Chapter 13 : Unexpected Faces
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I don't like it that we don't speak, but every time I try to talk to you I remind myself of the horrible secret you've kept from me for so long. And it makes me really mad, dad. I don't know if I'll ever give these to you, but part of me wants to just so you'll know my pain. I mean really, truly know what it's like to be me. It's not great. The other day I wanted to come talk to you so bad. I even started down to the dungeons until I remembered. I got ten points added to Slytherin for knowing the spell "Wingardium Leviosa" in charms, and I even got ten more points for knowing how to perform it correctly first. I don't usually raise my hand, but I wanted to beat that know it all at something. She's so annoying, and I knew I could beat her. She's a Gryffindor, and she's nice most of the time, but so annoying during class. Not that I even really talk to her outside of class. I wish I could really tell you this stuff but I think you'd get mad at me for talking to Gryffindors. Just because they are in Gryffindor doesn't make them that bad...not that you'd know that. I wouldn't say I'd be seen talking to them outside of class or anything, but I'm starting to realize that just because you believe something doesn't mean I should too. And I'm starting to think you don't know anything about life.
Such dull, uninspired students walking through the doors these days. It was really a pity that Severus had to waste his time grading these horrible excuses for work. Massaging his temples, he closed his eyes, basking in the darkness provided. In just a few moments, the first year Slytheirn and Gryffindor students would casually be walking through his door, plopping down in their seats, chattering about God knows what, completely disregarding the instructions for the easy potion scrawled neatly across the board.
Longbottom would probably burn the bottom of his cauldron, saved only by the Granger girl, Crabbe and Goyle would most likely unwittingly produce a poison rather than a potion, the giggling Gryffindor girls would probably not pay attention and add the wrong ingredients at the wrong time, thus producing sludge, and Haiden Snape would sit in the back, arms crossed, his faux coal black eyes scanning the room, begging for Severus to slip up. Draco would do all the work for his friend, if only to placate Haiden. Today though, was a different day. Today, Haiden would learn that no one disobeyed in Severus Snape's class.
Just as predicted, the students filed in. The girls always sat near the front, and, as usual, the Weasley boy and Dean Thomas occupied the station in the back right corner, while Haiden and Draco chose the far left, next to the door.
Severus rose, his composure drawn, and walked briskly to the front of the room, cloak billowing dramatically behind him. Holding a hand up, the chatter died down.
"The potion assigned to you today is very difficult to concoct poorly...for most people. Therefore, if it does not turn jade within the end of the hour, you will receive no marks for today's lesson, is that understood?"
Severus vacated the front of the room, eyes sweeping over the rows as he left. In the back, Haiden's countenance was cross as he watched Draco dice a root.
"Come on, Haiden, just help. I don't know what your issue is with your father, but you need to help me. Or else you'll be bleeding later," Draco said bitterly, glaring over at his friend. Severus scowled and walked over to the table.
"Haiden, help Draco or receive no marks for the day."
"Like you'd do that to your only son," Haiden sneered.
"Then you've made your decision. Draco receives full marks regardless, and you've earned detention," Severus hissed dangerously, so that no one else in the class could hear. Draco's eyes ballooned but he said nothing.
"I bet you wish Draco was your son then," Haiden spat back.
Anger boiled in Severus's blood as he resisted the urge to lash out in front of the entire class. It was too personal; no one would ever see Severus so emotionally tied.
"In the hallway," Severus said through his teeth.
"Gladly," Haiden replied, rising from his seat.
When they were safely in the hallway, Severus pointed his wand at the door and muttered "muffliato."
"How dare you talk to me like that in front of others. I do not have time for this insolent defiance. When you are in class with me, you will obey what I tell you to do. Do you understand?" Severus asked, his voice icy.
"You're not my father. I don't have to do what you tell me -"
"You're right! I am not your father. Your father was a self centered, arrogant jerk! Your father didn't deserve the life he had, he didn't deserve what was given to him, what was bestowed upon him. Your father was an appalling excuse for a human being." His chest was heaving now as the anger consumed him. It was all true.
