what happens at Severus Snape's will reading has some interesting effects to those who attended!
Disclaimer: I own nothing of The Harry Potter stories series or events, other than this idea I had. Events directly following the final battle in DH Excluding the infamous epilogue.
Italics= anyone who is speaking out loud!
AN: This chapter will concern the day of the will reading and its aftermath! Oh, and this will be Third Person Narrative… mostly! Finally I want to thank my Beta Sharptooth. WOW what a great writer to take their time off of his excellent stories to fix up my little scribbly mistakes! Please google him as he has great stories to read and enjoy!
Chapter 4: A Will, a Wake, and a Snape’s Revenge!
As the sun rose on a new day, Harry was sitting on the small pier jutting out onto the small pond that sat beside the Cottage he shared with two wonderful witches (at least in his opinion).They were to attend Snape's will reading later on in the day but now ‘The-Boy-Who-Won’ was thinking of what he would do next.
They had agreed the night before to go to Australia to restore Hermione’s parent’s memories, as well as a side trip to, of all places Japan, Harry wondered what else would he, and the girls do for the rest of the summer. It seemed Xeno wanted Luna to visit his old Sensei in a place in Japan called Okayama. So they would swing over after they had Hermione’s parents squared away.
They also agreed to return for their last year at Hogwarts. The Ministry and the Headmistress had already approved for those who couldn’t attend due to the war to have the option to return. Harry, Hermione and Luna (who hadn’t missed any time due to her attending the last year) would all be in the same year’s class. They hadn’t had time to sit down and figure out what classes they wanted to take for the coming year.
As he was thinking deeply on the pier, the girls were up and making their breakfast. They had agreed to switch off with Harry making breakfast on even days, while the girls cooked on odd days. They all shared Sundays as they liked sharing that particular day; they used that day to simply unwind. So, with a shout of his name, Harry was pulled away from his musings and waved to the girls as he made his way towards the little cottage that they had made into a home, albeit a summer home for now.
After the rather sumptuous breakfast the girls made they all showered, dressed, and were ready for the final day of the week and Snape’s will reading. All three had varying thoughts on it.
Hermione was curious as to why her former potions professor would invite her as she knew she wasn’t one of his ‘favorites’. Then she remembered that Harry was invited and assumed that if Harry was invited, she would be as well. Now she wondered if the grouchy professor would invite Ron as well.
Luna was simply amazed she would be there as she was a known friend of Harry as well. But, she was never a point of contention by Snape as were Harry, Hermione, and their fellow Gryffindors, as far as she knew; but she just nodded and looked outside for the Gaggremlings who frequently entered quaint little homes like theirs and consumed dirty dishes. So, with that in mind she promptly got up and washed them before they left.
Harry was the most perplexed of the three as he knew, well at least he thought he knew, his place in the former headmaster’s mind of who wouldn’t be invited to Professor Snape’s will reading: he’d be heading that list. So, he mused at why he was invited as he finished his chores around the cottage.
After he got cleaned up, dressed and took a quick look at the wall clock, Harry called out within the cottage for Hermione and Luna, as it was coming up to the time to leave for the will reading at Gringotts. With a flurry of sound from two distinct sets of feet, he smiled as both girls ended up at the foot of the staircase grabbing each other to avoid falling on their backsides.
While Harry was sensibly dressed with a white button up dress shirt, black tie with the Potter family crest, black dragon hide pants and black dragon hide boots with a black robe with his Potter & Black family coat of arms on his upper left side; Hermione dressed in a white blouse, blue skirt and matching blue robe with the Granger crest. Luna was similarly dressed with the Lovegood crest on her robes.
All three giggled as they apparated together and held hands while Harry concentrated on the apparition point in front of Gringotts. They all popped out of the little cottage, and landed wobbly but upright, with both girls holding a swaying Harry between them. After a shared smile they walked up the white marble steps to the entrance of the bank and their most curious meeting. None realized they were unconsciously still holding hands.
As the trio entered the large conference room which they were directed to by the familiar face of Griphook. The tiny goblin was elevated to branch manager after the final battle. Harry was still a bit wary of the goblin, but was relieved as there was another goblin already there waiting for the rest of those who were invited to the will reading to arrive.
