Cauldrons and Lilies

Chapter 60

Chapter 60

Severus woke up startled, wand aimed at the door in darkness. Lily was by his side and put her hand over his. "It was a nightmare Sev." She said soothingly and took away the wand.

The man faced his wife. He was sweaty and mute from terror. It was the same terrible nightmare; Harry Potter dead while Granger and Weasley were around him crying. Potter called him "dad, daddy" and then it was his Harry but only he was a toddler once more.

Lily always wanted explanations after the night terrors. Severus could not articulate the fear he felt every day when he saw his son traipsing around with Ron, Draco and Ms. Granger. He watched over them like he had watched over Harry Potter but it was not enough. They still got into trouble. He had been enraged when the Norbert incident happened. Harry, Draco and Granger went to the Forbidden Forest and lost 50 points each.

Remus and Black had been in the castle for their research and waved off Draco's behaviors. "They are kids. You need to lighten up."

Severus frowned and said something caustic about their school days. Remus frowned back. "I remember you did your fair share of rule breaking as well. Our children are inquisitive. A trip to the Forbidden Forest will not premanently harm them."

"It is not about that Remus. It is about the fact that they could be in danger." Severus retorted. "There are dangerous creatures in that forest."

Black finished their argument. "Those punishments were good enough for us. They will be good enough for them. You two forget that Dumbledore will never let anything to the children."

Severus wanted to retort but held his tongue back. He did not feel like engaging Black. They continued with their work. Remus felt stronger and looked less weary ever since starting the new wolfsbane and since he resumed running with Black and him.

Lily pulled him back from his memories, "I'm worried about you." She said and kissed his shoulder.

"I'm worried about Harry." He replied.

His wife sighed and moved in front of him. "Nothing will happen to him. He is safe, sleeping next to his friends. This is the safest place in the wizarding world. Severus, you are worrying too much."

Severus did not want to tell her that they should worry more because he would come back and would try to kill their son.

He occluded until falling asleep. Lily caressed his head and hummed which also helped. He overslept the next morning. His wife wore the lime green scrubs and pulled her hair into a ponytail. She looked beautiful.

"Good morning love." She kissed him briefly while Severus tried to deepen the kiss. "Not today Sev. It's too late, you have your seventh years in ten minutes.

"I missed breakfast." He grumbled and tried to lift her ugly robes. "I could miss first class."

She kissed him once more and stepped away. "There is coffee. Shower and go." She walked out of their quarters.

Severus foresaw that his seventh years would have a horrible day. They did. The potion's master made a young man cry and repeat his draught of the living dead concoction for later. The day derailed. He had the first years after lunch by which time he was in more of a foul mood. Albus refused to see him before lunch.

He was enraged and hissed as soon as he stepped into the room. "Open your books page 275. I do not want to hear anything but the rustling of pages and cauldrons boiling. There will be no need for questions as long as you follow the instructions."

Severus furiously graded homework from other grades and could see Thomas and Finnigan giggling by the side. "Twenty points from Gryffindor." He hissed while looking at the children. Slytherin suffered as well. He took points from Ms. Parkinson and Mr. Zabini.

Harry tried to make eye contact but Severus did not look up from his paper. His son's friends left as soon as he dismissed them. Harry stayed back.

"Dad, are you still upset?" His son bravely asked.

Severus hissed, "very much so. I suggest you keep away from any mischief. I do not want to hear that you are involved in any other plot."

"We only tried to help Hagrid. He is our friend." The boy continued.

Severus looked up. "If you put one more toe out the line. I will personally escort you to our London home."

Harry glared and Severus returned the glare, "run along, you will be late for your next class."

Severus finished his classes and then tried to reach Albus once more. He was successful this time.

"There are no updates Severus. We have to be patient." Albus declared impassively.

Albus was one of the two people whom he could lose his temper with. Lily and him had seen him at his worst each for a different reason. "I am tired of waiting. It will not happen again. He will come back if we wait."

"Son, he will come back regardless." Albus half smiled.

Severus paced. "Enough. I don't have to wait idly as he gains force and kills people I love. Please take this as my notice. You will have my resignation within the hour."

Albus did not react as he would have expected. Albus almost never did. "Severus, I will not have you treat me like a child. Your efforts for attention will not change matters. There are no leads. We have no idea where Peter may be."

"But he is here. We need to finish him here. You and I could defeat him. I know it so." Severus plead.

Albus' face was stony, "No, we have talked about this Severus. The snake and Peter are out there. Killing him now would be for naught and we would kill an innocent."