"STOP! Stop talking about my father like that, he was a good person, better than you! I know it!" Haiden screamed.
"You think what you want about him, but you'll find out. You'll find out, I'm sure. But while you're in my class, whether or not you consider yourself a son of mine, you are still my student and therefore you will obey my instructions, do you understand, Haiden?" Severus finished quietly.
"You apologize for talking about my father like that," Haiden hissed.
"Never will I ever apologize for exposing James Potter for what he was."
"That's enough, Severus," a voice came from behind. Severus turned to face Dumbledore, who had casually interrupted their conversation, the sparkle noticeable absent from his eyes.
"Tell him! Tell him, Professor Dumbledore! Tell him to apologize for my dad! Tell Snape to do it!" Haiden yelled, his voice echoing down the hallways.
Severus winced as the boy he thought he loved so rudely spoke only his last name.
"Professor Snape, Haiden, first of all. Secondly, you both know that this is neither the time, nor the place for this argument. Severus, you must compose yourself and then return to class. Haiden, your father- Professor Snape is correct when he says that you must obey him during class. As a student, it is your duty."
"I-but-you-Professor!" Haiden said incredulously. "Did you...did you hear what he said?"
"I did indeed, Haiden, and you must trust me when I say it will be handled. But you must continue your studies. It is of up most importance. Now both of you return to class, and Severus, I'll see you in my office later, around the regular time."
"Of course," Severus said, the words leaving his lips slowly.
Without another word, he turned, ushering his son back to his seat, and he remained at his desk the rest of the hour, feeling bitterness and hate cloud his actions.
"I understand your concerns, Severus, right you are to make sure your students participate in their lessons. I do understand that you are not the one who turned things personal. However, I must stress your continued restraint in the classroom. When Haiden started to rage against you, I'd wager a guess that your defense mechanisms roared to the surface with vigor."
"Albus, you just can't understand. I have tried to be a good father. I was able to love that boy when there was no love in my heart anymore. After...after...well, I was not able to be a fit father, I didn't think. And I do understand that teenagers often become...angsty. But he openly attacks me, Albus, and it takes everything...every ounce of my being, not to strike back fully. He gets me so mad, and I don't want to hurt him because I do love him, but he must learn some discipline. I-"
"Severus, you're rambling," Albus said with a smile, the twinkle sparkling annoyingly in his crystal eyes. "I know you love Haiden very much, as he has truly become your son. I know it pains you for him to say the things that he is saying to you, but restraint is of up most importance. The other students needn't see your battles, and you must give this time to sink in."
"It's been over a month since he's found out! I mean I understand that he is very upset about learning that he is not...not my son, but surely he would have come to his senses. I never imagined him to be such a horrible little brat!" Severus rose from his chair and began to pace the floor, a frenzied expression painted across his sallow features.
"Ah, Severus, thus are the surprises of parenthood, I am afraid," Albus said gently. "I'm sure things will work themselves out. You should be concerned with your lessons and making sure the students are educated. Let time heal the wounds."
"It's almost as bad as when Lily...when she turned her back on me. I can't stand it again, Albus. I can't do it again," Severus whispered. "I can't stand to lose..."
"You won't. Haiden is around to stay, of that I am sure. Do not worry about those things you cannot control." The finality of his tone signaled Severus's exit. He turned, sorrow filling his thoughts.
He'd tried not to think about her, he hadn't even uttered her name since her death. But Haiden's open defiance, his dislike for Severus's secrets, the fiery personality- as much as he didn't want to admit it, she lived in him every day. And it was more painful now that Haiden knew who he was. Lily Potter's son.
Severus pushed it out of his mind. He wouldn't be bothered with her thoughts. She could wait until the evening, when her thin face haunted his dreams.
Only a month later, on the celebratory night of Halloween, Haiden had folded even further into his thoughts. He wrote to his father every day, expressing grief and anger. Chronic depression plagued his every movement, which was caused mostly by himself. As an eleven year old boy, it was very unusual for him to ever feel down, but since the truth broke, he was in able to find happiness in his day. His friends noticed it as well, with Draco retreating further to his new friends, leaving Haiden alone to his thoughts. Haiden refused to forge a relationship with his faux father, still stung by the revelation. Remembering back to the moment when he found out, he vaguely remembered his father expressing distaste with the revelation. His father had told Haiden he loved him.