As Harry, Hermione and Luna sat together on one side of a massive wooden table they saw that several familiar faces were already there. They were heartily greeted by Neville, Ginny and Pansy Parkinson. Andromeda Tonks was also there with Teddy Lupin.
The three were shaking hands and sharing hugs with them. They all talked for a few minutes with Neville and Ginny while Pansy was hovering a few feet away looking down and a bit uncomfortable. Luna, seeing this, quietly went to the former Slytherin and took her hand with a smile, tugging her towards the talkative group.
Pansy at first resisted, but after an encouraging look from Neville she allowed Luna to bring her in. After a slight pause Pansy explained her situation, which was all due to an old family agreement between their grandfathers which gave the right of refuge to either family if there were no members left of the either family to provide refuge to their own. Pansy’s family was slaughtered right before the final battle, due to their refusal to back Voldemort.
After Dumbledore’s murder, Draco and Pansy’s betrothal was cancelled due to Draco being a fugitive. Several families went into hiding; the Parkinson’s were one of them, though it seemed that they were unsuccessful. As Neville tried to continue, he explained that a special brass bell above the room’s main portrait rang in their home alerted Neville and his Grandmother of an attack on the Parkinson’s, and with a few floo calls to their friends they had gotten to where the Parkinson too late to help.
Pansy was at that time at Hogwarts within the Slytherin dungeons, facing off those who had sided with the Death Eaters. With the help of Daphne Greengrass, Tracy Davis, and Millicent Blustrode she kept the turned students busy enough for a squad of Aurors to come and arrest, and secure them led by of all people, Draco Malfoy.
In truth, if it weren’t for Malfoy being accepted by the Death Eater sympathizers they would not have gotten there in time. This did redeem Draco, but since the Parkinson Head of House was killed the betrothal wasn’t reinstituted, plus Draco simply did not love Pansy now as anything other than a friend.
Afterwards, Lady Longbottom got word to Neville, and he and Ginny went down and got Pansy and what belongings she had so they could all go to Longbottom Manor. As Neville finished his explanation another group of people entered. As they sat down Harry caught the glance Andromeda gave him and he acknowledged it by a silently said: “We’ll meet after this.”
As they sat, Draco Malfoy, his mother Narcissa, Daphne Greengrass and Tracy Davis all sat down while Charlie Weasley stood behind Narcissa’s seat with a sword on his side and seemingly looking everywhere for any threat.
After a moment’s thought, Harry remembered that the Order of the Phoenix had assigned Charlie to protect Narcissa after what had taken place during the battle where the Malfoy’s switched sides during the battle. Their betrayal of Voldemort and the Death Eaters shifted the tide of the battle right before Harry and the former Tom Riddle had their final dance of death.
Harry looked, and it seemed that their entire group also seemed to come to the same conclusion. They all nodded to the Malfoys which was returned crisply as they all took their seats. Charlie’s only respite came then when Ginny ran around the table and briefly hugged her brother. He smiled, promised to catch up with her later, and then Ginny made her way back to sit on one side of Neville while Pansy sat on his other side. They were to the left of Hermione, Harry, and Luna who were seated right next the goblin who was patiently waiting for the final guest to arrive.
Then, in a quick last minute rush just before the appointed time for the will reading to begin, three more entered the large conference room. Quickly seated were Hannah Abbot, Ron Weasley, and a clearly pregnant Susan Bones. Hermione seemed to grow whiter in her complexion, until both her hands where taken by Harry and Luna respectively. That gesture calmed her bit while Ron, and to a lesser degree, Susan and Hannah were also seemingly uncomfortable seeing Harry and the girls there. After a few mumbled greetings the newcomers sat down.
Then the sound of two heavy doors closing and the clearing of a throat got everyone’s attention. The patient goblin who had sat there the whole time awaiting all those called to the will reading spoke;
“I am Ripclaw, Headmaster Snape’s account manager and I welcome you all to Severus Snape’s will reading.” The wizards and witches all nodded and he continued. “I see all on my list have come, and with that said I will need those who have attended to sign this oath of secrecy. This is a prerequisite from Mr. Snape and those who cannot adhere to this must leave now.”
