Disclaimer: I own nothing. Anything you recognize belongs to J.K. Rowling. If you don't recognize it, then it is likely from my warped imagination.
It was finally Sunday. His Slytherins had been warned. If there were any problems then Filch had been given his express permission to bring back the old punishments- and his students knew Filch's fixation with nostalgia on that count. They wouldn't dare push it. Severus rolled leisurely out of bed and was only so glad that he didn't have to put in an appearance at breakfast for one day of the week. He took a long shower, despite Albus' admonishments to conserve water, and then he drank two cups of strong black coffee. Bliss.
It was bliss which wasn't to last. At first, Severus thought the knock on the door was simply his imagination. Nobody was insane enough to bother him on a Sunday morning. On Sunday afternoons, he had things to do- of course- but Sunday mornings were sacrosanct.
He was met with a charming smile.
"Whatever it is, the answer is no, Mr. Malfoy."
Draco kept up his solicitous expression and ploughed on regardless.
"Mother told me," he said, while smiling hopefully.
"It's always nice to hear when families start communicating. Now, if you don't mind…"
Severus started to close the door, only to have a well-polished boot get in the way.
"I realize that you have to keep up appearances here at school so as not to show favoritism to me."
Appearances. Right. He just kept looking at the boy.
"She told me…you know."
The boy actually winked at him, and Severus could only raise an eyebrow in question. Draco sighed in fond exasperation.
"It looks like you're going to make me say it. I know you're my godfather."
And…that was news to Severus. Why on earth would Narcissa make up something so ridiculous to tell the boy?
"Indulge me here, Mr. Malfoy. In what context did she reveal this life changing news?"
The boy blushed and then pushed his way past Severus into the room beyond. Severus did not have students in his quarters. Ever. It was the one place in the bloody castle he could get away from the hormonal miscreants.
"Not in the corridor, Professor, please."
The young blond then proceeded to throw himself woefully across Severus' couch and even put his feet on the cushion!
"Well, Mother and Father were…you know…and I swear I will regret walking in there every day of my life. I'm scarred. Scarred! The one time was bad enough. But Merlin, Uncle Severus, it was three times. Three bloody times! They're old…and eww….just eww! I mean, they weren't even in their bedroom, and…"
Severus put his hand up to his face to pinch the bridge of his nose. That was certainly more than he ever wanted to know about the Malfoy family- and where did the whelp get off calling him uncle?
"Let me guess…she told you I was your godfather and that you obviously needed to bond with me or something so you could leave them to it."
The boy smirked cheekily.
"Sounds about right. Merlin, a bloke can't even go home for Christmas anymore. Oh, and Father says he'll be over at two."
"Can't you tell me what's going on? Father keeps telling me that he doesn't want me involved yet, but I want to help."
With good reason too, Severus thought. What he and Lucius got up to wasn't for the boy to see.
"Never you mind about that, Mr. Malfoy."
The next thing Severus heard was a crash from his warded cabinet, and he saw a flash of an invisibility cloak. Severus drew his wand. It had to be Potter. No strange events happened in the castle without that arrogant boy around.
"Potter! I know it's you, boy. Come out from under that cloak immediately."
Severus was livid. Potter and Malfoy had both wormed their way into his quarters and Potter had knocked his warded cabinet open. There were valuable things in there he'd rather neither boy had the chance to see.
Potter pulled off his cloak and glared at him mutinously.
"Were you ever going to tell me, Professor?"
"Him being my godfather hasn't got anything to do with you, Potter! Not everything is about you!" Draco yelled.
For the love of Merlin, what had he ever done to deserve this?
"I suggest, Mr. Potter, that you start explaining yourself before you find yourself serving even more detentions than you already do currently. Please mark it on your calendar. Your free time is officially gone for the next week, at least."
Potter brandished a piece of parchment under his nose angrily.
"This right here is what I'm talking about! I bet you've known all along. Going to St. Mungo's and donating your…your…stuff! Just because…you knew my dad couldn't have kids, didn't you? I bet you hexed his bits or something!"
Oh, no. Oh, hell no. If Severus had ever been given a chance to have a child with Lily, then he would have made absolutely certain that it was done the traditional way. No doubt on that score. He was definitely not Potter's father. Things were officially beyond the pale and about to get worse.
"Potter! Now see here, boy, I did no such thing…"
"Well, Remus seems to think that you did. He's in the Headmaster's office right now telling him all about it."
Lupin was where talking about what- and why would any of it be Albus Dumbledore's business anyway? It was then that Severus' Floo activated only to have Dumbledore and Lupin to come through.
"Why didn't you ever tell me, Severus?"
Albus' eyes were bright, as if he had just seen Severus for the first time.
"That's possibly the most tragically romantic story I've ever heard," Albus continued.
