As soon as Severus had finished the potion he turned to Harry, watching him worriedly. “Harry, does your scar hurt badly? I can see that it’s bright red. Did you see a vision or does it simply hurt?” He quickly summoned a Pain Relieving Potion from the shelf and held it to Harry’s lips.
Harry slowly relaxed as he felt the potion’s effects. “No, it just hurt. But why? Was that Dumbledore’s doing again?”
Severus carefully touched Harry’s forehead, which was burning hot. “Yes, obviously it must have been Dumbledore’s doing. I’m afraid he must be getting better if he can remember what he can do to you with your scar.” He thought for a moment before he added, “We shall talk to the Minister about it so that they can make sure that Dumbledore goes straight to Azkaban when he is healed.”
Harry gave his father a small smile. Noticing that his son’s smile didn’t reach his eyes and that he was obviously not his usual self, Severus motioned him to stand up and walked him to his room. “Now, Harry, I want you to lie down and rest until dinner.”
Fortunately, this incident remained a solitary affair for the time being. When Harry and Severus went to the Ministry in the morning, the Minister asssured them that he had made contact with St. Mungos, to enquire about Dumbledore’s condition, and that he had been told it would still take a while until the old man would be healed…if indeed it were possible at all.
“Concerning your request, Professor Snape,” said the Minister, changing the topic, “I have spent the whole evening contacting eighteen werewolves, whom I know quite well and can assure are harmless persons and don’t belong to the group of radical werewolves. I have not spoken to Mr. Lupin, assuming you would talk to him at the school. Is that correct?”
“Yes, of course, Minister. Lupin was the first to offer to pose as test subject. So we have nineteen subjects. Have they all agreed to Floo over to Riddle Manor at the fixed time between seven and eight o’clock on Friday evening?”
“Very well, have they all agreed not to take the Wolfsbane or any other potion until then?”
“Yes.” The Minister thought for a moment before he asked, “Who will be there and whom should I arrange for?”
“Riddle and I will be there, and Madam Pomfrey will be on standby at Hogwarts, ready to Floo over at any time.”
“All right. I shall arrange for five Aurors and two Healers from St. Mungos to spend the night with the werewolves. Moreover, I’m thinking about joining you myself.”
Severus frowned. “Of course, you are very welcome to join us, Minister. However, frankly speaking I don’t think that we will succeed with any of the potions. I believe that we still have a long way to go until we might be able to find a cure someday in the future.”
“I’m aware of that, Professor. However, I want someone from the Ministry to be there, and this topic is so important that I have decided to make it an affair the Minister should care for.”
“Very well,” Severus acknowledged. “I assume you have a list of all the participants. Please number the participant from one to eighteen on your list. I do not wish to know in advance which person will receive which potion as I do not know about the side effects and can make no guarantees. I hope you have informed the test persons accordingly. Normally, I try new potions on rats but in this case, that method is obviously impossible.”
“Yes, Professor, of course.”
“Lupin will take potion nineteen, which I personally esteem as the most promising variation, right, Harry?”
“Yes, Daddy,” Harry agreed quietly. So far, he had only listened to the adults’ conversation but not participated.
“Of course, this is your decision, which I can fully understand.” With this, the Minister finished the conversation.
During the next two days, Severus and Harry spent a lot of time in Riddle manor. Together with Tom and Remus, they prepared everything for the arrival of the werewolves. After dinner on Friday evening, Severus, Tom, and Remus left for the night for Riddle manor.
“When will you be back, Daddy?” Harry asked anxiously just before his father stepped into the fireplace. Even knowing that the werewolves would be properly secured in the dungeons of Uncle Tom’s manor, it was an uncomfortable thought having so many werewolves in the same house where his father was going to spend the night.
“I’ll be back tomorrow morning, let’s say for lunch at the latest,” Severus promised, giving Harry a piercing glare. “Harry, you look absolutely exhausted. Maybe you should go straight to bed, hmm?”
Harry sighed. He was indeed completely knackered and wanted to bring the night with its frightening thoughts due to the werewolves behind him as soon as possible. “Yes, Daddy, I’d like to do that, but I have to go for a walk with Luna tonight.”
