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Chapter 8 : By Starlight
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November 1st, 1981
It’s official- the ministry of magic himself has legally declared he-who-must-not-be-named dead. In a small house in Godric’s Hallow, the evil one fell, slain by a young boy- the only person known to have survived the dreadful killing curse. The boy’s family has also been killed- names have been withheld pending investigation.
November 3rd, 1981
Harry Potter, son of Lily and James Potter of Godric’s Hallow, has been identified as the boy who lived. His parents perished violently, protecting their son at all costs. The boy is unharmed, save for a nasty cut on his forehead in the shape of a lightening bolt. He is currently in the care of relatives.
James Potter, an outspoken critic of you-know-who, was betrayed by Sirius Black, his best friend since school. No one knows the motive, but after the killing of the Potters, thirteen muggles, including mutual friend Peter Pettigrew, were killed by Black as he laughed wildly. Black is currently incarcerated in Azkaban prison.
November 16th, 1981
The relatives caring for Harry Potter have been viciously murdered. Vernon Dursley and Petunia Evans Dursley, along with their one year old son Dudley, were killed on the evening on November 15 by death eater Bellatrix Lestrange in a last minute attempt to avenge her leader. Curiously, Harry Potter was not there, his where abouts are currently unknown.
October 31, 1982
One year ago today, our society was saved by Harry Potter, the youngster who has been missing now for nearly a year. The boy was last seen on the night of November 14, 1981. According to the ministry records, no death certificate has reached the ministry, therefore it is assumed that he is alive somewhere. If you have any information-“
October 31, 1986
5 years- no sign of boy-mystery
“-Haiden, I’m serious, I want to go play Quidditch! There is no one here, it’s like a once in a life time chance, it’s sunny and warm, and we are in the stupid Hogwart’s library!Come on!” Draco yelled impatiently. “Why do you care about Harry Bloody Potter anyway?”
Haiden sighed and flipped the Daily Prophet archive closed.
“Draco, you can be so unbelievably annoying!” The fair-haired boy danced around, aiming his training wand at a couple of books, attempting to set them on fire.
“Seriously, I’m bored. And when I’m bored, things seem to light on fire. What can I say?” Haiden rolled his eyes. “Besides, if your father knew you were in here-“ Haiden jumped suddenly, tackling Draco to the floor, his training wand pressed to Draco’s throat.
“If you so much as breathe a word, I’ll-”
“What? What are you going to do with a training-wand? Oooh, I’m so scared!” Draco smirked at his young friend.
“Whatever,” Haiden said, letting Draco free. “Let’s just go play quidditch. Its stuff in here, anyway.” He walked over to his cleansweep, which was charmed to rise only six feet off the ground. He jumped on the broom and sped off through the hallways of Hogwarts, Draco following closely behind.
The two boys were spending a summer day at Hogwarts while Severus conducted some potions research in the dungeon. During the Summers, Haiden usually lived with his father in a small house on Spinner’s End. But, at age nine, he began to grow antsy in the house with a pitiful. Outside the small shack was a pitiful tract of dead grass that posed as a yard. It wasn’t fit for the excitement of a nine year old.
Many afternoons were spent at the Malfoy’s manner, apart from his father. In fact, most of the time, it was Draco and Haiden, left to fend for themselves while Severus stayed home to study or do other “dad” stuff, Lucius was always away on business, which was fine with Haiden. As he had aged, he had noticed something off about the elder Malfoy.
Narcissa, however, was always a pleasure, though as the boys got older she was less attentive, and seemed to be more aloof. She also always had a glass of foul smelling liquid with her that made her personality change, and always made her tired. She napped a lot.
However, on this July day, the boys were free to roam Hogwarts, and they chose to spend the afternoon racing around the quidditch pitch. Still, as Haiden practiced catching the snitch, he couldn’t shake the articles that he’d read in the library.
Over the years, he’d developed a small interest- well, and obsession, actually, with Harry Potter. He’d had a feeling that somewhere, Harry Potter was alive. Babies do not just disappear, he’d reasoned. They can barely walk, and even at nine, Haiden knew that something wasn’t right.
The moment he could read, he began his research. He never asked questions or told his father what he was doing. He hid books and snippets under his bed about the killings and about Harry and his parents. During the summer, when dirty old Filchy was away and his father was in his lab, Haiden broke into his office and found disciplinary records of James Potter and Sirius Black, and he often found his father’s name attached to the same punishment. He’d wondered if maybe they had been friends in a different life time.
Now, hanging in mid air with Draco zooming around him, he felt the urge to pose a question with he approached with the greatest of caution.