Right then and there, Severus decided he never wanted to know the full story after hearing that one sentence from Albus Dumbledore.
"If only I were younger," Albus sighed wistfully, while glancing at Severus.
And that was simply the creepiest thing Albus had ever said to him, and the man was known for saying ridiculous things. Severus backed away warily, only to have Lupin sidle up to him like a lost puppy.
"I agree. I always thought you to be a closet romantic, Severus," Lupin said while sniffing him.
If Severus didn't know any better, he'd say that Lupin was coming on to him, which was- as they say- not on.
"Not interested. Sorry."
"I've seen the way you look at me, Severus. Don't think I don't know," Lupin whispered, in what Severus assumed was meant to be a sexy voice.
Severus had no idea that looks of loathing counted as seduction these days.
"Yes, there's nothing like almost being your dinner back when I was a lad to get me to finally change my mind about you after all…these…years," Severus said dryly.
Really, Severus had no idea that Lupin was queer. Although, he thought in Lupin's case it wasn't being queer so much as just being desperate, and Severus was about to tell him so too, when Albus interrupted them.
"I must insist that you bond with Harry, Severus. Spend time with the boy."
"I am not Harry Potter's father!" Severus yelled.
"Well, I'm not crazy about the idea myself, Snape!" Potter yelled.
What the hell was wrong with all of these people?
"Now, if you don't mind, I would like all of you to leave. I'm expecting Lucius at two, and we do not want to be disturbed."
Lupin looked hurt at being asked to leave. Draco looked betrayed. Potter looked mutinously stubborn. Albus looked vaguely amused.
"Denial will get none of us anywhere, Severus. We'll leave…for now. However, before we do, I'll need a blood sample. We've got to be sure."
"I should damn well know if I'd ever had a sprog with Lily Evans!"
Dumbledore advanced on him. Why him? Why? These people just had to invade his Sunday morning routine, didn't they?
"Back away, Albus! Don't make me go for my wand," Severus threatened.
"This won't hurt a bit. Remus, you hold him down. Harry, block the door. Mr. Malfoy, block the Floo, if you would."
Then they were finally, blessedly gone- blood sample and all. That had to rank as one of the more surreal experiences of Severus' miserable life, and that was saying something. Just as Severus thought it was safe to breathe a sigh of relief, there was another knock at the door. He looked at his clock. It wasn't anywhere near to two yet. It couldn't be Lucius.
Warily, Severus made his way to the door and opened it a crack. It was that insufferable know-it-all.
"Oh! Oh, it worked! I'm ever so glad to see you, Professor. I had my doubts, of course, but I should have known my calculations would have been correct. I checked them over ten times to be sure."
The bushy-haired swot was positively beaming up at him. It made his stomach turn-in a bad way- and a sneer inadvertently came to his lips.
"Dare I ask?"
"Well, you see, I've come back in time. To save you."
"Right. Well, do it from the other side of my door, won't you?"
For the second time that day, a foot stopped his door from closing. This time, it was a well-polished black patent leather Mary Jane.
"You don't mean that. There's this connection between us. Can't you feel it, Professor?"
Severus stared directly in the girl's eyes and snorted disdainfully.
She was already in the room though. Blast! Severus sighed. This was a horrible morning. The girl was already all over the place, snooping about.
"Don't you want to know how I did it?"
Severus ignored her to start his own conversational topic.
"I've never pegged you for being the Kingpin of your little group, but now that I'm thinking about it…" he said, but trailed off when he realized that she wasn't listening to him.
He obviously needed to move the conversation forward loudly and forcefully.
"As I was saying, Miss Granger, what are your thoughts about detention and loss of House points? I only ask because you've just lost Gryffindor all of its points, and you'll be in detention- not with me, before you ask- until you leave Hogwarts."
There was no reaction from the girl. She was actually trailing her fingers across his books. He knew he shouldn't indulge the delusional, but decided to chance it.
"How far back in the past have you come, then?"
Granger immediately turned and smiled at him.
"It was supposed to be twenty years, but now that I'm here, it's obvious that it really wasn't more than twenty hours. You don't look nearly so young as I had hoped. Silly me."
Severus was pretty certain that his teenage self would not have held back on hexing Granger. He could only think it a pity that his teaching gig was in the way to stop him from doing so in the present.
"Get out of my rooms, Miss Granger!"
"Not until you agree to let me be your apprentice. I want to learn everything that you know."
