Chapter 1 : The Prologue
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A loud crack made Snape reach into his robes and pull out his wand.
"Master!" The high pitched voice of his house elf, Riffer, sounded behind him. "Hurry, Master! It's Mistress Lily! She has fallen!"
Snape took flight up the stairs at great speed. Knowing where she had been, he entered the nursery.
"Lily!" Snape's voice abnormally matched Riffer's high tone when his eyes captured the scene.
She lay unconscious on the floor next to the crib. Her face pale, and her eyes closed. He knelt down to her, checking for any sign of life. With a sob, he closed his eyes, hugging her close to him. She was so heavy, so limp in his arms. Just like before.
Snapes sobs ceased suddenly. His eyes flew open. "Riffer!" he shouted harshly.
His summon was louder than needed. The elf was close behind him, in his own grief over the loss of his friendly mistress. "M-master?" the small creature managed to choke out.
"The boy!" Snape said urgently. "Bring Harry in here."
The elf bowed quickly. "Yes, Master, sir." he scuttled out to find the child.
"He'll bring you back." Snape tried to sound reassuring then as he spoke to his wife.
"I got Harry Potter, Master," Riffer announced shortly after. He was leading the young child into the room by the hand. They stopped at Lily's feet.
"Boy." Snape addressed the scrawny kid. "Bring her back!"
"Mummy?" the boy looked startled now, unsure what to make of his still mother.
"Did you hear me?" Snape nearly shouted.
Harry jumped. "What's wrong with Mummy?" he asked, a frightened look plastered on his face.
"She's dead! Now bring her back!' Snape was desperate. He stood on his knees, clasping the boy's shoulders with his hands, giving him a harsh shake. "Now!"
Harry whimpered with equal confusion and fright. "I don't know how!" he cried. "I don't know! Please, Severus! Please, don't!"
Snape searched his mind for the memory of what had happened three years ago. The boy, just barely over a year old, had brought Lily back. How, though? How had Harry brought life back into Lily?
The shallow, green, fog-like haze lingered throughout the house. The place had been ransacked. The table and chairs had been knocked over, legs snapped off, lost somewhere in the debris of the house litter.
Sprawled there on the carpet, near the sofa, lay the lifeless body of a man. Tossed belongings surrounding him, some of the trashed items were even covering him. An open children's book covered an ankle.
Scowling, Snape stepped over the dead man. He had his wand drawn out at the ready just in case danger still lurked.
"Lily?" he called softly. "Are you here?" His heart thudded painfully against his chest. He knew that if she were okay, he would have heard her reaction to her dead husband and child.
Deciding that nothing else mattered, he quickened his search, desperately calling for the woman.
"No." he shook his head, not wanting to believe what he saw. She lay on her back, her legs bent to one side, a fearful look frozen to her face. Her glassy, wet eyes stared eerily back at him.
He took large steps toward her without suppressing a sudden burst of tears. Taking her hand in his, he touched his face to her. The hand still warm, as it she were just sleeping.
"Mummy?" Something screeched above where Snape sat on his knees. The Potter boy's face was red, wet and sticky from earlier crying. He was looking at his dead mother, standing in his crib. his tiny fingers grasped the bars with one hand, and another held a wand.
Snape flew up with a sudden panic, both from the fact that the boy was, surprisingly, alive, and that he possessed a wand. Snape backed away, watching the baby closely. He was blocked from going any further when he bumped into a wall.
"Severus?" Albus Dumbledore stood at the hearth with a sad expression, his eyes watery.
"Albus." Snape greeted dryly. His eyes flicked darkly back to the boy.
"I would assume that is Voldemort's wand." Albus remained at the doorway, analysing the predicament. "He must have dropped it when he threw the curse at Harry."
"Mummy." Harry said quietly when he heard his name.
"I'll get the wand, Severus." Albus said. "You get Harry."
"No, thanks. I'll get the wand." Snape said bitterly. No way was he going to touch the little git.
"Fine." Albus agreed and approached Harry. He said a couple things to the baby, causing him to get a toothy smile in return. Albus bent over the crib and gently lifted Harry from the crib. "Alright then, Severus?" his eyes found Snape's.
Snape held his own wand out with caution. The wand in the boy's hand held a lot of dark power; if for some reason a spell was cast, he would need to block it.
"Harry, let Severus have the wand." Albus spoke softly into the child's ear.
Harry raised the wand, and, for a moment, Snape actually thought the baby was going to hand it to him, but when Snape went to take it, the boy's grip was firm.
"Give me the wand." Snape sneered at Harry, interrupting Albus.
"Severus." the old wizard warned.
Harry turned his head to his mother. "Mummy." he said, then started squirming in Albus' arms.
"Expelliarmus!" Snape shouted, casting a disarming spell while the child's attention faltered.
Snape gasped when the wand did not budge. "What the-"
"Intriguing." Albus held the baby out at arms length, looking him over.
"Down." Harry spoke sternly. His eyes narrowed. "Down. Down." he repeated, kicking his dangling feet.
"You're not really going to?: Snape asked as the old man set the baby at the foot of his feet.
"I am curious."
