Chapter 1 : Too Much to Ask
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Disclaimer: Harry Potter is not mine, and I'm not getting rich over him.
Author's Note: This is a companion piece/sequel to my recent one-shot called Jezebel. It is necessary to have read that first to understand this. In that one, Molly was clinically insane and plotting against the Potter family. In this one, Sirius calls Dumbledore on his 'forgive and forget' policy in regards to Snape.
Forgive and Forget
Chapter 1: Too Much to Ask
As the Aurors filed out with Peter Pettigrew's limp body between them, Sirius turned his cold gray gaze onto Dumbledore. He didn't even look at Remus or Harry as he spoke. “Remus, get Harry out of here. This is going to get ugly.” Harry protested, but quieted at Sirius' sharp rebuttal. After the door clicked closed, Sirius glared almost hatefully at Dumbledore.
“Forgive and forget old man. Forgive and forget. That's what you're telling me to do,” Sirius said harshly. “That sorry excuse for human refuse would have enjoyed killing my best friends, and you want me to forgive and forget.”
“Now Sirius-” Dumbledore began, but Sirius spoke over him.
“He wanted to kill James!” Sirius shouted. “He'd been planning it ever since second year!”
“We knew about it,” Sirius went on. “We'd stolen his notes, and got a laugh out of his plans. For the next several years, we taunted him about it, asking him how his 'plans' were coming, asking him if he had showed Voldemort yet. We knew he meant it, but we were cocky. We didn't report it because we always thought he could never succeed.”
“Sirius, Severus didn't kill James,” Dumbledore said soothingly. “Voldemort killed James, with Pettigrew's help.”
“That doesn't change the fact that he'd been planning it since the age of twelve,” Sirius pointed out.
“Unless you produce these so-called 'notes', I can't do anything,” Dumbledore said. Sirius barked out a laugh.
“Do you seriously think he didn't destroy the evidence long ago?” Sirius retorted.
“No evidence, no crime,” Dumbledore said placidly, sitting down at his desk.
“So, there's also no evidence that he's a sexual predator, huh?” Sirius asked coolly. Dumbledore shot out of his chair like he had been burned.
“I would never hire anyone like that to teach here, and you know it,” he snarled.
“You're saying you never noticed him stalking Lily?” Sirius asked incredulously. “You never heard about what happened to Mary Macdonald?”
Dumbledore held up a hand, stopping Sirius. “I did hear. Severus later told me Mulciber cursed her.”
“He lied,” Sirius said simply. “Pettigrew saw them and told us. James eventually told Lily. Mulciber and Snape ganged up on Macdonald and tried to shove her in the bathroom. That was one of the best bits of magic Pettigrew ever did, come to think of it. He stuck their hands to their...you know whats.”
“Now you're lying,” Dumbledore said, supremely confident.
“Then why did Macdonald have to retrieve her underwear from Snape?” Sirius asked.
“Lying again, Sirius. Azkaban hasn't been good to you.”
“It's rarely good for anyone, except perhaps Bellatrix. It justifies her insanity,” Sirius quipped.
“You also claimed, and I use that term loosely, that you've long suspected Severus of physically and mentally abusing the students in his care,” Dumbledore said, sitting back down.
“Yeah,” Sirius said. “Ever notice how only Slytherins learn anything from him? Ever notice how Gryffindors, especially Harry and Neville Longbottom dread going near that bastard?” He paced across the room, and turned back to Dumbledore quickly, placing his hands on the Headmaster's desk. “He calls them names, continually puts them down-”
“That's not abuse,” Dumbledore pointed out, triumphantly.
“Yes it is,” Sirius answered, his gray eyes glinting dangerously. “That's emotional abuse, and is just as despicable as physical abuse. Trust me; besides, it's most certainly abuse of power. Snape is abusing the students in his care and his authority a teacher.”
“I don't believe you,” Dumbledore said primly. “I believe you're lying.”
“Then I dare you to investigate. If you don't, I'll report your abuse of power to the Auror department.”
“Are you threatening me?” Dumbledore asked, furious.
“Yes, I am,” Sirius straightened. “I'm glad we can finally agree on something.” Dumbledore glowered.
“Fine,” he muttered. “I'll look into it.”
Dumbledore looked into the allegations, and discovered to his humiliation that Harry had, during the school year, been reporting to the hospital wing with broken bones every few weekends. He had told the nurse that his injuries had been caused in Quidditch practice. Madam Pomfrey had kept healing him, and scolding him about taking such risks. The injuries had never stopped, and Professor McGonagall had been informed.
