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"You most certainly did not have to come with me." Severus said as Black stepped out of the floo.
"I certainly did. Narcissa is pestering me to stay another few more weeks. I served as best man. I put up with her stinking moods and I took care of Draco for two weeks so they could go to fucking Aruba." Sirius complained.
"Lily and I offered to take Draco as well. It was you who promised to care for him." Severus added. "Gus, Dad." The man called out. "The mutt and I have come to collect you."
"Draco is a hellion. I will never babysit again." Sirius muttered under his breath. Severus bumped into something. He heard yelling and pointed his wand at a blond boy who screamed bloody murder.
The blond boy resembled someone he knew. He had a bandaged arm and a bruise on his cheek.
Dad came running downstairs and so did another woman. "Tuney?"
"Severus" She cried and placed herself in front of her boy who held onto her waist and sobbed. "Please don't hurt him." She pleaded with the mutt who looked horror stricken.
"No, I would never." He tried to apologize.
Tuney looked awful. She had a black eye and split lip. "Tuney?"
"Where is Lily?" She immediately asked
"At home. Today's Harry's ninth birthday." Severus replied.
"What happened?" Severus asked her with a small voice.
Tuney cried, "I looked for Lily. I went to the old neighborhood and I couldn't even find our old house. "it's not there anymore." She sobbed and sat down. Severus warded the house, heavily, he might add.
"Come on Dudley. Let's watch some telly." Dad tried to pry the boy from his mum. "Go on dearest." Petunia kissed his cheek and Dudley looked at the older man.
"Let's go Dudley" Gus encouraged. He waved at his brother. Gus managed to convince Dudley to go with them. Black left with them too.
"What happened Tuney?" Severus sat next to her.
"I want to talk to Lily please." Tuney cried more and more. Severus tried to comfort her but Tuney flinched away.
It did not take a scientist to tell that Dursley had beaten her. "When did you get here?"
"Two days ago. I looked for the house but it isn't there anymore. Mrs. Baudelaire told me Mr. Snape lived in this neighborhood." Tunny said now a little more composed.
"Did Dursley do that?" Severus asked while pointing at her eye.
Petunia nodded, "How long Tuney?" Severus asked feeling upset to see Tuney this way. He felt guilty that they never reached out to her. Petunia had stopped writing and Lily stopped writing too. Severus was glad to be rid of her. He thought Petunia was not worth Lily's kindness and now he regretted his actions.
"Since Dudley turned two. Vernon was let go of his job and we had to make ends meet. Please I want to see Lily. Please." She avoided his eyes once more.
"Yes, Tuney." Severus said and patted her hands.
Tuney looked sad, lifeless, there was not an ounce of that envy or annoyance that he always found when she looked at him. There was nothing but empty eyes. He should not have but he looked into her thoughts. Dursley was brutal. Severus saw the most recent attack. He raped her; fortunately, Dudley was in school. His sister in law had the foresight to pick Dudley and never come back. Severus realized it was not the first time. He wanted to throw up. "Wait here. I'll bring Lily."
"Gus, Black." He called out, trying not to shake.
Tobias held Dudley's hand. "We are going back to the party." Severus made a good job of appearing calm.
"You three go and I will stay with Petunia and Big D here." Severus looked at Dudley and noticed the boy looked thin and sickly so unlike the chubby toddler and child he remembered from Harry's memories.
"Yes dad." He flooed home. Lily approached him.
He could tell Lily knew something was amiss. She would have to go with him to see her sister. He flooed and watched as the sisters hugged.
Lily had the same questions. "What happened to you? Who did this?" Lily asked and lightly touched the bruised cheek.
"I looked for you and you weren't there." Tuney sobbed and held her.
"Lily, forgive me. I am so sorry." Tuney was distraught.
Lily cried and hugged her back. She nodded, "I have nothing to forgive. I'll heal your cheek and set Dudley's arm." Lily took out her wand and pointed at Dudley. The little boy let out a yell and clutched his mother.