Severus groaned. “No, Harry, if you are too tired or don’t feel well you don’t have to do that. Just talk to Mummy or to Aunt Poppy or Luna and tell them that you want to go to bed.” He gave Harry a kiss and stepped into the fireplace.
Harry made a beeline back to the dining table, where most of the other teachers were still drinking tea together. He sat on the seat his father had just vacated and excused himself with Luna for the evening.
“You’re too tired to go out to the lake?” Luna asked unbelievingly. She had arranged with the other teachers to meet at the lake this evening but Harry didn’t know that of course.
Harry gave her a small nod. “All right then, Harry, sleep well,” Luna told him, watching him suspiciously.
Harry turned to his mother. “Good night, Mummy, I’m going to bed.”
“Are you all right, Harry?” Lily asked worriedly. “Shall I accompany you?”
“No, Mummy, it’s all right, I’m fine,” Harry answered, quickly transformed into his phoenix form and flashed into his room.
When Lily came thirty minutes later to look after Harry, he was already fast asleep. He didn’t even notice Poppy entering his room and checking up on him. When Harry woke up in the morning, he knew immediately that his mother was sitting on the edge of his bed. He still felt tired but lazily opened his eyes, confirming that he had been correct.
“Good morning, Mummy, have your heard from Daddy? Did it work?” he asked excitedly.
Lily gave her son a proud smile. “Daddy Floo-called me yesterday evening. It worked. Uncle Remus didn’t transform during the night.” Seeing her son’s eyes starting to twinkle happily, she added, “Are you feeling better now, Harry?”
Harry averted his eyes to his Hourglasses, where the phoenix was loudly turning around the marbles in his glass while the spider threw him furious glances, and said, “Yes, I’m fine, Mummy.”
Lily sighed. “Aunt Poppy came to check on you yesterday and told me that you’re running a slight fever, probably from exhaustion. She doesn’t want you to do any more research or whatsoever during the next four weeks.”
“But Mummy…” Harry started to protest when Severus and Remus entered the room.
“Remus!” Harry shouted happily. “Is it really true? Did it work?”
“Yes, Harry, it worked. Thank you so much,” Remus answered, pulling Harry in a bear’s hug.
“However,” Severus spoke up sternly. “We don’t know yet if Remus is really healed or if he has to take the potion every time, and we won’t know until the next full moon. During the next four weeks, we will only brew eighteen portions of potion nineteen for the other test persons. At the next full moon, they will take that potion while Remus won’t take any potion, and we will have to see if he still transforms or not. But even if he transforms, we do know we’ve found a potion that prevents the transformation once. This is a huge success, Harry!”
When Remus left the room, Severus turned to Lily. “I’ve thought about what you told me last night. We could go to the beach hotel where we spent our honeymoon for a week or two. What do you think, Lily? Harry?”
“How about going to a Muggle holiday place where we can use our notebook?” Harry returned the question.
Lily frowned. “I told you that Poppy said you’re not allowed to do any research.”“Playing with the notebook isn’t research,” Harry objected. “It’s just fun.”
“No, Harry, your mother is right,” Severus agreed with his wife.
“Do you want to go alone, I mean only the three of us or shall we ask the others if someone wants to come with us?” Lily asked.
“We can ask the others. It’s time for breakfast anyway. Did Poppy say if Harry had to stay in bed?”
“No,” Lily shook her head. “She didn’t say anything.”
“All right, Harry, can you get up so that we can go to breakfast?”
“Of course,” Harry replied and got up.
Minerva, Poppy, Tom, Rolanda, Remus, Hermione, and Luna made their mind up to accompany the Snapes on their holidays for two weeks and to leave the castle in a week’s time. Hermione and Luna even decided to invite their boyfriends, provided that they were able to take holidays on such relatively short notice.
Severus spent the week until their holidays brewing the required potions for the Hospital Wing for the next school year. Harry was so upset and disappointed when he wasn’t allowed to help at all that he escaped from Lily and ran to the Hospital wing only to throw a huge temper tantrum in front of his godmother. However, that didn’t help him much.