“I knew of his difficulties, but I never had any real reason to disbelieve Harry when he said it was from Quidditch,” she confessed. “But Remus has been growing more concerned all year. He told me he had found Harry wandering around after curfew, and Snape pointing his wand at his chest.”
“That doesn't mean Severus has been physically abusing Harry,” Dumbledore objected. McGonagall went from white, to red, and back to white in the space of three seconds. She stood up, appearing to tower over him even though he was several inches taller than her.
“If Snape has been laying hands on Harry, I'll kill him myself!” she shrieked. “And screw you!”
“Next year, I feel sure we can get to the bottom of this,” Dumbledore said. “I'll supervise Severus' classes and see if he's abusing anyone.”
“You seriously think he's crazy enough to do it in the middle of class?” McGonagall asked scornfully. “There's a reason he's a Slytherin and one of Voldemort's higher-ranked Death Eaters.”
The next year, Dumbledore sat in on Snape's Potions classes, and saw no hint of malice in the Head of Slytherin House. Harry continued to claim mysteriously broken bones, especially ribs, were caused by errant Bludgers during Quidditch practice. Sirius, after being declared innocent of the charges for which he was unjustly sentenced to Azkaban, took over guardianship of Harry Potter; Peeves suddenly became Sirius' best friend, when he caught Snape in the act.
The greasy “teacher” joined Molly Weasley in Azkaban. Harry's bones stayed intact, unless it really was from Quidditch. They eventually forgave Dumbledore for not keeping a close enough eye on his resident Death Eater, but they never forgot his negligence.
* * *
Three Years, three months, and twenty days later...
“Headmaster, I'd like a word with you,” Harry said as he stepped into Dumbledore's office, his Head Boy badge gleaming on chest. “As you know, my fiancée will be turning 17 tomorrow. I intend to marry her the day after, with her parents and my family present.”
“And you are asking me to officiate.” Dumbledore sighed. “I was kind of hoping you'd break up, or at least postpone your wedding until after school.”
“Actually,” Harry ran his hand through his hair and looked sheepish, “she's kind of ummm...pregnant.”
Dumbledore blinked, and blinked, and blinked. “Fine. I'll help you clean up your mess, just this once.”
“Thanks, I really appreciate it,” Harry said.
“That was easy,” he muttered to himself as he left Dumbledore's office. He saw Hermione leaning against the wall and tapping her foot impatiently. “Or not.”
“Harry, we were planning our wedding when you walked out on me,” Hermione said sternly.
“Love, everything's been taken care of,” Harry said, trying to placate her. “You kept saying how you wanted an early wedding, but we couldn't decide on an early enough date that wouldn't interfere with NEWTs. We couldn't decide which Weasleys, if any, we were going to invite.”
“I know all that! What I don't know is why you ran off!”
“I didn't 'run off',” Harry said sourly. “I finished preparations for our wedding. Now we just need to collect our clothes from Madam Malkins, and I'm sure Dobby would be over the moon to decorate. I've even coerced someone into officiating.”
“You coerced someone into officiating? Who'd you get, someone from the Ministry?” Hermione asked.
“Technically, he does work for the Ministry part time,” Harry said. “I convinced Dumbledore to do it the day after tomorrow.” Hermione paled.
“We're getting married the day after tomorrow? Why didn't you tell me?” she squeaked. “You could have told me!”
“I've been trying to get in to see Dumbledore for over two weeks,” Harry admitted. “Our dear Headmaster has been avoiding me, probably because I gave him advance notice. When he finally let me through the damn door without arranging for the Ministry to blow up, I had to feed him some line about how we needed to get married immediately.”
“Alright, yes, I've been surprised about how he's been avoiding you. It's like you were carrying the Plague,” Hermione nodded. “So what line did you feed him?”
“I ummm... I had to tell him you were kinda sorta pregnant,” Harry confessed. “Please don't kill me.”
“Pregnant? And when was I going to find out I'm pregnant?” Hermione asked, keeping herself under control with a Herculean effort.
“Immediately,” Harry said immediately. “He's convinced I need him now to help me fix a mess I got myself into with you. I was thinking after the wedding we tell him I lied to him.”
“I'm in,” Hermione said. “I lost confidence in him years ago, when he refused to really investigate Snape. So, how much advance notice did you give him that you intended to marry me so soon?”
“Three years, three months, and eighteen days,” Harry answered.
“So specific,” Hermione commented, covering her surprise. It shouldn't really surprise her anymore that Harry was nothing if not romantic and thorough.