Severus laughed bitterly, "Quirinus sought the dark arts. He was no innocent; there is nothing of him anymore. We have to act."

"I ask you to wait until after the term exams. We will then corner Quirinus and act if there needs to be measures taken." Albus replied with an infuriating reasonable tone.

"My son and two other children saw him in the Forest. Albus, Quirinus is beyond the turning point. He drank unicorn's blood." Severus pointed out with a wave of his hand.

"We cannot rely on scared children. This is enough Severus, we will proceed once we have Peter and that is final."

Severus stalked out of the office. He would not resign; he could not do so. This was his fight after all. It became his when he followed Lily into the Order and Phoenix and when Lord Voldemort killed him and the curse rebounded.

He tried to occlude and continue with his research on lycanthropy and with any leads on that Pettigrew scum. Severus kept tabs on Quirrell without any developments, the man did not do anything suspicious.

It was almost the end of term and nothing had happened. It was a sunny Sunday. He finished grading exams. Lily was off and getting ready to for Sunday dinner with Petunia and his dad.

"Sev, I am almost done." She called from their restroom. Severus crossed the last T on his list and set out to shower.

Lily smiled at him when he offered his arm. "I don't want to leave Harry."

His wife rolled her eyes. "There is nothing to be worried about. Enjoy the fact that you are done and get two months off. I am so jelaous of you." She said with a smile.

Severus smirked and dissapparated them to Cokeworth. They walked to his father's house. Petunia opened the door for them.

"How nice to see you Severus. Your father will be thrilled to see you." Petunia said with a hint of reproach.

It was true Severus refused to come for the past few dinners due to Harry being in danger.

"Son." His father said as he embraced him. "How good to see you."

"How are Augustus and Harry doing?" He said as they sat down to chat.

"They're fine dad. How are you?" He asked and they began to speak about work and the kids.

"Where is Dudley?" Lily asked.

Petunia frowned. "Tobias let him go out with some friends to some arcade thing."

"I take it you do not approve." Severus pointed out while his father frowned.

"Not particularly, he's too young to be out by himself." Petunia said as they moved to the dining room.

"He is perfectly capable of finding his way home. He is a growing boy and he needs distractions now that his friends are in Scotland." Tobias stated comfortably.

Severus agreed with his father. Lily changed the subject to other things. Petunia and her spoke about summer plans and outings. It was decided that they would take two weeks off towards the end of July and travel to Greece. Tobias agreed as did Severus. "Harry will love to do that." Lily said when Petunia asked if Harry would mind spending his birthday overseas.

They had a nice evening but Severus itched to go back to the castle. Lily kept giving him looks throughout the night.

"Severus, a word." His father said as they stepped outside into the backyard.

Severus lit a cigarette. "You picked back the habit." His father noted. The younger man offered him one.

"No, Petunia would kill me. She's got me doing a bloody diet because my cholesterol was a little high."

So Severus smoked alone. "What is happening son?"

"Nothing." Severus said casually.

"I don't think you know that you have a tell when you lie." His father began.

Severus frowned and exhaled, "I do not know what you are talking about."

"Your left eyebrow arches a little, not enough to be a full arch but it is there." Tobias pointed it to it.

Severus frowned even more. "you are mental."

Tobias continued, "What is happening Severus? Is it Lily? The boys?"

Sev sighed, "I am worried for Harry. I am afraid Voldemort may come back soon."

Tobias paled, "Have you heard anything?"

"I have strong suspicions that he will seek to harm Harry." Severus pointed out.

"Which is why you chose to teach." Tobias finished.

Severus nodded, "Yes."

Tobias looked up to the sky. "You are a great father, far better than me and both your grandfathers. I thank the universe that you did not follow my steps. You will protect your child; I am sure of that. Trust yourself."

Severus nodded and watched as his father left him. None of them understood, not even Lils. She tried but refused to believe that his "other life" was a reality. Albus was too detached, he cared but would sacrifice anybody for what he believed was the "greater good."

He finished another cigarette before Lily called him inside. Dudley greeted him and then retired to his bedroom to get some records for Harry. They ended the night with hugs and goodbyes.

Severus offered Lily his hand. They made it to Hogsmeade when the patronus found him. It was Albus' The phoenix looked at him and spoke in Albus' voice. "Mr. Snape is in the infirmary."

Severus grabbed Lily and apparated into the infirmary.

"How did you do that?" McGonagall asked first. Severus ignored her and rushed to Albus. "Where is my son?" He asked quickly.