All those who were in the room had very astonished looks on their faces except two people: Narcissa was smiling and nodding to her sister who also was doing the same. The others there saw this and Draco quietly asked; “Mother, why are you and Aunt Andi smiling? Do you know more about this oath?” Both women smiled again and simply nodded and said nothing. Both women had reconciled after the final battle, not only for comfort (due to Ted and Dora’s deaths.), but to reestablish the Black family in the revamped British Wizarding world.
“Seems just like what Professor Snape would do, as there will surely be secrets exposed that he would not want to be made public,” Luna said in her willowy voice that she was known for. With that, all seemed to understand and within a few minutes everyone, even a grumpy Ron and Draco signed it as they both were curious of what was to be said, but for totally different reasons.
Ron wanted to know anything that could make his view of Snape more real, while Draco wanted to find out what his Godfather had schemed so much that even after death it was evident that he was a true Slytherin.
When all had signed the parchment, Ripclaw set it beside the actual will, and after clearing his throat again to get everyone’s attention, he continued with the ceremony. “I Severus Tobias Snape, being of utterly sound mind, make these statements as my last will and testament irrevocable and final.” As Ripclaw said this, the oath parchment then brightened with a golden hue; and then as the hue dissipated each person in the room seemed to have a chill run through them. Most attributed it to the oath, but Narcissa and Andromeda shared a look of slight alarm, but kept quiet as Ripclaw continued. “As it is in my opinion clearer if I were to tell you all these statements personally, I will in a pensieve.” With that a round stone pensieve materialized on the center of the table and with a touch of Ripclaw’s staff, which no one had noticed before, he activated the memory within. . It had the appearance of a shallow stone basin, into which were carved runes and strange symbols. It was filled with a silvery substance that appeared to be a cloud-like liquid/gas. Harry recognized that that was the memory.
As it activated a 3-foot tall version of the lanky, dark clothed Professor and former headmaster came into view. Everyone recognized the man and waited for him to speak. “It is with the utmost loathing that I make these statements, as if I am being heard as a pensieve memory, it means that I did not survive the upcoming battle which I know will be at Hogwarts.” He closed his eyes and in a visual sigh he continued. ”I first must state some facts about my family, the House of Prince before I can get to the codicils. I state as the last of the Prince line that there is an heir to that line in this room.” This statement shocked the room and as all looked Narcissa seemed to choke on the spoken words. The pensieve Snape seemed to turn and find the Malfoy matriarch and continued his speech. “I am sorry Cissa but the truth must be brought out at least in the next generation.” The Pensieve Snape looked truly remorseful but continued.
“As all have signed the oath, I will say that my heir will have to name their second son as the Prince heir, there by reviving and continuing that Noble house that died with me.” Then the pensieve Snape turned towards Draco Malfoy who was nervous awaiting its next words. “Draco Abraxis Malfoy, you are the Heir of the House of Prince and will continue that line. As per the oath this specific information will not be revealed until your second child is born. That child will have the Prince name hyphenated as Malfoy-Prince.”
As everyone digested this Draco slowly turned to his mother and asked, “How… why?”
Narcissa Black-Malfoy turned and faced her offspring, and after a pregnant pause answered. “You father was impotent, and we, as in your Grandfather, Father, Severus and I all agreed that to keep the Malfoy line continuing, as well as a way to guarantee that the Prince line continue, Severus agreed to be the one to impregnate me. I of course had no real say but I was happy that at least it was Severus as he was a great friend to me.” She took Draco’s hands as he seemed stunned and non responsive except his eyes which were firmly on his mother.
Narcissa continued, “So we conceived you and agreed on this so while if something happened to Severus, his house would continue, and we even made arrangements for this at a non magical…”
“You mean by Muggle means mother, to say you stooped to using Mud… Muggle means to…” Draco choked out while Tracy and Daphne huddled closer to his side providing as much comfort as was allowed as Narcissa continued on.
“… We also blood adopted you while you were just born so magically and now by blood you are the heir to two noble houses.” Mrs. Malfoy then turned from her son and sat silently as the room awaited whatever came next. She knew they would have words later but both stood stoic and resolute.
