you to listen." He kissed her forehead.

"I came from another timeline. I myself don't fully understand it. I decided to make things right. I made so many mistakes Lils, we fought, I became a death eater. You married Potter and had a son, the boy of the prophecy. I heard half of that prophecy and told it to him. I begged him to spare you but I understood he would not. That same night I became a spy for Albus. I told him everything, you and Potter went into hiding, and Pettigrew betrayed you and gave away your location. James died trying to stop Riddle as did you. Lord Voldemort attempted to kill Harry Potter but the curse backfired. He was known as the boy who lived ever since. I vowed to protect your boy." Severus could tell it was a lot of information for her take in.

"You adopted the boy then." Lily stated. He was tired and she tried to appease him.

"No, I was his teacher. He lived with Petunia and her family. Your son with Potter did not know he was a wizard until he turned eleven. He was underfed, and mistreated but I could not see that. I only saw James and made his life miserable. He grew up to hate me; and only knew I protected him after I died."

"That is horrible Severus and untrue. You would never do such a thing." Lily hugged him. She was worried for him more than ever. He could tell.

Severus hugged her back, "It is true. Albus discovered me when I fought James and Sirius. I refused to tell him what happened. He does not know, he only knows about the horrcruxes."

"I don't follow." Lily was confused.

"Killing is the ultimate despicable act. Tom Riddle's goal was to become immortal. He feared dying more than anything else. He managed to create horrcruxes, essentially one kills and divides one's soul. The act is so gruesome and dark that few have been successful. He managed to divide his soul into different pieces. Your sacrifice that Halloween night prevented him from harming Harry Potter. He was destroyed if only for a few years. Potter became another Horrcrux. Albus tasked your son with finding those pieces. Albus came back one night a year before I killed him. He was cursed, I managed to contain the curse but he would eventually die. He decided that I would be the one to kill him when the time came. I did so because of my vow to your memory. He did not tell me however that a piece of the monster lived in the boy. Albus saw his death fast approaching and had no other option but to tell me, the boy had to die. They both had to or so I thought."

Lily gasped, "That is what you have been doing with the headmaster. You have been searching for those pieces."

"Yes Lils. They exist, we are missing two now, a Ravenclaw diadem and the cursed ring." Severus waited for the accusations, the fear, the disgust but they never came.

Lily opened her big green eyes, "You pushed me to James, you thought that Harry Potter had to be born."

"I did, I was fixated with the prophecy and in the end it did not come to be. It will not happen, our son did not fight him. He will never have to if I have anything to do with it. I survived the curse."

Lily hugged him; "You don't have a piece of him, that was why you conjured the snake." Lily cried and held him. She felt all gripping fear, like the one she felt when she thought him dead.

"Forgive me. I tried telling you many times." He cried with her.

His wife kissed his forehead, "you did, when I told you I was pregnant with Harry and you came back. You were so scared." She gasped, "you were so fidgety last Halloween, you thought it would happen that night. Oh Severus." She cried and hugged him more. Harry moved some.

"Lily, do you forgive me?" Severus asked once more.

"I have nothing to forgive you for Severus. Those things you told me, they never happened to me. They happened to the other Lily; I am here with you as your friend and wife. Severus I cannot imagine my life without you. I don't want you to dwell on that timeline anymore. It does not do well." She said while kissing his nose.

"So much has changed, all has changed, sometimes I don't remember things and then I remember them and it is too late to change them. Lily I am so scared." Severus said with a small voice.

"Look at me, look at your son. This is real, all those other memories, they happened and will not happen again. We are yours and you are ours." She said with sad eyes.

Severus held them but could not sleep. "Lils, I can show you those memories if you want."

Lily shook her head, "I don't want to ever see them. I understand you will not forget them but I don't want to see them. I could not bear to see you in such pain Severus."

He kissed her once more. "May I ask you something Lily?"

"Anything you need my love." She said while kissing his hands.

"I don't want to speak of this anymore. You are correct, those other memories, could we pretend they are nightmares?"

"Sev, I don't want you to hurt like this. I don't pretend to understand how you feel." She kissed his lips gently. Lily rained kisses over his face, "I am hurt Sev, that you didn't tell me sooner. My love, I would have understood. Severus I love you. I have to confess something." Lily's voice dropped some. The man studied her face carefully.

"You say the other Lily and you fought."

Severus nodded, "during the end of our fifth year. I was associated with death eaters in training. Potter and Black rounded me and I lost it. They attacked me with my own spells. You came to my aid and I called you a mudblood."

She was hurt; he could tell. "Did you try to make amends?"

He nodded his head vigorously, "I begged you to forgive me. Lils I was willing to do anything you wanted but you were hurt. You were so hurt; it was useless. You and I were no longer friends. I was foolish, so very foolish. I thought if I became a powerful wizard you would fall in love with me and forget about Potter."

