Chapter 11 : Restoration
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Drake said later to Arista that Marsh should thank her lucky stars he wasn’t Headmaster. “I’d have paddled her backside all right and to hell with school policy.”
Trish and Arista agreed with him.
Finally, on November 23rd, the potion was ready. Arista brought Severus to the infirmary, for she wished Poppy to be present in case something untoward should happen. She had explained to the child that the magic potion they had made was for him and it would give him back some memories he had forgotten and also awaken his magic.
Severus drank it down eagerly. His body was suffused with a golden glow. He cried out in fright, for the potion made him dizzy and he felt as if his body were being pulled every which way. Arista reached out and held his hand. “Don’t fight it, Dad,” she urged. “Just let go. I’m here.”
Severus trusted her and he obeyed, allowing the potion to work, fainting in her arms a moment later. She gently laid him down on the bed, monitoring him with her healing sense. “It’s working. In twelve hours he’ll be thirty-four again.”
“What about his memories? Will he remember anything about the past month?” asked Trish.
“Who knows? We’ll just have to wait and see.”
Twelve hours later a restored Professor Snape was lying in the hospital bed, dressed in a pair of familiar black professor’s robes. But he had not yet awakened from his charmed sleep.
Arista fell asleep on a cot next to him waiting for him to wake up.
Professor Snape sat up and rubbed his eyes. He was not surprised to find himself in the Hospital Wing, for he quite clearly recalled the potion exploding. He looked about, relieved that Longbottom was not there as well. He had saved the boy from a nasty burn at least. He examined himself carefully, noting that he did not appear to have any scarring or injuries. Then again, he knew that Arista had probably healed him as soon as he had been brought here.
He turned his head and saw his daughter asleep on the cot and smiled. Typical Healer. Never leave until the patient’s out of danger. Strange, but he had the oddest dream while he was asleep. In it he had been a child again, four or thereabouts, and he’d been running about Hogwarts, causing mischief. Arista had been in it, as had Trish, and all of their friends. He rubbed his eyes again.
That dream . . .it had been so vivid . . .as if he’d actually lived it. He shook his head. Ridiculous . . .and yet . . .if he closed his eyes he could recall Arista holding him and singing to him, and Trish playing with him . . .he remembered Drake and Kit jumping up and down on his living room couch with him . . .Dear Merlin, what were they thinking? . . .Then he smirked, because he also remembered just how much fun it was . . .except for when Hermione had come in and yelled at them for making a mess . . .Memories whirled through his head and he gasped, nearly overwhelmed by them.
Then his natural mental discipline reasserted itself and he began to reassert control over the cascade of images, processing each one separately. He would not allow himself to be overrun with dreams or visions or whatever they were. My mind rules, not my heart.
By the time he’d managed to sort out the chaos in his head, he was tired again. He decided to sleep a bit, but then his eye was caught by the empty crystal vial on the nightstand. Curious as to what kind of potion had been given to him to heal him, he picked up the vial and sniffed experimentally.
The unmistakable smell of summer peaches wafted into his nostrils.
Merlin’s balls! That’s no Sleeping Draft, Severus, that’s an Aging Potion. He gently set the vial back on the nightstand. Which meant that all those oddball dreams he’d thought he’d had were no dreams.
They were memories.
Oh hell, I can’t deal with this right now, he thought wearily. Then he buried his face in his pillow and fell asleep again.
“So do you remember anything that happened to you in the past month, Dad?” Arista queried the next afternoon, as the family ate dinner with the restored professor in his quarters.
“Some of it. Some of it is very hazy and I don’t think I’ll remember much in a few months. But some things, I remember very clearly. Like pulling Marsh’s hair and chasing stars with Mel.” He smiled, amused.
“Anything else?” Arista asked cautiously.
He tapped his chin thoughtfully. “Well, I remember going shopping with you two, big surprise there. And reading books, I’ve always loved to read, as I’m sure you’ve guessed. My mother taught me to read when I was very young.”
“Um . . .Severus, do you remember anything else?” Trish asked, gulping.
“Like something with peas,” Arista offered, blushing.
His brow furrowed. “You know, now that you mention it, I do. For some reason, I threw peas at you, Arista.”
“Yeah, you sure did.”