Harry crawled to his mother and shook her to wake her, likely thinking that she was asleep. "Mummy!" the baby settled himself next to her neck, tangling some of her wavy reddish, brown hair into his feet. He sat there, waving his arms happily, as if someone had the music playing. The wand, which he held in his left hand, tapped against Lily's forehead.
"Alright, this stops now!" Snape took two steps toward the baby, and bent down. About ready to force the wand out of the prat's hand, a movement to his right made him stop abruptly.
Her chest heaved up at an alarming height next to his ear. A gasp erupted from Lily like she had been holding her breath for five minutes. She began breathing rapidly; heavily.
"S-severus!" she managed to heave out with surprise.
"Lily?" Snape was lost at words after that.
"Mummy!" Harry raised his hands up above his head in triumph and released the wand from his hand. It clattered noisily and rolled, with clumsiness, a few feet from him.
"Accio wand." Albus quickly summoned it.
Snape, regathering his senses, took Lily's hand, and stared down at her. "You were-" his quiet voice lost itself, unable to finish.
A faint smile spread to her lips. "I came back to Harry," she explained with massive effort. "I heard him calling me." She reached out a hand to brush the head of her child. "I saw the end of a wand-" she put a hand to her forehead with dizziness. "I grabbed it, and it just like I was travelling by Floo. But before that, James and I, we were trapped between-" she stopped shortly, looking away with shame. "Without making myself sound nutty, I am not ready to leave just yet." A weak smile formed across her face.
"She should go to St. Mungo's for evaluation. " Albus spoke up.
Snape instantly stood up, hauling Lily into his arms.
"Mummy!" Harry scrunched up his face.
"I'll get Harry." Albus offered after a moment's glance at Lily.
'Thank you, Professor." She allowed herself to go limp in Snape's arms.
Shape waited for the old wizard to say a few words to the baby before picking him up. "Ready?" Albus asked. After Snape nodded, they disapparated to the outside of the hidden hospital for wizards.
"You have a very serious condition, Mrs. Potter." a healer announced several days later. "We have tried all we can to mend your body, but is has suffered severe damage. Quite astonishing to see you here breathing, to be frank."
"So what does that all boil down to?" Lily asked. She was lying in the hospital bed with Harry, who was seemingly having a conversation with himself, sitting on her stomach.
Snape sat at a chair beside her bed, clearly exhausted from stress and lack of sleep.
"Eventually, your body is just going to shut down." the healer looked down at a chart that he held in his hands. 'We're estimating between five and seven years."
"You are avoiding something, Healer Formier." Snape growled, eyeing him threateningly.
The healer gave Snape an odd look, tilting his head. He cleared his throat uneasily, focusing his attention onto Lily. "It seems you have also lost your magic."
"What?" Snape gasped.
"Severus." Lily placed a hand on his arm, stroking it calmly.
"Yes well." Healer Formier couldn't find anything more to say, but turned from them and exited the room in a hurried manner.
"I'll be alright," she assured Snape when he looked at her with worry.
He looked away, shifting in his chair uncomfortably. "My uh-" he paused, gathering up the courage to continue. "You are welcome to stay with me." He still refused to make eye contact with her.
"Are you really sure about that?" she sounded shocked.
His eyes finally met hers and his hard look softened. Snape took her hand, encasing it with his own. "Of course I am sure." His mouth, finding old unused muscles, formed into a smile - something he hadn't done in years.
**8 Months Later**
"You do know that if you accept Lily, you are also accepting Harry?" Albus stood in the library of Snape's house. Snape had just informed him that Lily decided to permanently move in and they would soon be married.
Snape didn't meet the man's forcible eyes. "Of course." his reply bitter and slow.
"He is young enough, you could be a good father to him." Albus spoke thoughtfully.
Snape grunted before pursing his lips. Clearly unhappy with the suggestion, he stood silently.
"Well, just remember, he's Lily's son, and you should treat him as she would want you to."
"I will allow her to handle the boy." Snape dismissed the idea of him fathering the Potter boy completely.
Snape's hopes sank like a brick. Harry had brought her back with the Dark Lord's wand. He remembered Lily saying that she heard her son calling and she grabbed the wand, which had been promptly disposed of that Halloween night.
"Harry." Snape spoke clearly, looking into the boy's eyes. "You must listen to me." he insisted.
"What?" the three year old obeyed.
Snape closed his eyes. He reluctantly pulled his wand from his robes, not quite sure where the crazy idea came from. He thrust the wand into Harry's small hands before allowing himself to change his mind.
Harry gasped. "No, Severus!" he dropped the wand like it was hot iron. "No! I am not allowed!"
"Pick up the wand, boy!" Snape sneered with a dark threat.
Harry backed away. Snape had warned him about touching his wand - any wand- after he had played with it last year. He had gotten a good verbal lashing for it too.
"You must!" Snape snatched the wand from where it lay and returned it to the boy's hands. "Touch Lily, and tell her to come back." Snape ordered Harry like he was some house elf.
Harry's lip quivered in fear, silently pleading him to change his mind.
"Now!" Snape used the most cruel voice he could muster.
"Mummy." Harry turned to Lily, his voice teary.