“No, Harry. Do you really think if you behave like that, I’m going to change my mind? You will not do any research or brew any potion for the next four weeks. Do you understand me?” Poppy replied sternly.
Harry stubbornly shook his head. “No!”
“Very well then.” Poppy sighed. “If you continue to behave like this, I’ll keep you here and stun you for the rest of the week. Is that easier to understand?”
“That’s just unreasonable and mean,” Harry mumbled before he quickly transformed and flashed away. An instant later, he reappeared in his own room, transformed back only to pick up his notebook, and changed into his phoenix form again to flash over to the unused Common room.
The rest of the day, Harry tried to make his notebook work, trying out several Charms he could think of. Once, he even managed to start the notebook. However, it shut off as soon as he stopped the Charm when he noticed how much magic it required.
Harry was very disappointed. He had finally thought he had found the right Charm, then it didn’t work because he had to keep the Charm going all the time. But maybe he could use that Charm and do some research about how to improve it. He was deep in his thoughts when suddenly Fawkes flashed in, bringing Severus with him.
“Hey, Daddy,” Harry said, smiling a little.
“Son,” Severus answered, giving his son a menacing glare. “Do you know how worried your mother is? You had a fight with Poppy, who is very upset as well, and then you vanish for the rest of the day? I hope you’ll be able to give your mother a good explanation.” He tried hard to keep his anger at bay but he was aware of the fact that his son was very sensitive and would feel his emotions anyway.
“I’m sorry, Daddy. I know what I’m going to do though. I’m stuck here with a Charm, and I’m going to ask Mummy if she can help me.”
“That’s a very good idea, Harry. Your Mum is the best at Charms, and I believe she’d be very happy if you asked her. Nevertheless, I have to give you five spider points, and don’t even think about complaining; you knew about the consequences before you came here.”
Harry sighed. “You know, Daddy, it’s much easier to talk to you and to confide in you than in Mummy. I don’t know why, maybe just because I’m still not used to having a Mummy. I know she has been here for a year now but…” He slowly trailed off.
“It’s a year, but you have already lived fifteen years without parents, and you started being small again and lived for more than three years only with me. So I can well imagine that it is still difficult for you, especially as your mother has not been well this past year and had to adjust not only to you being not a baby anymore and I being her husband instead of James, but she also had to start teaching and being Head of Gryffindor on top of everything. However, I believe by now your mother has well adapted to everything, so that she will be able to help you if you need help with anything. Just try and talk to her.”
Harry gave his father a small nod. “Yes, Daddy, thanks for speaking with me about it.”
“Anytime, Harry,” Severus replied, ruffling his son’s hair. “However, Harry, please don’t forget to go to Aunt Poppy and apologize for your behaviour. You know very well that Aunt Poppy always wants what’s best for you and if she tells you something you have to obey and not to fight with her. She is in no way ‘mean’ or whatever it was that you called her,” he said sternly.
“Yes, Daddy, I know, but sometimes she is so overprotective,” Harry said, feeling very ashamed when he recalled his behaviour towards his godmother.
“She is protective of you because you’re her godson and she loves you, but she is not unreasonably so,” his father emphasized.
“Okay, Daddy, I will go and apologize.” Harry quickly shrank his notebook and pocketed it before he asked Fawkes to take him and his father back to his room. When they entered the living room, Harry saw immediately that Lily was sitting in front of the fireplace, staring into the flames.
“We’re back, Lily, and I believe Harry wants to speak to you,” Severus softly addressed his wife.
Harry ran over to Lily, climbed onto her lap and started to cry. “I’m so sorry, Mummy, I didn’t want to make you sad.”
Lily carefully stroked his cheeks, a small smile starting to play on her lips. “It’s all right, Harry, I was just very worried because I didn’t know where you were. I’m glad you’re back now.”
“Um…” ‘How can I tell her what I’m doing?’ Harry thought feverishly. ‘Maybe she’ll think I’m stupid.’ “Um… I don’t know if Daddy has told you that I’ve bought a notebook…”
“A notebook, you know a computer.”