"See, the great part about this whole professor/student thing is that you already have the opportunity to do that…in class. And, even more amazingly, you have numerous professors. Shocking thing in a school, but…"
"Oh, I love your sarcastic wit, Professor Snape! And your rooms! Merlin! I had no idea… Is that an Eames chair? Oh, how fantastic is this? It's like Design Within Reach in here. You do wear all black, so I should have guessed you'd decorate like this. You look good out of your teaching robes by the way, Professor. Like you could live with a group of architects or something in a commune somewhere…"
Severus had no idea what the delusional Gryffindor was yammering on about. He had no desire to keep up either. He knew very little about Muggle architects. His rooms looked exactly the way the house-elves decided to fix them up under Albus' explicit instructions. He tuned her out and went to reach for the Floo powder. But he distinctly heard the words IKEA, Danish Modern, Metrosexual, and a rhetorical question about his possession of a man purse. Right. This girl had to go.
"Albus! You've got to come quickly!"
It was all Severus got out before Granger noticed the place where they had drawn his blood.
"Oh! You've been injured, Professor! You're so brave. Was it You-Know-Who? It's a good thing I'm here. I can help nurse you back to health. What potions do you need? I could brew them for you. I'll be your apprentice anyway…"
"There isn't such a thing as apprenticeships in the Wizarding world, Miss Granger! Instead we have Hogwarts and on-the-job training."
It didn't slow the girl down. She was advancing on him and Severus was about to barricade himself in the bedroom, when Albus finally came back through the Floo- with Draco, and Lupin, and Potter in tow.
"Well, we have the results of your blood sample, Severus. You might want to sit down. Young Harry here was rather torn up about it," Albus said solemnly.
Severus resolutely remained standing. Everyone else took all of the available seating anyway.
"Oh, do make yourselves at home."
"Thanks, Uncle Sev!" Draco chirped from his perch on the sofa, which Granger had recently informed everyone was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
"Well, it seems that you're not Harry's father after all, Severus. It seems that this was some sort of last joke from Sirius Black before he passed on. I hope you aren't too disappointed," Albus said sadly.
Was Albus insane? The day Severus Snape learned conclusively that there was no way on God's little green Earth that he could ever be Potter Junior's father was far from disappointing. What was bloody disappointing was that they weren't leaving him alone and getting out of his rooms.
"However…it seems that you might be a vampire, if the blood results were correct."
"Now, Severus. Just like Remus' furry little problem, we won't judge you if you were to finally admit to being a vampire."
He knew that Albus had seen him walking around in the daytime numerous times. To expect logic to dictate though was asking too much.
It was disturbing to watch Granger conspicuously move all of her bushy hair out of the way to expose her neck.
"Vampires are so sexy, don't you think, Harry?" Granger asked. "I'm flushed just thinking about it. Do you think the Professor is more like Lestat, Louis, or Armand? I could be like a grown up Claudia if I were turned. You'd make the perfect Louis with your hair and eyes, Harry. All tragic and guilt-ridden."
What was even more disturbing than Granger's idiotic diatribe was when Potter actually turned to look at him with a speculative gleam in his eyes.
"Hermione…I think that maybe…that might be a much more acceptable alternative than him being my father. Professor Snape, have I ever told you how horribly abused I am by my Muggle relatives? I'm at death's door here. I think the only solution is to be made a vampire, because medical science isn't advanced enough to save me now after all the trauma I've endured. I'll tell you what. I'll go back to Privet Drive for the week and then you can come along and rescue me from there. It'll be more convenient for you to teach the Dursleys a lesson. I'd be forever grateful. It could be a whole new development in our relationship."
It was now obvious to Severus that everyone was under the influence of a very dangerous and illicit potion. He just had to figure out which one. He made to move toward his Merck Index of Potions without being conspicuous, when there was another knock at the door. A quick glance at the clock showed that it still wasn't two. Damn.
"Who the hell are you?"
The time for niceties was decidedly over. Two people were on the other side of the door. One was a woman who looked vaguely familiar, and the other was a girl who was too young to go to Hogwarts. The woman smiled widely.
"Minerva said you were still down here, Severus," the woman said in a very American accent.
She looked as if she could have been Gilderoy Lockhart's long-lost sister. Speaking of, ah, she was a former Hogwarts DADA professor. Now it was all coming back. She was the annoyingly perfect woman. She sashayed past him, dragging the glowering girl with her.
"Why if it isn't Kayleigh Cassandra Rhiannon White! Our old DADA professor from years ago!" Albus chortled delightedly from the Eames chair. "And who's this delightful girl?"
"This is Serenity Selena Snape," the woman answered for her.
The girl, who had black hair and dark eyes, merely glared at her. Severus didn't blame her.
"No, she isn't."
Severus knew he didn't have any children- especially not with this woman.
"But don't you remember, Severus? It was that one time when you fixed me dinner down here in your quarters and then we drank an awesome Bordeaux. Severus has quite the wine collection. Anyways, we both got so drunk and Severus here made sweet love to me, and nine months later, little Serenity Selena came along. She's your daughter."
