It had started so simply.
The letters that were bound on the table mocked him. They whispered in his ear, Just read us. We can’t have anything bad. Read us! However a voice that sounded crazily like Hermione’s hissed in his other ear, They are not for you Harry Potter! They are a teacher’s private property! Just because you don’t like him does not mean you can go reading through his things! These two voices battled one another in the back of his mind until the temptation was too much for fifth year Harry to bear.
He took the letters and raced to the confines of the dormitory with Ron in tow. “So, where’d you get them?” Ron asked as both of them examined the package that stood out sharply from the red and orange bed.
“I just found them.” Harry said nonchalantly. In actuality he had noticed them in the back of Professor Snape’s robes, and thinking it was the Map, which he had had taken from him from said professor, he quickly levitated the paper out of his elder’s pocket and to his outstretched hand. You can easily imagine his surprise when rather than the ratty parchment that showed all of the school’s secrets, he was greeted with a number of letters wrapped in a blue ribbon that smelled faintly of roses.
“Oh…so, should we read them?” Ron asked, taking the letters in his hand and trying to decipher the curly script that was on top of all of them without undoing the bond.
“I guess.” Harry said with a small shrug. The boys shared a glance before Ron took the end of the bow that the ribbon created and slowly pulled at it until it fell apart. Harry took the first one and tried to figure out what it said.
September 12, 1995 Harry was surprised to find that this particular letter had been sent not a day ago. Perhaps that was why a black owl had landed on Snape’s shoulder and had delivered something. Harry had assumed it was potions text or some sort of Potion Master’s magazine. Did Potion Masters have magazines? What kind of articles would be in it? Recipes for new potions? He banished those wandering thoughts away to read.
Mein dunkler Ritter,
I miss you more than words can say. I wish for the times that we are able to hide away and be with one another alone and in perfect harmony. Harry blushed a heavy red at these words and skipped a majority of the rest of the paragraph, for fear of reading something embarrassing.
Either way, in regards to your student that you have so much hatred toward since he has joined you at Hogwarts, I can only ask you to not dwell on his faults. All people do have faults, including you my jealous quick-tempered man. Think instead of the fact that he is not only his father. Try and find his mother’s qualities in him as well. Alright, Harry would be lying if he said he didn’t find it sweet that this person was trying to defend him, even if she had been failing badly.
Mama and Papa want to say hello and The handwriting changed here to one more masculine with a chicken scratch quality to it. Thomas wants to remind you that there are plenty of beautiful women in England. The handwriting changed back to the original feminine curly script. Don’t worry I smacked him upside the head. Considering he was the one that brought us together you would think he would be more supportive.
I count the days until I meet you again,
Harry’s eyes widened at this. Professor Snape was married? Who in their right mind would marry such a greasy git of their own free will? Perhaps it was an arranged marriage? There were too many questions that came with this one particular letter, he was almost afraid to read the others.
Down in the Dungeons
“Where are they?!” Professor Snape growled as he stalked through his room. The room was decorated in greens and silvers for the fact of his Head Slytherin status, with a black iron four poster bed and the walls in coordinating greens and silvers. However, it was not recognizable as the room it had once been. The robes that had once been hung with extreme care were now hanging off their hangers and some were ripped in the shoulders. The bed that had once been militarily made had now been thrown to disarray, the green and black bed sheets falling off of the black iron frame. Every piece of furniture that had had the displeasure of being in that room from the ornate wardrobe to the elfin mirror was destroyed beyond recognition with drawers hanging out of their frames in the dresser and every book in his once carefully organized bookcase ripped at the seams. His actual robe had been thrown across a chair, the pockets still hanging out of them. This left Severus in a pair of black dress pants and a black button down shirt.
A knock at the door alerted him of a new person standing at his door. He abandoned his search for a moment and stalked to his doorway and threw it open. “What is it?” He demanded his eyes still sparked with anger about his lack of his letters.
He was greeted by Professor McGonagall, who looked a bit surprised by Severus’s more aggressive behavior which was more than it was usually. “I’m sorry to disturb you, but I’ve lost my…Severus you’re married?” His hand went to his now exposed neck, where a gold ring was hung by a delicate gold chain.
“Yes, for almost fifteen years now.” He said blankly. “Now if you will excuse-“ He began, turning to shut the door.
“But who to?” McGonagall inquired, almost hurt that she hadn’t known about his apparent marriage until now.