"You tapped her forehead last time." Snape explained. "So try that."
Harry looked at the still body of his mother. "Mummy, I want you to come back now. A-and Severus does too." he bent down, gave his mother a curious look, and tapped her forehead.
"Three times total, boy."
Harry complied, but nothing happened. Not even after ten minutes of their silent waiting.
Snape sank into a chair with devastation.
Lily was gone.
“I don’t think it would be wise for the boy to stay here anymore.” Snape told Albus the next day.
"I clearly remember you saying that you understood the responsibility of Harry when you married Lily.”
“I am not his father!” Snape shouted. Then, he sighed, regaining himself. “I am sorry, Albus, you don’t deserve this.”
“Quite all right, Severus.” Albus said gently. “You could be his parent though.”
“I don’t care to be.”
“Have you considered it?”
“No.” Snape growled.
“Will you consider it?”
"In order for the protection to work, he must live with true family.”
“Good, then take him to his aunts.”
“He could stay here, you know.” Albus pressed softly.
"I just can't believe he couldn’t bring her back." Snape.said quietly.
"You were told it was only temporary." the even voice returned very quietly. "Hardly fair to blame the child, isn't it?"
Snape scowled at the man’s truth.
"He gave you two years with her." Albus tried reasoning with him. "And you have a daughter now."
"I don't want another James in my life."
"Is he that much trouble?" Albus asked with curiosity.
Snape considered this for a moment.. "Not quite, I guess.” he answered truthfully. “But, give it time.”
"Lily lives in that boy too," the old wizard pointed out.
“And just what will happen to Trixi once the Dark Lord comes back?!” Snape snapped. “I have already lost Lily because of that prat, I am not going to lose my daughter too!”
Albus sighed. “Are you sure you just can’t reconsider?”
“I don't want the boy here.” Snape insisted. “I don’t want him anywhere near Trixi, I have my own child to protect, Albus, Harry Potter is someone else's problem.”
"Alright then, he may just as well be happier with his aunt and uncle. Better he be raised by muggles for the time being, anyway.."
Snape nodded in agreement, then sent his house elf to pack Harry's things. “Make sure you cast a Forgetfulness Charm on him.” Snape muttered. “I don’t need him knocking on my door in the future.”
"M-master." Riffer called from Snape's bedroom doorway, not long after Lily's passing.
"What?" the man sneered, his voice muffled slightly from a pillow.
"Master's daughter." the elf said warily. "She is crying."
"I know, stupid, I have ears!" Snape placed the pillow over his head to drown out the baby's wails.
"She wants Master to hold her." Riffer said quietly.
Unfortunately, Snape heard that, and the pillow wasn't effective with Trixi's cries either.
"Riffer has tried, but house elves are not the same."
Snape swung his legs over the side of the bed and sat up. If it were ever possible for him to look worse than he usually did, this was it. He hadn't brushed his hair in nearly a week, and he was lucky if he had had 2 hours of sleep in that week. His robes had several wrinkles from the large amount of time Snape spent the passing days in bed.
"Why can't house elves calm a crying baby?" he asked aloud to himself..
"Riffer is not good enough for Master's daughter. Master's daughter wants Master, that's why." Feeling as if he had done the job he was supposed to, Riffer turned away in a hurry. He had developed a habit of staying out of Snape's way as often as possible in recent times.
Snape groggily got up and stalked, almost blindly, to the nursery that was just across the hall. His eyes were heavy and itchy, his head pierced with a throbbing pain. He had ran out of curing potions, and had been too tired to brew any.
Now that he was closer, the baby's screams were much louder, near deafening. Her face so red, she would easily get lost in a crate of tomatoes.
"Okay, I am here." He spoke evenly to her.
Trixi's protests lightened some, but still continued on.
He narrowed his eyes, He had held the child very little in her nine month lifespan; It was not that he didn't love his daughter, he just didn't know much what to do with her. Lily knew though. She understood his feelings about handling the baby. Occasionally Lily would try encouraging him to hold Trixi, but Snape felt it was safer just to keep his distance.
But Lily is gone now, he thought in misery.
Trixi seemed to be growing at a steady and healthy pace, nearly two times the size she had been since he last held her. Not that he hadn't noticed this. Like Harry, most her looks came from her father. Trixi had his straight, slick black hair and overly large nose. She had her mother’s eyes. Lily’s beautiful, green eyes..
"Trixi." he said to the baby with a soothing voice he rarely used. He reached down to lift her up from the crib as he had watched his wife do a thousand times. "Alright," he murmured to the baby, trying to be reassuring even though, he, himself, felt anxious enough.
"Master Severus...?" Riffer's squeaky voice came up from behind him.
"What is it?" Snape asked, only half listening as he concentrated on not dropping his daughter.
"The master's baby likes it best when you pace the room." the elf offered very quietly.
"Useful information."Snape said after some consideration, and took the advice, walking from one wall to the next. He felt a bit silly doing it, but the feeling vanished when his daughter finally hushed into barely audible grunts.
Snape looked into in the baby’s green eyes again. She was much happier now that she had someone to hold her again.
He couldn't suppress the smile that formed on his face.
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