"It's fine sweetheart. She is your auntie Lily. She has magic. Remember I told you about the magic." Tuney said but trembled a little. It was a testament of how much Tuney had suffered. The proud, snobbish woman was gone.
"Episkey" She said and Dudley's arm was like new.
The little boy grinned. "it doesn't hurt anymore." He whispered softly. Tuney smiled at her child.
"Tobias, please bring me the essence of dittany." Lily healed her sister's cheek.
"I think we should let your mum and aunt talk. What do you say we three go outside and play some football?" Severus tried. "We could go to the party too."
The blonde boy shook his head. "No. I want to stay with you mummy." Severus hadn't noticed Sirius near the hearth. The man went into a corner of the room unnoticed by all the occupants but for Severus. He transformed into the blasted black dog.
The dog waved its tail and approached Dudley whose eyes opened and then he smiled. Black nuzzled his leg. Dudley reached carefully and then hugged the dog. "Is he yours Mr. Snape?" Dudley asked hopeful.
"He's my neighbor's. I am taking care of him." Severus pre-empted.
"You can play with him. He doesn't bite." Lily said with a smile.
"What's his name?" Dudley asked while the dog licked his face.
"Snuffles." Severus offered.
Dudley grinned when Snuffles barked and ran around him.
"He wants to play with me." The child said with a joy that only children have. The blond boy stood up and chased after Snuffles.
Severus went into the kitchen. He tried to help dad with tea. "How long has she been here? Why did you not tell me?"
Tobias replied in hushed tones, "She came by two days ago. She was in worse shape and that little boy did not even speak. I wanted to floo call you immediately but we ran out of it when Perce left for the Burrow. So I thought I would use that owl you gave Augustus but he left it at Hogwarts. So I waited until today. I knew you would be coming in."
Severus sighed exasperated. "You could have called."
Tobias frowned, "And I did Severus. You however never pick up the bloody telephone."
His father had rung but Severus ignored it. He had been extremely busy trying to learn more about the imperius curse. He was not making much progress with his lycanthropy research and needed a distraction.
"Do you know what happened?" He asked the older man.
Tobias shook his head, "not much. She's been tight lipped about it. Dudley however…"
Severus asked, "What has the kid told you?"
His father frowned, "Dursley hits her and him. He's hit Petunia for years. He only started to hit Dudley. That oaf broke his arm because Dudley tried to stop him." Tobias sounded repulsed. Severus looked at him and said simply. "You are not like him."
Tobias looked relieved, "He is unemployed, Tuney has made the house money stretch and last a bit. I asked Dudley if his dad drunk."
Severus expected a yes but his father shook his head, "Dursley is a piece of garbage without any help from the bottle."
"I told her she could stay as long as she wanted but she was desperate to see Lily." Tobias sighed. "She used to be such a talented young woman."
Severus looked confused, "you and Lily were at Hogwarts by the time Petunia graduated. Harry and Rose were so proud when Petunia became a temp. She was very bright. Eileen and I thought she could do so much more. She was great with numbers; that Petunia."
Severus poured the tea in the cups and left for the living room. Lily and Tuney were hugging and crying.
"I have tea." Severus said uncomfortable. Tuney had never really liked him that much.
Lily smiled and wiped her tears, "thank you love." Tuney thanked him too.
"You have to meet Harry. He and Dudley would get along fabulously." Lils said.
Tuney nodded, "Tobias said there was a birthday party. Maybe we can wait until everyone is gone. Dudley is a little shy around strangers. He knows about you, Severus and Harry but it would be better if we waited until your guests left."
Lily nodded back. "Sev, why don't you go back to the party and explain."
Petunia looked scared, "please don't tell anyone about this. I would die of mortification." Severus shook his head. I will come back for you."
He left the living room and went outside, "Gus, I'm going back to the party. Percy was asking for you earlier."
Augustus ran back inside. "He has my Ancient Runes notes." The teenager extended his hand, "I need Floo powder."