“Draco?” he asked nonchalantly, tossing the snitch carelessly in the air.
“WHAT?” Draco yelled impatiently, flying to catch it.
“How did you know about Harry Potter? Like, how did you learn about him?”
“What? Oh, don’t start this again. Who cares? He was a stupid baby, he killed the Dark Lord. So what? I don’t want to think I just want to catch the bloody snitch!”
“Come on, don’t be an ass,” Haiden swore, looking around cautiously to assure that his father was no where around.
“Well,” Draco began, coming to a halt beside his friend, snitch in hand. “Promise me if I tell you this you will stop talking about bloody Potter for the rest of my life!”
“Yeah, fine. Just..how did you know about him?”
“We don’t talk about him in my house. Father says he’s a dreadful child who was evil anyway, and the Dark Lord was right in trying to rid our world of the filth he brought to it. Father is really bitter about the whole thing, all though I’m not sure why.”
Haiden knew Draco wasn’t stupid- Lucius Malfoy had been a death eater, a dark soul, and the things that he tried to teach them were not even comparable to a ministry approved curriculum for the education of young witches and wizards. Draco knew exactly what his father did, but neither of the boys really understood what being a death eater truly encompassed. They just knew that he sided with the dark lord, and that the people who sided with the Dark Lord were often nice, good people who the ministry labeled poorly.
“Well why didn’t your dad like him, aside from the fact that he killed the dark Lord?”
“I don’t know, alright? I just know that he was the child of a pure-blood and a mudblood, so that might have something to do with it.”
“Oh…a mudblood,” Haiden repeated pensively. He’d heard the term used before but wasn’t entirely sure of its meaning.
“Wait…you’re not a mudblood are you? I mean, I assume not since we’re friends and father would never allow me to associate with filth, but…you’re not, right?”
“Oh, no, definitely not. No way. Are kidding me? Gross!” Haiden said, brushing the subject aside.
“That’s good,” Draco said. “’Cause if you were, then I’d have to kill you.”
“Kill me?” Haiden asked, startled. Draco made an impatient noise and Haiden complied with his impatience, dropping the subject completely. He hoped to God he wasn’t a mudblood, because there seemed to be no waiver or jest in Draco’s statement and he wanted to keep his best friend.
“Dad, what’s a mudblood?”
Severus Snape nearly choked on his dinner as he looked across the table at the scruffy boy seated across from him. At nine years old, Haiden James Snape looked even more like his surrogate father, save for the scabby knees and glasses the child had needed at age four. Brushing his long, messy hair aside, Haiden looked expectantly as his father searched for an answer to such a loaded question.
“Where did you hear that word?” Severus asked, stalling, knowing fully well where the boy had heard the word.
“Well, today Draco asked me if I was one, and I told him no, but I wasn’t really sure. I guess I thought it would be better if I said no because he seemed not to like them and I want Draco to be my friend still.”
“I see. I think it would be wise of you not to parade around repeating that word,” Severus replied wisely. “It is not a word that you just throw around, especially in today’s society. It will bring you nothing but trouble and scrutiny.”
“Do you use it?”
“I used to. A long time ago. But it only hurts people, and if you say it today people will assume that you are- associated with a dark force, do you understand?”
“You mean with the Dark Lord?” For Severus, that was the final straw. Of course his child would be corrupted by Lucius; after all, Malfoy still believed Severus to be a loyal and unwavering death eater.
“Yes, son. The Dark Lord. You are not to mention to anyone that you know what the Dark Lord is, you are never to speak of him as “the dark lord” you mustn’t ever let people know the things that Lucius has said and taught you. Do you understand?”
“Of course, dad,” Haiden replied lazily, biting down into his sandwich. “Mr. Lucius has been telling me since I was little to never repeat the things I learn. So I don’t, I keep my mouth shut, and I’ve learned that works better than anything else. Besides, you don’t cross Draco’s dad. Ever.”
Severus looked at his son with intense curiosity, his appetite completely gone.
“What do you mean?”
“Oh, only that I think Mr. Lucius hurts Draco. He always has bruises and one time I was at his house, and his dad called him into the study, where we are never allowed to go. Ten minutes later he came back with a bloody lip. I never ask about his scars and bruises and stuff, but he makes excuses up about where they came from even though I don’t ask.”
“I see,” Severus said.
“I like Draco’s house better when his father isn’t there anyway. He rarely teaches us, which is fine, because sometimes Gregory Crabbe and Vincent Goyle come over and we make fun of how stupid and gullible they are.”
Severus felt laughter rise inside his chest but choked it down, realizing that now was not the time to confirm his son’s suspicions that Crabbe and Goyle were indeed stupid and that it runs in their families.