"Severus, he's fine. He's resting now." Albus said in a soothing voice. "Come with me."

Severus followed him and found Harry sleeping on the infirmary bed.

"What happened?" Lily asked and kissed their son's hand.

Madame Pomfrey and Minerva left the room. "Quirrell died trying to steal the philosopher's stone." Lily waved her wand to examine their son.

"He's fine. He's just resting." She said and kissed him on the forehead.

Severus glared at Albus. "You said you removed it." He hissed.

"I did, last December as we planned. Voldemort suspected you had it in your power and sought Harry to get to you. He sought him out earlier, Quirrell lured him and Mr. Weasley into his office. Fortunately, Ms. Granger and Mr. Malfoy alerted professor McGonagall who then alerted me.

"What happened to Ron?" Lily asked with a hint of fear.

"He is perfectly fine. Quirrell and his master would not harm a pureblood child." Albus said with disgust.

Severus narrowed his eyes, "The Dark Lord would strike him nonetheless."

"He was too weak and it appears Quirrell sustained some of his personality and fought back." Albus said with a sad voice. "Quirinus died trying to shield the children."

"I want to speak to Ron." Severus said while Lily stayed back with Harry.

Arthur and Molly were by Ron's bedside. The young Weasley looked a little scared. "Ron."

"Professor Snape." Ron said with some hesistance.

"How are you Ron?" He asked and messed with his hair.

The boy understood that it was uncle Severus and not his potion's master. "I don't remember much uncle Sev. Professor Quirrell stunned us and then he made Harry leave the office and go with him. That's all I remember."

Severus nodded, "I am happy you're fine Ron. Get some sleep."

Arthur approached him as he left the room. "How is Harry doing?" the man looked very concerned.

"He's asleep, Lily examined him no signs of any physical harm." Severus said as if also reassuring himself.

Severus asked to speak to Albus by himself. "This is your fault. I told you we should have looked for Pettigrew more aggressively and you wanted to wait. It happened nonetheless. Quirrell is dead and Harry is unconscious."

Albus looked tired, "no leads at all Severus. There is nothing more to do but wait."

"I am leaving with my family." They would go into hiding as they had when the Dark Lord first targeted them.

"I cannot let you do that." The headmaster said plainly. "It would be suicide to have you do that. Severus be reasonable."

He stalked out of the office and back into the infirmary. Harry continued to be sleeping. He was so big and yet so small in that bed. His son still needed protection.

Lily looked at him from her spot. Severus did not wait, "We're leaving the United Kingdom."

His wife shook her head, "we are not going into hiding. We are safe here."

Severus hissed, "Lily, are you mad? He possessed a professor and tried to kill our eleven-year-old child. He almost succeeded."

Lily's eyes filled with tears. "He's gone into hiding now. I refuse to leave our home. Severus he will find us wherever we are. He did last time."

Severus shook his head, "No, we did not leave England last time. We go away, an island in the Phillipines or Argentina, as far away from here as possible."

"No." Harry said and sat up.

"Oh Sweetheart, how are you feeling?" Lily rushed her words.

Severus sat by him and hugged him. "What happened?"

"Professor Quirrell asked me and Ron to his office. He stunned Ron and then took me to an empty office in the third floor. He wanted me to give him the philospher's stone. I told him that I did not have it."

"I told him that the Headmaster moved the stone last Christmas." Harry said clearly.

"How did you know that?" Severus felt the blood drain from his face.

"Draco heard you and the headmaster in the dungeons. He told me and Ron and we told Hermione. We reasearched it and found out what it was. It all made sense after our visit to the Forbidden Forest. Hermione realized that Voldemort was after it." Harry said honestly.

"You kept all of this from us." Lily said sadly.

Harry frowned, "I did not seem relevant to tell you and get into more trouble. Quirrell turned his head around and I saw Voldemort. He told me about that night in February. He looked pained and then tried to reach me. Quirrell fought him but it was useless. Something strange happened; he burned when he touched me. I reached for him and then he was ash. Voldemort became a shadow and left."

"We cannot go anywhere. He wins if we do." Harry said finally.

Severus frowned, "I don't think you understand the danger you are in. He targeted you."

"He did not. He looked for the stone. He's gone now." Harry pointed out. "I cannot leave my friends and Hogwarts."

Lily agreed. "We have to stay."

"We are leaving the United Kingdom." He hissed back.

Lily stood up and looked at him directly in the eyes. "I love you so much Severus but you would be making that trip by yourself."

Severus left the infirmary; he drank three whiskeys that night and slept in his office that night.