"I set it up." Severus replied and looked toward Dudley and Black. The boy petted Black carefully, he smiled and pet him so very gently. It was such a contrast from the few memories he managed to get from Potter during those ill advised occlumency lessons. Dudley cuddled with Snuffles outside. Severus saw his wife and sister in law talk and hug again before the green flames engulfed him.
"Dad." Harry ran past him and into the yard. Draco, Ron and Ginny followed him. The twins and the rest of the Weasleys were there as well.
Remus was in the kitchen with Cissy. "What is going on?" She asked as soon as he stepped in.
"I do not know." He said with a frown.
Narcissa frowned back and waved her wand around. "No matter. The guests are all gone. It's just us and the Weasleys."
Remus ate some chocolate cake, "Should we leave?"
"I think is best that you did." Severus continued. Remus had become his best friend and the man could tell something was the matter.
"is Tobias alright?" Remus asked. It would not do well for his friends to worry. He had to be vague; he promised Lily and Petunia.
Severus nodded, "Lily's with her sister."
Narcissa scourfigied the last of the kitchen aisle and looked at her husband. "I'll get Draco."
Remus finished his cake and moved to get Lyra from upstairs. "I'll tell Molly the party is over. She just wanted to wait for Lils to say thank you."
"Thanks Remus." Severus moved from the kitchen. He walked to the yard. Molly hugged him goodbye. Arthur had used the enchanted car to get them to Manchester. Molly would be furious when she learned the car was illegal. One by one the Weasleys went. The twins chased Ron who laughed and pulled Ginny.
Percy and Gus talked in hushed voices while Bill and Charlie looked bored beyond belief. "Thank you Severus. I had hoped to see Lily before we had to leave." She hugged and grabbed an almost crying Ginny. Ron pouted but followed Charlie to the car.
Severus nodded, "Sev, can I go with Perce? Dad was going to let me."
Severus shook his head, "No, we are going to dad's soon."
Gus sulked away from him, "Bye Perce. I'll floo later."
Percy waved goodbye. The Weasleys left, Ron and Ginny waved from the backseat with frowns on their faces.
"Dragon, we have to go now." Narcissa said gently while Draco pouted. "Bye Harry."
Remus held a sleeping Lyra to his chest. "Dad, can I stay with Harry tonight?"
"Another time." Remus replied and grabbed the child's hand. Cissy hugged him goodbye. "I'll owl Lily tomorrow."
Everyone left, Severus called Harry and Gus to the living room.
Harry busily told his uncle about the party and asked why had he not come to the party and where had grandpa.
Severus interrupted the children's conversation, "Harry, do you remember what we told you about your aunt Petunia?"
His child looked confused, "Mum's sister?"
"Yes, your aunt. You have a cousin; Dudley, remember?"
Harry nodded, "I remember, they live in Surrey."
Severus nodded once more. "Well, aunt Tuney is with grandpa and so is cousin Dudley. We are going to meet them now. You have to be nice and polite."
Harry rolled his eyes, "I can be nice. Did you know Gus? I have a cousin. You don't."
Augustus shook his head, "shut it. You have to promise to not ask so many questions. Dudley gets scared sometimes."
Severus agreed and thanked the heavens that Augustus was a mature kid. They stepped into the floo one by one.
Augustus went to the yard. Harry ran to Lily. "Mum, Ginny's tooth fell when she bit Ron."
Lily hugged him and smiled, "Sweetheart, I want you to meet your aunt Petunia."
Harry turned and smiled at his aunt, "Hello, I'm Harry. Nice to meet you." His son offered his hand and Petunia shook it. "You look a lot like your daddy."
"But I have mum's eyes." Harry grinned. "Where is Dudley?"
"He's playing with Snuffles and Gus." Severus said and off was Harry.
"He looks just like you." Petunia told him.
Severus nodded, "He does." He wanted to ask his wife what was next? What would happen? He did not have to wait long. Lily wiped her tears and squeezed her sister's hands.
"Tuney and Dudley will come with us." Lily smiled.
"You will say yes Tuney." Lily continued and Petunia nodded, "I don't want to impose."
"You'd never." Severus stated clearly. "You are our family and so is Dudley."