“Haiden,” he said in a very stern voice, “you are not to interfere with the problems and concerns of the Malfoys. That is their family, just like we have our family. You have no business poking your head in theirs, just as Draco doesn’t come and snoop here. Do you understand?”
“Yes, sir.” Haiden dropped his head to his plate, and soon his mouth was running again on it’s own.
“But if I ever saw it, if I ever saw someone hurt my friend, even if it was just a common person on the street, I’d beat them up. No one hurts my friends.”
Biting his lip, he hesitantly looked into Haiden’s eyes and saw an angry fire burning within the layers. Just another clue of his blossoming personality, and Severus was a little put off by it.
Truly, Haiden- Harry Potter- son of Lily and James Potter- was born with the crimson blood of two Gryffindors. Severus had tried to believe wholly in nurture over nature, but small instances like this one started to dismantle his beliefs. Worry and a need to protect ones friends was not the trait of a Slytherin in any sense of the word- Slytherins protect themselves and care little for anyone, including their friends. Severus knew this better than anyone, having absolutely no friends at all throughout school.
But here was the boy that looked like him, spouting off feelings of grandeur, just as James would have done. It made Severus’ lip curl in utter disgust that a boy whom he raised and nurtured could be so horribly like his father.
“What’s wrong? You look like you’ve just bitten into a vomit-flavored jelly bean,” Haiden commented benignly.
“Nothing. Eat your food and then get ready for bed.”
“Ok, but promise me you’ll tell me what a mudblood is after I get out of the bath.” Severus sighed. He hadn’t diverted the topic at all. Haiden was anything but dull.
“Alright dad. What is it?” Haiden asked, laying under his holey white blanket. Accommodations at Spinner’s End were not nearly as lush and comfortable as they were at Hogwarts Castle.
“A mudblood is a person who has two parents who are muggles but they are magical. Draco is pureblooded- that is, both sides of his family are very old wizarding families with absolutely no contamination from muggles, so they assume. A Half-blood is someone who is born of a pureblooded witch or wizard and a muggle. Then there are fractions as well, which I would assume most of the wizarding population is nowadays.”
“Am I a pureblood?” Haiden asked hopefully. Severus waited a moment to answer the question. He figured that it would be better to lie now than to tell the truth, because the truth would only spark more questions, questions that Severus just didn’t have the time or energy to make up more lies to. Either way, there would be lies.
“Yes. Now go to sleep.” Haiden sighed contentedly and slid down until his head rested against his pillow.
“Night, dad,” he said quietly.
“Good night, Haiden,” Severus replied, extinguishing the lights with the flick of his wand.
Severus returned to the living room where he sat down to think. As Haiden grew older it was getting more and more difficult to keep his identity a secret. His questions were becoming more and more difficult to answer without making up more lies. And, a few months ago, when they still lived in the castle, Severus found a few clippings from a magazine talking about Harry Potter and his disappearance. This had worried him but he did nothing about it, brushing it off as a phase that he’d soon grow out of.
The problem was, of course, that Haiden was not truly his son. And as the child grew older, it hurt Severus to think of that, because he’d become quite attached to the boy, the way a father would be attached to his own son. He’d taught Haiden how to work with small, safe potions, proper manners, how to use the toilet, how to eat, personal hygiene…he’d taught him everything. And whenever Haiden cried as a child, whenever he’d been hurt or needed something, Severus had always been there.
What would happen when he found out that he’d been lied to his entire life? Haiden would hate him forever, he’d never speak again. This whole situation was entirely Dumbledore’s fault. But oh, what a wonderful situation to have pressed upon him.
Though Severus was not a naturally happy man, being around Haiden, being responsible for him and influencing him had been one of the best things about his life so far, and he intended to keep it that way.
He was deep in thought when he heard and unexpected noise crash in Haiden’s room. Startled, he jumped up from the sofa and walked to his room.
“D-dad…” Haiden said quietly. He was on the floor, having fallen out of bed. Severus hadn’t laid him down to sleep more than a half an hour ago.
“Dad….” He said again. Severus rushed down to him.
“What’s the matter?” he asked quickly.
“I-I don’t feel well…I don’t feel well…” Wrinkling his eyebrows, Severus gasped loudly when he saw what was happening.
“My God!” Severus exclaimed, scooping up his son, who was sickly pale. “I’ve got to get you to Hogwarts soon!” Haiden moaned, pressing his head against his father’s shoulder.
A side-along apparition would be in order, but Severus found that he was having difficulty concentrating because he couldn’t take his eyes off the nine year old boy’s forehead.
The lightening bolt scar was as clear as day.
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