Shaking the thoughts from his head, Haiden dressed for the evening's dinner and met Draco in the common room.
"Are you ready to go?" Haiden asked absently, flopping down in an abandoned arm chair.
"Actually, I'm going to go down with Crabbe, Goyle, and Pansy," Draco said, staring across the room to the cold fireplace.
"What do you mean, you're going to go with them. Why can't I go? I'm friends with you too!" Haiden said indignantly, straightening his long form.
"Well, Halloween is always a fun time, and you're not very fun. So...why drag down the celebration?" Draco asked, a smirk painted across his face. Stung, Haiden rose from his seat.
"Well fine. I don't really want to go down to that stupid feast anyway."
"Whenever you decide that you want to be a normal person again and not a total drag, let me know." Draco signaled to the rest of his friends, and they vacated the room.
Hurt and angry, Haiden left the room in a huff only minutes later, stomping his way through the halls of the dungeon.
"How dare he say those things about me! He has no idea what I'm going through! If I could only tell him...if only I had someone to talk to about all of this." Professor Dumbledore's face flashed through his head, but he did not feel comfortable with discussing his plight with the man who had arranged the deal in the first place.
Around the dungeons he roamed, until he finally got the nerve to ascend the stairs. Outside the great hall, he sat, listening to the rumblings of all the students in the castle. How did he become such an outsider? His own friends shunned him, and everyone else in the castle shunned him because he was a Slytherin. Was this really what he wanted for himself? Perhaps he should just stop this whole act and appeal to his father. It had been a few months since the fight had happened, and he did miss that relationship...
Breaking his thoughts rather rudely, a red headed boy popped his head out from the hall, holding his hands near his stomach.
"What's wrong with you?" Haiden asked rudely.
"I-I've got to use the toilet, if you must know. Hey, why are you out here, Snape? Shouldn't you be inside with the rest of your bloody friends?"
"Can it, Weasley. I don't have to conform with what everyone else is doing."
Ron Weasley frowned, releasing his hands from his body.
"What's it to you, anyway? Why wouldn't you want to go into the feast. The foods great, the beverages are well...plentiful, and your dad looks cozy up there at the staff table. What's keeping you out of there, scared of something?"
In a split second, Haiden had risen to his feet, closing in on the boy.
"It is none of your business why I'm not in there. My father and his position are irrelevant to what I'm doing, remember that. And I don't scare easily. I don't scare at all. But if you continue to poke your nose in business not of your own, I'll make sure you're scared at every turn. Got it?"
"You don't scare me, Snape. You think because you're daddy's little puppet that you can-"
"I'm not anything to my father, do you hear me! I'm not anything to him, he doesn't love me, and I'll be damned if I will let you stand here and pretend like you know me. Have we even spoken before, Weasley? All I know about you is that your family is poor and you can't afford new robes, and that there are about a million Weasleys running around, and that your father thinks he's got a good job at the ministry but he's just pretending because he's a blood traitor!"
The words had left Haiden's mouth before he'd realized what he'd said.
Weasley's eyes were fueled by rage. "Don't you talk about my family like that! You don't even know my family!" And suddenly, Ron came at Haiden with his fists raised. A punch sliced the stale air, but no contact was made.
"You're going to fight me, are you, Weasley?" Haiden laughed cruelly. "Well, bring it on, then!"
Wands forgotten, the boys engaged each other. Within minutes, Haiden was on the floor, nose bloodied, and Ron was standing over him.
"You're right, there are about a million of us, and most of us are boys," Ron laughed sardonically.
"I'm still not afraid of you," Haiden sneered.
"Well you should be, because I-"
Suddenly, a large figure rushed passed them, running frantically into the great hall.
"What in the-" Ron started, but he was interrupted by the answer.
"Troll in the dungeon!" the voice echoed.