“Wait, this means that Snape’s Draco’s dad?” A very confused Ron Weasley stated.
“Yes it is." said the pensieve Snape. “But this knowledge goes no further than what has been stated. I hope that was clear enough, especially for those of you with limited mental abilities.”
That got the attention of all there, some grumbling (Harry, Ron, Neville), some quietly smiling (Pansy, Narcissa), while Draco simmered quietly. The rest sat and waited until the Pensieve continued. “With that taken care of, we will go to the codicils.
“To Narcissa I leave all of the Prince Family Properties and any assets from the family to be the regent of until my heir comes to his or her majority.” Narcissa nodded while Draco gave her a glare. Andromeda sent a glance of sympathy to her sister. Then the Pensive continued.
“To Draco I leave all my potions books, notes, and equipment, as I have a side business making potions during my summer months off. He has the right to continue it, or liquidate it as a betrothal gift for when he finds a fiancé.” Draco seemed pleased though he was still visibly upset.
To Neville Longbottom, I leave all my raw materials which he can take and use in his leisure or he has the option to partner with Draco should he decide to continue the Potions Company I have. I also… have to say that after all my treatment of you Lord Longbottom; you have risen beyond what I would have thought you would do. You have shown by your courage under fire this past year that you have truly grown into your title, and I hope that you pursue a career in Herbology, as that is your greatest strength.” Well that was about a close an apology as Neville was going to get so he simply nodded to the pensieve as it moved to the next person. Ginny simply squeezed his hand.
To Andromeda Black-Tonks, I’m sure you are surprised by this but I have a life debt to discharge and this way I do not have to do it directly. I have set aside all the galleons Theodore Tonks-Lupin will need for Hogwarts and also enough for a Muggle University if he elects to pursue that. This satisfies the debt I owe the child’s godfather.” The Pensive then turned to Harry.
“Finally to Harry Potter, I have a potion that he will be responsible for to apply to the Hogwarts ward stones to effectively nullify the curse that Tom Riddle cast on them when he applied for the Defense Against the Dark Arts position before the first Wizarding War. So you see Potte,r you and I are as they say, even. And finally I will say this, I loved Lily Rose Evans with all my heart, but I let my negative views and my hatred for your father cost me my first, best and dearest friend. For that I am truly sorry in my decisions and their cost to you and me as well. Keep your friends, your true friends close and never let that closeness go. I can tell you from my experience it will break you if you do not.”
Harry, knowing in the end what Snape did and now why he did it, rose and bowed to the pensive. The pensive of Severus Snape Smartly bowed back.
“With that I will end this reading and say that I hope your futures are bright, but I also hope you will remember this, anyone who forgets history is doomed to repeat it mistakes!
“I Severus Tobias Snape, a proud wizard and human being bid you all adieu!”
Then the Pensieve image turned and all saw the billowing cape as Snape’s image walked away fading from view!
For a minute no one moved while all seem to digest what had been said, and what could not be said until quite a few years down the road. Then, with the abruptness he was known for Draco Malfoy rose and with Daphne & Tracy on each side he turned first to those opposite on the table and made a simple nod which they returned. Then he turned to his Mother and said clearly enough for all to hear’ “As head of the Malfoy and apparently Prince family we will have a family meeting after the Wake mother, do be prompt!” The Malfoy Matriarch sighed then with just as curt a nod followed her son and his friends out the now open door. Charlie waved to his brother and sister and followed. A minute later Ron and his fiancé and her friend also left, leaving Harry, Hermione, Luna, Andromeda and a now fussy Teddy Lupin.
As they all left Ripclaw sent the paperwork on its way to the Ministry and Gringotts records department. A silvery glow now encased the oath letter, and then a paper airplane materialized and went off headed through the bank’s ventilation system. It made its way outside and up and over Diagon Alley headed for a building now housing a reception wake for one Severus Snape.
At a café just down the alley from Gringotts Andromeda talked to the Trio, making it clear that she expected Harry to be a large part of Teddy’s growing up. Harry for his part enthusiastically agreed while Hermione and Luna promised to help not only Teddy but Harry as well. All laughed at the look on Harry’s face as they had a bit of pastries. Then they made their way to the Leaky Caldron and its Floo. Harry, Hermione, and Luna went to St. Mungos, Andromeda and Teddy to Grimmauld Place and Snape’s Wake.