Lily cried, "I don't think I could ever love James Potter the way I love you. Severus you were my best friend. I have been in love with you since we were children. I chose you and I have to be honest; Narcissa once asked me what I would have done if you became a death eater."

She kissed him desperately then, "sixteen year old Lily was hurt and afraid of losing you Severus. She probably felt as if she lost you that day. I remember those days clearly. I always felt as if you were slipping away from me. The Lily from that time settled for James Potter. I know it so. Severus, by the beginning of fifth year I already loved you more than I ever cared for James."

Severus kissed her cheek and hugged her. "You are here with us. Harry Snape and Lily Snape are your family Severus. Cissy asked me and I did not fully answer. Severus, I think that if you had given me a hint that you cared, a single word, a single love promise I would have stood by you. Had that Lily known that you were a spy she would have contacted you Severus and James Potter would not have had stand a chance against you." Severus looked into her green eyes and felt as if weight had been lifted. His Lils knew his secret and was there with him. He vowed to not let that other lifetime interfere again, "I love you Lily."

"I love you too Severus. In this lifetime, in the other, wherever we are. Always. I will always love you Sev."

He kissed her gently, "always."

Harry squirmed between them. Severus caressed his forehead; "He does not have a scar on his forehead."

"But you do." Lily looked at his scar and traced it.

"Does it hurt terribly?" She asked with a small voice.

"Not so much." Severus replied honestly. He was getting sleepy. Lily lulled him to sleep as she caressed his face and forehead.

He woke up naturally, Lily was by his side and Harry was awake but entranced with his mother's hair.

"Come here Harry." Severus rasped and held the boy to him. Harry giggled and smacked his face. Severus smiled; he would take those smacks all day. He changed his nappy and looked for food. It was obvious he would have to venture outside the room to procure it. He did not want to leave Lily in the room. Severus lightly kissed her hair.

"Lils, wake up we have to get food." Lily frowned and lifted his arms. Harry toddled by the crib. He was steady on his feet now and could run if he wanted to, which was often. His boy ran around everywhere. Draco and him often yelled at each other and ran together. He was becoming more like Lily, so carefree but he had his moments. He hated being told what to do and being restricted. He would scowl and yell "no" whenever someone tried to get him to stop what he was doing or attempted to engage him and he did not want to be engaged.

She opened her eyes and smiled, "You are here." She kissed his lips. "Come along love. We have to find Albus."

Severus bathed Harry and brushed his teeth. He chose a blue jumper and corduroys for his son. Lily found a green woolen dress and some black tights. He found black trousers and a dark blue shirt.

"The kitchens first." They made the trek with the aid of the cloak and a disilutionment charm. They entered the kitchens and were assaulted by wonderful smells. The elves were preparing for dinner. The elves gasped when they materialized. It was not because of the magic or the element of surprise but because of the scar.

"Master Snape." They gushed and cried. "Oh master Snape thank you, thank you." They all crowded around him. Severus was uncomfortable, much more than ever before. He wondered if this would happen everywhere he went. He looked at Lily with desperate eyes as if asking for her help.

She came to his aid, "We're hungry, could you please give us something to eat?" She said and the elves fussed about giving them trays after trays of food.

Severus was unsettled by the looks the elves gave him. "Oh master Snape we is so happy. You won and You Know Who is no more."

Lily smiled at him. "Pokey what has happened?" She asked an old house elf who used to sneak them sweets at nights when they were in the library.

"Mistress Lily. Everyone is so happy. They is celebrating, all is celebrating. Two nights ago you kills You Know Who." She said happily and hopped up and down.

The elves focused on their job and left them in semi peace. Some elves watched them surreptitiously but did not dare approach him. Severus fed Harry some mashed potatoes and greens. Lily ate her roast beef while he enjoyed some chicken stew. Lily, bless her soul did all she could to make him feel normal and she succeeded.

Severus dreaded the moment the elves take away the empty plates. They walked to the Headmaster's office. The spiral staircase let them in without a password. Albus must have said something to the ugly gargoyles.

They were inside. Harry squirmed down and started running around the office as if possessed. "I had begun to wonder what took you so long to emerge from the room of requirement. I did not want to interrupt your slumber. Even little Harry decided to nap for the longest time."

"How long has it been?" Lily asked while making sure the running space was safe for their son.

"Almost two days." Severus frowned; there must be some enchantment in the room of requirement. It was no wonder that Harry could not keep still.

"Have a seat." They sat in front of the Headmaster. The portraits looked at them but did not speak at all.

"I have troublesome news. The ministry is trying different death eaters; Mrs. Malfoy was among them. Do not worry about her. She is safe and sound; many testified in her favor. The worrisome news came from our front. Frank's family was attacked last morning Bellatrix Lestrange and the Lestrange brothers killed Frank. Kingsley managed to hide Alice and Neville. Augusta is dead as well."

