Severus sees his father through the last days of his life, all the while a particular muggle has taken his fancy. She just doesn't know it.
Rating – Pg13
Pairing – there is slight Snape/OFC, but not much. I think.
Warnings – er….none
Disclaimer – Severus Snape doesn’t belong to me. He belongs to JKR. I am only borrowing him for a bit of…fun! Lydia Bree Hunnisett belongs to me.
Summary – Severus Snape spends one last summer with his parents and meets a person that slightly surprises him.
Authors Note – Yes, Au. Set after Harry’s third year. Will focus mainly on Snape.
Chapter 1 – The Heeler
Eileen Snape sat by the bedside of her husband in their dank little home on Spinners End. The black curtains were closed so that the harsh sunlight couldn’t stream in and help the occupants become a bit cheerful. The bed was covered in tatty blankets. An old tea tray with chipped cups and a worn tea pot held cold tea. Eileen hadn’t moved from her seat since she had set the tray down.
She swept her dark hair away from her face and glanced at her sleeping husband. Tobias was sleeping. Not peacefully, not since the disease had come upon him quite surprisingly the month before. At first he had said it was only a cold and that he’d get over it. He hadn’t and it only got worse.
Though, she mused, at least it kept the old man from hitting her as often. Severus kept well away from his parent’s room, only entering when he had too. Even in his thirties he was wary of his Father. She couldn’t fault him. Really, it was quite normal, as her Muggle Therapist had explained, for the behavior to continue into adult hood. Now, her Muggle Therapist also voiced that she was worried Severus may take the same heavy hand to his wife if he ever had one – but, Eileen had just shaken her head and said in no uncertain terms that Severus was a very gentle being and all he had ever wanted was a Father that cared for him.
She turned her face towards the closed door of the room when she heard the front door opening. It’s creak was very load, however, Tobias didn’t wake. Good. She slowly maneuvered to stand on arthritic knees that clacked together as she moved to go and greet her son.
By the time she found the kitchen, Severus was putting away the groceries he’d been sent out to retrieve. His clothing had seen a major change since his student days. He wore black trousers and a forest green button down shirt. The sleeves neatly folded to his elbows. His dark hair, much like her own, was swept into a low pony at the nape of his neck.
“I’ve bought potion ingredients to make some pain relievers for you, Mother,” he turned to her. He held a bottle of Newts Eyes in one hand and celery in the other. He also had a gentle smile on lips that otherwise always frowned or sneered. Maybe he was a little bit happy at the prospect of brewing.
“I never was good at potions, Severus, I am glad you inherited your Grandfather’s talents for it,” she smiled back at him.
“Thank you, Mum,” and that simple phrase let her in on everything Severus wanted to say, but never voiced. Even with Tobias sick upstairs, Severus never forgot the heavy-handed punishments her husband was so fond of.
“How about I make Hash tonight?” Eileen cooed, “I know that I am not up to Hogwarts standards but I don’t think you hate it,” she said. She crossed the kitchen to the small pantry and brought out a can of spam. She turned back to Severus to see if he was pleased with the notion or not.
Severus almost sighed, “Mum, what do you want tonight?” he asked.
“Whatever you like, darling,” she replied and this time he nodded.
“All right, but I’m going to help,”
Half an hour later he and Eileen sat at the rickety kitchen table. They had hash with a side of salad and some broiled bread with their simple red wine. Eileen had made a simple bowl of oatmeal for her husband. He couldn’t keep much down these days.
“Have you called for a Heeler?” Severus asked. Their dinner conversation was always quiet. He, however, was used to cacophony of the Great Hall. The kids chattered like magpies. It annoyed him. Always. At home, he missed it. Always.
“I haven’t the funds to pay for it,” Eileen admitted.
“I will then, that least we can do is find out what it is Father has come down with and if he will survive or not,” Severus replied. He was gazing at his salad.
Eileen sighed; “Severus, this isn’t a bad thing,”
“What do you mean?” the question was simple, yet, she found that there were no ‘simple’ words to explain her feelings on the matter.
“I made a mistake in marrying Tobias. I thought he loved me, magic and all, but…well, you know what happened,” at his nod, she went on, “I love you, with all of my heart and I am so sorry that we drove you...becoming a Death Eater,” there, she had said it. Severus didn’t blink at those last words.
“I want you to know that if I had to do it all over again, I’d haven’t a thing to do with Tobias,”
“Too bad I don’t have a time Turner then,” Severus partly sneered at her. She cocked her head and after a few seconds he relented.
“I know,” he said quietly.
“When Tobias goes, so shall I. I feel old and there isn’t much left in me,” Eileen sighed, “You’ll have Spinner’s End,”
“Mum…” he went to say something, thought better of it, and shut his mouth.
“I want you to be happy, if that’s burning this place down and starting over somewhere else…whatever you want to do you have my blessing,” she smiled at him. Severus nodded.
Their dinner finished in silence.
If there was one thing he’d like to change about himself. It’d be the fact that he wasn’t at all proficient at talking to girls. Lily had been the only girl he’d been very good friends with – Look at how well that turned out! – And now as he looked down from his attic window; spying the girl walking down the street, her cain swishing this way and that – he sighed.