“And then . . .I think you yelled at me for it . . .”
“Uh, I also, um, made you sit in time out for five minutes,” his daughter admitted, staring down at her plate.
“As well you should have, my girl.”
“Then you’re not mad?”
“For what? For disciplining me the way my mother would have?” Severus shook his head, his dark eyes sparkling. He looked at Trish, who had been fidgeting with her fork nervously. “Is that what’s got you all upset, Tricia?”
“Uh . . .yeah. Do you remember me trying to comb your hair?”
“I know my mother dreaded that chore, for I was an absolute wretch and hated getting my hair combed. We fought many battles over that,” he admitted wryly.
“Did she, uh, ever . . .swat you . . .for, um, fighting with her?”
“Oh, yes. I earned myself a smack or two nearly every day for behaving like a demon.” He raised an eyebrow. “You mean to tell me . . .?”
Trish nodded. “You kicked me and I smacked you. Twice. Am I dead now? Are you, like, gonna ground me forever? I’m really sorry!”
To her utter shock he burst out laughing.
“Silly girl, of course not. From what I recall, both then and now, I deserved everything I got. I was never an easy child to deal with, and I’m happy you didn’t allow me to run wild. What I remember best about being with you two was that I was happy. Very happy. And I thank you both for taking such good care of me.”
“You’re welcome, Dad,” Arista said. “We learned from the best.”
Professor Snape smiled. Then he held out his arms and his daughters fell into them, laughing and crying. “What’s this? Why all the waterworks?”
“Because . . .” Trish hiccupped. “We really missed you, Dad. The adult you, I mean. Our father.”
“A lot,” Arista added. “And we’re really happy to have you back.”
“And I’m happy to be back, girls.” He hugged them tightly. “I missed you too.”
They spent the rest of the night talking over tea and scones, happy to be a normal family once more.
The next afternoon, Professor Snape was back in his classroom, teaching and grading papers with all of his old fire. His students, even the Gryffindors, were unusually well-behaved, and Neville managed to correctly brew a potion for the first time since summer Remedial Potions. Severus raised an eyebrow at that and awarded twenty-five points to Gryffindor for the occurrence of a miracle. He began to suspect the students had missed him, even if only a little.
He looked up from the current batch of assignments he was grading to see Hermione standing before him. “Yes, Miss Granger? What obscure question would you like me to answer for you now?”
Hermione glanced down at her shoes. Then she looked directly into the dark eyes of her Potions Master and said quietly, “Just this, sir. I wanted to tell you thank you, Professor Snape.”
“For what, Miss Granger?”
Hermione took a deep breath. Then she said, all in a rush, “For everything you taught me, sir. I . . I learned a lot from you, sir . . .and it really helped when I . . .I had to analyze Neville’s solution, so I could . . .anyway, I just wanted to tell you that . . .sir.”
She waited in dread for the sarcastic comment, for him to say it was about time the know-it-all learned she didn’t know quite as much as she thought she did.
“Miss Granger, look at me.”
She did, and saw a faint smile quirk up a corner of his mouth. “Do you know, you are one of the few students besides my daughters who have ever said that to me? Most students don’t appreciate my teaching methods until they’re graduated.”
“I do, sir.”
“Obviously,” he drawled. “And I believe I need to thank you as well, for Arista tells me you helped her greatly in discovering the unstable element in Longbottom’s potion and isolating it so she could properly brew the Aging Potion.”
“You’re welcome, sir.” Hermione said and smiled. Then she added, greatly daring, “Sometimes, it’s not so bad being a know-it-all.”
Snape stared at her for a full minute. Then he nodded, and she saw amusement deep in his dark eyes. “Indeed, Miss Granger.” Then he returned to his former stern mask. “Well, if that’s all you had to say, best you hurry on to class.”
He rose to his feet. “I’ll come with you part of the way. I’ve a student to see about a detention. One that’s long overdue.” And his eyes flashed dangerously.
Hermione said nothing, knowing full well what he was talking about. And she was very grateful right then that she was plain Muggleborn Hermione Jane Granger. For she wouldn’t be in Brittany Marsh’s shoes for all the Galleons in Gringotts. Professor Snape was back with a vengeance, and rule breakers beware!
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