“Someone I’m almost certain you will never meet.” Severus said confidently. Considering his wife resided in Germany for a majority of her days and most likely would for the rest of them, he was confident that Minerva would never get a wild hair and travel out to Germany and trek through the open plains to find one person in one little town whose main attraction was a muggle church and their annual festivals.
“Is it someone from the school?” McGonagall asked, wondering if it were perhaps someone who had been nice to him during his school days.
“No. No one at the school did me or my relationship with any sort of person any good.” Severus told her sharply. Everyone that had had the displeasure of being in or around his year either sided with the always popular Marauders or tried to stay out of the way in case he decided to attack some innocent bystander(which should be noted would have never happened in a million years). Even his best friend, one Lily Evans had left him behind for that damn Quidditch star Potter.
“Oh. Well what are you looking for so fervently?” Professor McGonagall asked, taking a small peek into the destroyed room just beyond Severus.
Severus thought for a moment whether he should tell her or not. It would be quite a bit easier to find the letters if he had someone on his side, but on the other hand he would have to describe the way they were bound and the reason they were bound in this way. He decided the benefits in this case would outweigh the defects so he told her, “I have a series of letters that were and I am assuming optimistically still are bound with a blue ribbon. If you find them anywhere, I would very much appreciate them back.” Minerva’s eyebrows rose exponentially through this description.
“Alright, but Severus, why do you need them so badly?” She asked.
Severus sighed and stated simply, “They have sentimental value for me.” To admit such things were almost painful him to do, but he hated lying to the woman who had helped him through so much over the years.
Minerva nodded and told her comrade, “I’ll run by the Gryffindor common room on my way to bed tonight and alert my students. Perhaps you could tell your Snakes as well. I won’t use your name.”
“Thank you.” Severus told her. He knew that if his name was linked to these letters, his reputation at the school would be completely demolished.
“Good night Severus.” She stated before walking down the hallway that lead out into the castle.
In the Gryffindor Common room, Harry was having his own problems. He had taken the time to read every letter that was in the bound package. In the time that he took to read them, he found out that his horrid Slytherin teacher was not only married, he also had three children by the names of Estelle, Maria and Arthur. The teacher that caused so many children pain had actually reproduced? It was hard to imagine.
The fifth year was sitting down in the leftmost wingback chair; the letters perched on his lap. He wished he knew what this woman by the name of Guinevere meant when she addressed whom he presumed to be Snape as “Mein dunkler Ritter”. He figured it was in some other language, but what language? And what did the words mean? It was a complete mystery to the fifth year.
He decided to go to his local brain, Hermione. “Hey Hermione, could you look at this quickly?” He asked her, trying to cover up a majority of the letter he had chosen with his arm.
“Sure I suppose. Let’s see.” Hermione stated, taking a glance away from her Ancient Runes text and at the note. “That looks German in my opinion. I know that Mein means My, but the other two are words I haven’t learned. Where did you get this?” She asked, taking the paper completely from Harry’s grasp.
“Well I-“ Harry began to explain.
“Harry! This is a teacher’s private property! How dare you take this!” Hermione chastised once she finished reading the letter with that infuriatingly fast pace that she read everything. Harry resisted smirking at his mind’s almost perfect imitation of her voice. “You should take this right back to Professor Snape this instance!” She continued.
“I will, I will.” Harry lied easily. “But you said this was German right?” He asked, figuring she would confirm it as she did with everything she had already figured out.
“Yes, but still Harry, you really need to-“ The portrait hole suddenly opened and Professor McGonagall came in. The students all turned to look and wonder why their Head was in the Common room at this late hour. The professor usually never came into her House’s commons, unless it was for something of extreme importance.
“Gryffindors, I have a request to make of you. One of the people in this school has lost a very important item. The item in question is a series of letters tied with a light blue ribbon.” Hermione sent Harry a firm glare. “If you happen to come across this item, you may return it to me, no questions asked. However if you are hiding them and you plan to use them in a way to blackmail the true owner or you have found them and have undone them and read them, you will be as severely punished as harshly as my status of Deputy Headmistress can address. Good night.” With that, the professor strode out of the common room and out of the portrait hole. Once out, she went over her thoughts, trying in vain to recall if any of her lions had been acting amiss.
That was when she recalled that Harry Potter had a number of letters in his lap, with a blue ribbon hanging forlorn over the side.
Translation: Mein dunkler Ritter- My dark Knight