She was a slim woman with long golden spun hair that she wore in a braid. She wore thick shades over her eyes and at her heels was a large, Golden Retriever. His name was Spock, probably because his ears had somehow been clipped to a point, but Severus was sure that his Owner never stooped to torturing animals. A rescue dog, then.
From below, he heard a call and the woman stopped. From the flower shop across the way, old Mrs. Huffner came out with a bouquet of Tulips.
“Lydia, take these home, all right,” Mrs. Huffner practically stuffed the flowers into Lydia’s arms. Her smile was bright and welcoming in gratitude.
“They smell wonderful, Sue,” she replied. Spock huffed and wagged his tail. Then she continued on till she came to her door. Number 2, Spinners End. Her door was a bright purple. She fished out her keys and in seconds she was safely inside.
Severus wanted to sigh. Yet, he wasn’t a love sick young man, he just liked Lydia. She seemed to be a Muggle. She said Muggle-ish things and dressed like a Muggle. Today, he reviewed his memory, she had been wearing a bohemian styled skirt and a t-shirt that said “Its all about me” with a cartoon rabbit* off to one side.
This time, he couldn’t hold back a sigh and turned back to his desk. Off to one side was the still boiling potion for his mother, it needed to come down to room temperature before she could take a dose. To the right of that was a large sketch pad on that was a half done charcoal drawing of Lydia Bree Hunnisett. In this one, her glasses were missing completely and she was reading a book. Her features soft in the shadow his lamp cast over the page.
He sat back in the spindle chair; he had a great vantage point to see Lydia’s home from. Lights were never turned on. There were no shadows to follow from one room to another as she made her way through her home. He liked the dark as well. The Dungeons of Hogwarts played to that sense and he could tell every turn of the corridor just by feel alone. If he needed light, a simple Lumos would do the trick. However, night was his friend in many respects. He wasn’t afraid of the night, it came with horrible things that could maim, torture and kill – but, those things could do so in broad day light as well. There was nothing special about the night.
Taking his thoughts suddenly away from his musing; he heard his father’s hacking cough from the next room. He shook his head and fished out some parchment paper. He didn’t know any Heeler at St. Mungo’s that would help him without asking questions, and so, there was really just one person he could trust.
Madam Poppy Pomfrey ran her ward like any trained Heeler would. In a cabinet in her office she kept all the potions that were needed on a daily basis, followed by those which were rare, but would come in handy anyway. During the summer she took stock of what she needed. If there was anything Mungo’s could not supply her with, she asked Severus Snape. He had found his talent in potions and stuck with it. She didn’t know much about the man, but she surmised that he enjoyed it.
That was mostly why she took up her cape and grabbed her medical bag after reading the missive Severus had sent her. She walked down the Hogsmeade before apparating away to Spinners End. She landed in a small back alley way and then walked around to the nearest door, which she knew to be Severus’. His Mother had been ill during the year. She and Severus had both popped over to see Eileen in her time of need.
Poppy knocked on the door, firmly rebuking herself for the awful thoughts about Tobias Snape. How he had raised such a secretly kind gentleman of a son was beyond her.
Severus answered the door, he stepped back to let her walk by; “Are you sure he’s dying?” she asked.
“I think so, but you’re the only one who’d come to see,” Severus replied. She nodded.
“Show me the way then, dear,” and he did. She found herself in a small, dark room. She clucked her tongue and drew out her wand. A charm swiftly pulled back the black curtains. The sunlight then gave witness to the utter lack of care the room was in. It was dusty, smelled like mold and wasn’t a very cheery place to be in – even with the sunlight.
The man in the bed was getting on in years. Muggles didn’t age like Wizards. He had long white hair that was very thin, his beard was slightly longer than the last time Poppy had seen him. His teeth were yellow with decay and a few were missing. He had the same misshaped nose as Severus. It was a pity that Severus had inherited that bit of gene.
Poppy strode across the room to set her bag beside the tea tray. She banished away the contents. Severus stood off to the side and out of view. He either didn’t want to be involved, or he didn’t want Tobias to see him.
“What the hell is this?” Tobias came slowly awake, “Who the hell moved the curtains!?” he wasn’t a very pleasant man.
“If you are going to recover from this illness, you have to have a bit of sunlight,” Poppy replied, her tone cheerful – even if she did fake it – and she started to hum as her wand swooshed above the old man. She ran several diagnostic charms before she frowned ever so slightly.
“I don’t think you’ll recover from this,” Poppy said, her voice clear so that Severus couldn’t misunderstand her, “Nope, you’re going to pass on soon, I’d say you have two weeks to live, a month at best,” and then she picked up her bag.
“What are you telling me?” Tobias caught hold of her cape, “that I am dying?” he finally spluttered, going red in the face.
“That is precisely what I am saying,” and then she pulled away and stepped out of the room. Severus was fast on his heels. He ignored his Father’s angry calls beckoning him back.
“Are you sure?”
“Severus, I’m sorry, but the disease is too complicated for magic, even if he had something simple like Alzheimer’s, I’m afraid that there is nothing that can be done,” Poppy gave him a slight squeeze of the shoulder. She then showed herself to the door – completely missing the small twitch of lips and relief shinning in Severus’ dark, black eyes. It was a light that no one, except for possibly Lily, had ever seen.
*Okay, so the bunny rabbit thing is ‘Happy Bunny’ I have a shirt the say’s the exact same thing.
A/N – Okay, let me know what you think of this first chapter!