"Quirrell?" Haiden questioned.
"A troll?" Ron asked quietly. Suddenly students began filing past the two, and their fight was quickly forgotten.
"Oh no, Hermione!" he exclaimed, helping Haiden up.
"Hermione? Oh, the Granger girl-"
"There's no time to talk, she's in the castle somewhere, we've got to find her!" Ron said quickly, grabbing Haiden's shirt and running through the crowd.
"But...what? Why wasn't she at the feast?" Haiden asked, going along with his new found enemy.
"Well I made her cry earlier because of something I said, and I hadn't seen her since. I know she's in the castle somewhere because the girls said she wasn't up in the common room when we all went down to dinner. Oh, it's going to be so bad if she gets hurt, I'll never forgive myself," Ron mumbled absently.
"Well, why do I have to come with you?" Haiden asked.
"So if a troll gets in the way, I can throw you out to it first. And because it's nice to help people every once in a while."
Haiden rolled his eyes but continued on, because as much as he didn't like the know it all, he didn't want her to be hurt.
So the duo ran the halls until they heard sobs issuing from a ladies room. Not bothering to knock, the two ran into the room, only to find Hermione, her eyes puffy.
"What are you doing in here, Ronald? And...Haiden, is it? Why did you come in here?"
"Hermione you have to run, there's a troll in the castle..." but Ron couldn't finish his statement.
The two boys turned slowly to see the great stupid beast, green and enormous, towering over them. One movement of his club had the two running for cover with Hermione. Finally tired, feeling as though he had nothing left to lose, Haiden decided to try a spell that he'd practiced only on small things, something he'd never seen his father do but had read about in one of his dusty old books. Because he didn't know how to execute nonverbal spells, he decided to scream it, loudly, so that anyone who had ever doubted him would know.
"Levicorpus!" he yelled, and suddenly the troll was upside down, dangling from his ankles, the room shaking in rage. Taking initiative from Haiden, Ron levitated the club from the great hand of the beast and began to beat him with it. When the troll was safely knocked out, Haiden dropped it with a boom.
"Are you alright?" Haiden asked Hermione, taking her hand and helping her up from behind a stall.
"I-I think so. I don't know how you find me, how can I thank you enough-"
"Students!" The voice was a mortified yell as the motley three turned to see Professor McGonagall, Professor Dumbledore, and to Haiden's great disdain, Professor Snape.
"How could you have...how could you have knocked out the troll? Three first years!" To Haiden's great surprise, Hermione stepped up and took responsibility for the entire situation. She claimed that the boys had saved her after her attempt to track down and stop the troll.
"Haiden, are you alright?" his father asked quickly, as if trying to pretend that he wasn't singling one of the students out.
"Fine, I'm fine...dad." Haiden added the last word to continue the charade his life had become. Surprise registered on his father's face, but his expression did not change.
"Well, I think that the three of you should be off to bed," Professor Dumbledore broke in, "With the stern warning that you shouldn't go looking for trouble." But it was the small smile upon his lips that assured Haiden everything would be okay.
Hermione gave Haiden a small smile, while Ron nodded his head gruffly, signaling acceptance. Haiden smiled back, feeling and odd connection with these two people, who saw their lives flash before their eyes just as he had.
A/N I just wanted to say, for whatever it is worth, that I had planned this to be a Snape/Lily story in some form, before DH came out. So when i read DH I thought "Well there goes my unique take on something." Just know that I was meaning to do it, though in a slightly different way. As you can see, though I've decided to change my original story to make it canon, I have decided to go ahead with my original plan. And I'm slightly mad at JK Rowling for stealing my idea!! (Not really mad...just sad that I couldn't do it before she could!! haha) We must have had the same brain wave lengths or something. No matter. I loved DH anyway!!
Sorry for the wait on this chapter though, I was somewhat stunned after reading and wasn't sure if I'd find inspiration again. I'm happy to report that I did :) Oh, and if there are grammatical mistakes in this, I am very sorry...my computer has been in the shop, and it came back without MS word, so I used google instead. I apologize if it's less than perfect :)
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