“I’m sorry, sweetie, but what’s a computer?” Lily asked again.
Harry let out a deep sigh. ‘Of course, Mum died nearly twenty years ago. Maybe there weren’t any computers at that time.’ “All right, a computer is some kind of machine you can use to play or do some research on the Internet.”
When he saw that Lily was listening intently, Harry continued, “On the Internet, there are a lot of pages concerning different topics. For example, Daddy and I always went to an Internet café where we could access the Internet with my notebook in order to research Potions ingredients. And I want to get my computer to work here at Hogwarts.”
Noticing that his parents exchanged a quick glance, he threw his father an unsure look. “What?”
“No, Harry, it’s all right. You’re explaining that very well. Go on,” Severus answered, giving his son an encouraging nod.
“I’ve read a few books about computers before I bought the notebook, so I know a bit about how it works, and I’ve researched a few Charms, which I found in a book but so far I can’t get the notebook to work.”
He hesitated for a moment before he continued, “There was one Charm, which made the computer switch on, but I couldn’t hold the Spell because it was too tiring and so it shut down again soon.”
“What was that Charm, Harry? Maybe we could try to change it accordingly. I don’t know if I’ll be able to help you, and maybe it’ll take years and we’ll be none the wiser. But I’ll try to help you, sweetie.”
“The Charm is ‘Adiunctio Energio’ but as I said I can’t hold it longer than a minute or so.”
“Where did you hear or read that Charm, Harry?” Lily asked, obviously confused.
Harry felt his cheeks getting red. “Oh, um… I invented it.”
Severus smirked. “He’s your son, Lily, what did you expect?”
Lily snorted. “All right, Harry. Maybe we should go to the library together tomorrow. I’m afraid it will take some research until we’ll be able to manage this task.”
“I believe that’s a good idea,” Severus agreed immediately. “However, let’s head to the Great Hall for dinner. Harry, you do remember that you still have to speak with Aunt Poppy, right?”
“Yes, Daddy. Should I speak to her before dinner or while eating or afterwards or…?”
Severus gave his son a fond smile. “I don’t think it will matter when you do it. Just do it your way, and Aunt Poppy will be all right with it.”
When they arrived at the Great Hall, Harry immediately rushed over to Poppy, climbed onto her lap and placed a kiss onto her cheek. “Aunt Poppy, I’m so sorry about what I said to you. I’ll be good now. Do you still love me?”
Poppy gave him a very stern look. “Yes, Harry, I’ll always love you. Nevertheless, your words hurt me very much. But if you’re sorry then it’s all right and I’ll forgive you.” She pulled Harry close and carefully wiped away a few tears that had started to run down his cheeks hearing Poppy’s stern voice. “Now, sit down and eat your dinner, Harry,” she finally told him and gave him a small smile.
During the week, Harry and Lily spent a lot of time in the library researching different kinds of Charms to no avail. “As I told you, Harry, this can take a lot of time. Don’t be disappointed, Harry, we’ll do some more research when we come back from our holidays,” Lily told Harry, noticing that her son was becoming impatient and frustrated.
“All right,” Harry answered, slightly consoled. In fact, he had hoped to be able to take his notebook with him but unfortunately they still didn’t have a clue how to get it to work within the Wizarding world.
On Sunday morning, Harry and the teachers, who wanted to go on holidays together, assembled in the Great Hall to use a Portkey together.
“Whom are we waiting for?” Harry asked for the fifth time in five minutes.
“Now, Harry, don’t be so impatient,” Tom told him amused. “Are you excited?”
“Yes, Uncle Tom!” Harry answered brightly, jumping up and down. “Can we go swimming right when we arrive?”
“We’ll probably be able to leave soon,” Minerva explained calmingly. “We’re only waiting for Hermione’s and Luna’s boyfriends. They are supposed to come here through the Floo.”
In the photo section of my Yahoo News Group you can find a chapter graphic for this chapter :-)
Thanks to my wonderful betas ObsidianEmbrace and Glenda :-)
I do not own any of the characters in this story; they all belong to J.K.Rowling or are a free creation, and I am not earning anything by writing this story.
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