With a quick meeting with Xeno and his expressed happiness at the Trio’s promise to visit his Sensei, he gave Luna a sealed parchment envelope with the Lovegood seal on it. “Now Poppet, I need you to give this to Sensei Katsuhito and no other. Can you do that Pumpkin?” Luna simply nodded and took the envelope as they said their goodbyes, then headed to the Hospital’s Floo with the others, and then to The Black Family Home.
The Malfoys flooed directly to Grimmauld Place as the Order had already secured and set up the wake in the main Dining room. With The Weasleys as members of the order Ron and Neville and their girls went to Grimmauld Place as well. So it was about one hour later that Harry with the girls, Andromeda and Teddy flooed in with Harry doing his imitation of a slide in to home plate as if he were playing American baseball.
After greeting all those who were at the reading and settling in the dining room they all started to talk about various things. There were a few stories, some good and more bad about the departed Severus Snape. Most of the enlightening stories came from the Black sisters. Many eyes were opened and some attitudes changed as they shared their view of how after Snape had made such costly personal mistakes he did what was required of him to save their world. Then, after a time, they all made a toast to old departed friends. As they were celebrating a paper airplane entered unnoticed through a vent and slowly settled underneath the food table before it transfigured and became an odorless, tasteless gas which permeated the home slowly but completely.
All who had signed the parchment from the will reading seemed to be hit with a strange sensation as well as those they had ‘touched’ immediately seemed to black out at the same time. They slowly, almost like a group imperious curse, walked up the stairs to specific bedrooms. All the while the order members who were not affected tried spells, even physical means to stop all this! But all those affected seemed to in a world all their own. So with a group of witnesses watching five trios entered separate bedrooms, silencing and locking them behind them.
For the next three days all that was allowed by those affected was to allow Molly Weasley to enter the rooms, bringing in and taking out meals while those affected were lying in the enlarged beds with zoned out looks on their faces. On Saturday Madam Pomfrey followed a distraught Molly so she could check each and every person affected. Thanks to her skills with diagnostic spells, they finally figured out on Sunday night what had happened to the group.
With a few Potions Masters and Mental Healers they concluded that the parchment each person signed gave each of them a benign potion that by itself did nothing. But, when combined with a spell which was done at the reading, then a charm to transfigure the parchment first to a paper airplane, then to an odorless tasteless gas it all combined to set up the victims.
All though the weekend there were Aurors, Unspeakables and Healers trying to come up with the how and why until a tome which was a part of the Snape will was found with the various sections marked by of all things, colored tabs. It seemed Snape wanted this to be found.
It was Sunday night when Molly and Madam Pomfrey used a simple mist spray bottle to deliver an antidote which would put them all to sleep until the next morning. With that Molly did her rounds of those affected, and at half ten that night came upon her final room.
As the door creaked open, Molly Weasley made her way into the smell within: the musky and charred memory of fires long since passed. The Weasley matriarch swished her wand cleared the smell, it with a clean, crisp aroma. She then looked down at the three in the large canopied bed.
“Oh my dears, I wish none of you had to go through this,” Molly thought as with a few more flicks of her wand their sheets were cleaned and they were magically washed as they slept. Mrs. Weasley then looked at the clock and turned to leave swishing her wand one last time leaving a chilled pitcher of water and three tall glasses. She reminded herself to check up on them in the morning as she had four more rooms to check for other victims. As she left she said a small prayer to whatever gods might be out there for the three asleep in the room. As the door clicked shut Harry unconsciously pulled Hermione and Luna closer as they both sighed contently.
Chapter 5: Reality, Recovery, and Who’s in bed next to me!
AN: Sorry it’s taken so long but I haven’t had a great year reality and home wise. As for this cliffy I do promise I’ll be working on chapter 5 as I have an outline for it and maybe chapter 6 too. Oh and I don’t do graphic scenes but hint enough for all to know!
I also hope to work on another story but it’s taken me this long for this so please be patient!