Severus felt hollow, that could have been prevented, "Why did you let me sleep so much. I could have helped I knew this would happen. Lily I knew, Bellatrix tortured Frank and Alice until they were driven insane."

"There is no sense in blaming yourself for that." Albus explained.

"Barty Crouch Jr. He was involved as well." Severus pointed out.

"He was. Kingsley recognized him." Albus's blue eyes glinted. "I happen to know how Tom managed to track you down."

Severus arched an eyebrow, "How?"

"He is very sensitive to magic and your house was surrounded with magic. I could feel it as soon as I stepped in the muggle neighborhood you chose. Tom had been looking for your family in every wizarding neighborhood in the United Kingdom without success. Tom must have realized that your heritage as a half-blood gave you the advantage of understanding the muggle world so he targeted muggle places. He has been adept at distinguishing magic from a very early age. I believe he found your home weeks ago and has been working on undoing your wards. He finally managed to do so two nights ago." The old man said with an intelligent tone.

Severus realized the headmaster was correct. The amount of magic around the house was incredible. He made sure to invent wards of his own in addition to traditional wards. He did not trust the Fidelius charm. It would be too much for a secret keeper. Lord Voldemort could torture and kill as Bellatrix probably did with Augusta and Frank Longbottom.

"What do we do know? Who knows about Voldemort?" Severus asked with curiosity. He needed to know what to do, how to handle the new situation that would arise.

"All the wizarding world. We have been celebrating for two days. The dark marks have faded to unrecognizable stains. They have dubbed you the savior of the wizarding world. Many are asking after you, many want to thank you." Albus explained.

"I want privacy." Severus replied.

"You shall have it Severus. I have arranged for a meeting tonight in Grimmauld Place. Sirius has offered his house for future meetings." Albus said complacently.

"Who have they caught?" Lily asked carefully.

"The Lestranges, Rookwood, Yaxley, Crouch Jr. Dolohov, Avery, Crabbe, Goyle, Mulciber and Nott."

"There a few rogue death eaters, among them is Peter Pettigrew who managed to escape as soon as Tom fell."

"How is Alice?" Lily asked with a sad voice.

"Very shaken my dear. Kingsley is with her and Neville in a safe-house."

"It is best if you two continue to live in muggle London. You will have the privacy you yearn while having all the liberties you desire." The older man pointed out.

Severus agreed. "I want to see my father."

"They are all waiting for us. You will have to encounter the magical world sooner or later. The Order is waiting for us to have our meeting." The headmaster said logically. Severus looked at Lily who nodded.

"It is best that we go there tonight." She squeezed his hand.

Severus half smiled and stood. The man picked a running Harry and then held Lily's hand. He looked at Albus and apparated away. He did not care for Albus and no longer had to keep up appearances in front of him. Lils knew and Albus hinted that would be enough for the old man.

They landed on London and walked a few blocks to Black's house. He knocked and the door opened. Lily held a yelling Harry. His son hated apparation. Severus entered the old house. They could hear people in the first landing, in the living room, the kitchen, and the library. Albus had called all the members it seemed.

They entered the living room and a cheer erupted. They all thanked him and hugged him. Molly was the first hug that felt real. "Thank you so much Severus." She cried and hugged him once more. Then came his father. "You are fine." He hugged him tighter than ever. Tobias looked at his scar. "They said you survived a killing curse." Tobias hugged him again. Arthur shook his hand and hugged him. Remus hugged him as well. "He truly is gone." Narcissa cried in his arms. "I thought you were gone too." She wiped her tears and then hugged Lily and Harry.

Black shook his hand, "I am glad you are alive." He said quickly and then removed his hand as if burned.

Severus shook hands and nodded a lot. They were all happy and working toward rounding death eaters. Minerva and Albus arrived an hour later and asked them to go to the dining room, which could easily hold the selected Order members.

Minerva, Mad-Eye, the Weasleys, his father, Narcissa, Black, Remus, Hagrid, Vance, and Doge; they were all there waiting for Albus to speak. "Riddle is gone. Our world rejoices with the news. This meeting is to keep us abreast about the recent developments. It is with great sorrow that I inform you that Frank and Augusta Longbottom have died. They bravely withstood against the Lestranges but they perished. Many have fallen to the hands of death eaters. It is of outmost importance for all of us to cooperate with the ministry and bring death eaters to justice." Albus spoke and gave out assignments to round the rest of death eaters. It would be useless many of those captured would swear they were under the imperius curse. The ministry would fine and pardon them. Severus had no intention of getting involved.

Most of the Order left to keep celebrating. Emmeline Vance hugged him. It was the weirdest interaction he ever had with the auror.

Albus pulled him aside, "I need you to find the diadem. Two nights ago you rambled about it and now it is time for us to destroy it."

Severus nodded, "yes sir." He looked at Lily who shook her head. He bowed his head as if asking for forgiveness.