“I told him the day we captured Pettigrew,” Harry said. “I knew even then that we'd one day marry, and I wanted to surprise you with the date. That's why I chose the day after your seventeenth birthday.”
“Harry, you are so sweet,” Hermione said, coming to him and cupping his face with her hands.
“Well, you're sweet enough to give me cavities,” Harry showed her his goofy, lopsided grin that always made her weak in the knees. “I guess it's a good thing I fell head over heels for a daughter of dentists.”
“You keep talking, Potter, and I might actually be pregnant by the time we get married,” Hermione warned him.
“Actually, don't tell Dumbledore this, but I promised your dad that I wouldn't touch you until our wedding night, on pain of death,” Harry admitted.
Hermione nipped his ear lobe with her teeth as she whispered, “I won't, love. Maybe I can be pregnant by the time we graduate. It's my dream to give you the family you so richly deserve.”
“And it's my dream to have that family with you. Once I can safely swear to your father that it happened after the wedding,” Harry said quietly in her ear. She giggled when his warm breath tickled her.
“I now declare you bonded for life!” Dumbledore announced in his ringing voice in the lavishly decorated Great Hall at Hogwarts, two days after agreeing to Harry's demands. Hermione Jean Granger Potter, the blushing bride, stood beaming at her husband of one minute. Harry's slightly shaking hands held her veil up as his lips descended on hers.
The guests were either laughing, crying, or, in the case of the Slytherins, sneering. Hermione's parents and Harry's adopted family sat in the front row, with several other Gryffindors. Out of a Marauder sense of mischief, Harry and Hermione had placed Ron and Ginny Weasley on either side of Draco Malfoy. All three of them sat with their arms crossed and their noses in the air as they pointedly tried to look anywhere but at the person sitting next to them.
“Oh, Headmaster, just to let you know, I lied,” Harry said.
He lowered his arms. “What?” he all but squeaked. Hermione signaled Colin Creevey surreptitiously.
“I lied; Hermione's not pregnant,” Harry said. The look on Dumbledore's face was priceless, and immortalized on film as Colin leaped up with his camera at the ready. Sirius, Remus, and Tonks were on the floor, laughing. They had been privy to the fib Harry used, and all three would be receiving a copy of the photo by owl.
“You lied to me!” he suddenly shouted. “This is a lie!”
The Great Hall went silent. When the chirping of crickets filled the Hall, Fred and George took a bow.
“Relax, when our first son is born, we'll name him after you in some way,” Harry said.
“That's not the point! You told me she was pregnant!” Dumbledore shouted.
“What I didn't tell you was that I'd already promised her father I wouldn't touch her until after the wedding,” Harry said reasonably.
“Face it, Dumbledore,” Sirius said. “You're a sucker, and you were fooled by a Potter yet again.”
“If that's supposed to make me feel better about being lied to, it's not working!”
“No, but it explains to our younger guests just how amazingly easy it is to take advantage of you,” Sirius said, grinning.
“Sirius, maybe you shouldn't have said that in front of aspiring Death Eaters,” Remus said, glancing suspiciously at the Slytherin table.
“Why not? It's not like he isn't a sucker for a Death Eater with a dick already,” Sirius said reasonably.
“Ewww! Imagery I didn't need or want, Sirius!” Nymphadora Tonks Lupin wailed from her place next to Remus. “And besides, it's just Death Eaters in general he's a sucker for. I've seen no indication that he's...you know.”
“That's because he's not,” McGonagall said quietly, smiling serenely.
“I didn't want that imagery either,” Tonks said sulkily.
“Oh yeah, Dumbledore,” Sirius said. “Forgive and forget.” Dumbledore glared almost hatefully.
Nine months later...
“It's a boy!” the school nurse at Hogwarts announced, while Hermione Potter lay on the bed in the infirmary. It had been a long labor, and she was exhausted, but she was also deliriously happy.
“Harry, love, we have a son,” she said as he carefully wiped the sweat off her brow.
“How's James Albus Potter for a name?” he asked her quietly.
“I love it,” she whispered as she closed her eyes. “Just like I love you.”
It had been a long nine months, but it had been entirely worth it, Harry thought as held his first-born son in his arms for the first time. “I love you, too, darling,” he whispered. She smiled softly in her sleep, perhaps already dreaming of making another baby.
* * * *
Poor Dumbledore. But it’s not like he didn’t deserve it. He used James and Lily, so it’s about time he got used too. Revenge can be sweet.
So what did you all think? Review! And thanks for reading.