See? Yeah, that never happened. That was too unlike him. Even drunk, Severus would never sleep with a woman who considered anyways an acceptable adverb. Not to mention that he didn't even have a wine collection.
"Well, she does look an awful lot like you, Severus."
It was Lupin this time. Maybe it would be easier to pander to their delusions. He just had to pick one and stick with it.
"Has it occurred to you lot that I can't have fathered a child if I am also one of the undead?"
"Listen, I want child support. You owe me back pay, you deadbeat."
"I've just had a blood test, love. Seems I'm a vampire. Tragically, as one of the undead, I can't be a parent. I was even looking forward to getting to know the girl too."
"Well, we'll see about this! You pure-bloods are all the same! I should break out my extremely cool and impossible Animagus form and teach you a lesson! I'll live in your expensive manor house yet!"
Manor house? Severus almost couldn't hold in his laugh. This crazy witch was possibly the first person he'd ever met who actually wanted to live at Spinner's End. She obviously had no idea what she was asking of him.
"If you want Spinner's End that badly, I won't stand in your way. I just have one request though."
The blonde witch flicked her perfect hair behind her and gave Severus a victorious Lockhart smile.
"You're obviously a man who knows when he's been defeated by perfection. Whatever it is, I'll do it. Consider it a consolation prize from me to you."
"Excellent. I will be forever grateful to your magnanimous nature. Well, it's really kind of silly, but it's more of a way to help you fit in with your new neighbors."
"Oh, that's so sweet!"
"Indeed. Well, I just happen to have a Manchester United football schedule somewhere around here that I'll give you before you leave. What you do is quite simple. On the days when Manchester United is playing Liverpool, Chelsea, Leeds, or Arsenal- you go up and down the streets and into all the local pubs telling everyone that only wankers and scumbags support Man U. It's quite important that you refer to the club as Man U. There's a song you sing as well, but I'll owl it to you later so you don't forget."
Severus distinctly heard Potter snort with mirth. Everyone else had no idea what he was going on about. If Granger knew, it was lost in her fixation on something the other witch had said.
"Wait…you're a pure-blood, Professor?"
Severus didn't bother to correct her. It was more important to get the American witch and her spawn a football schedule and the key to Spinner's End. The witch even thanked him for helping her out! He'd be living there again quite soon, he imagined. As he was finally ushering Lockhart's sister out the door, he heard alarming things from Granger.
"Harry, you know what this means, don't you? I can move up my special legislation for that one law I was telling you about at the Wizengamot! You know that old overturned law that requires pure-bloods to marry out? By the time I'm of age, it will have gone through. I figure if we tack it on at the end of that benign Magical Creatures Bill-which Madam Bones assured me would have no trouble passing- I can marry the Professor! It's practically a civic duty to put a stop to linear family trees, anyway. I'll do my bit. The Professor will have no trouble seeing I'm his only hope of a perfect match by then, especially if he is forced to get married! Professor Dumbledore will help me if I play the For the Greater Good card."
Well, if there was ever a time when Severus was thankful for being a half-blood, it was right then. Granger was a mad girl.
"It figures that you would have to pass a law to get someone to marry you, Granger," Draco told her, while smirking evilly.
"Well, I wouldn't want a petition from you anyway, Malfoy. Not unless you started to grow your hair longer and carry a pimp cane, that is."
"See, I always knew you were a deviant. Not that I'd want you either. Not at all. Mother told me all about my special family heritage the other day, and I won't ever be bothered with you once I come of age."
Now this, Severus had to hear. Narcissa again. He gave Draco an encouraging smile.
"Special family heritage, Mr. Malfoy?"
"Of course, Uncle. I came home for Christmas, and Mother overheard me complaining to Father about being second in my class, yet again."
Draco stopped to give Granger an evil glare, to which she responded with a saccharine smile.
"She said that I moaned way too much about that Mu…girl for her liking, and had better news for me. She said that it was high time she told me all about my Veela heritage, and that I wouldn't find what she was about to tell me in any books, so I needn't bother. Apparently, I will undergo some sort of Veela transformation and will need to find a mate. I had no idea that Veela mated, and I always thought they were born that way and didn't get special powers when they were older, but she said I was very wrong on all counts. Anyway, she said there was a relatively high possibility that my mate would be male and not female. I was shocked, I have to say, but Mother assured me that she wouldn't love me any less because of it. It's out of my control, you see. She even cast a special charm- which she wouldn't let me hear the incantation for- that told her who my mate was."
Here the boy stopped and quickly cut his eyes to Potter, who blushed at the insinuation. Draco smirked at him.
"She didn't share who it was with me though. Father had apparently eavesdropped and they got into a big row about it. They cast a Silencing Charm, but I heard only a few words before that." Draco stopped to preen before continuing. It was obvious the boy loved everyone's undivided attention. "I only caught the words disgrace and Imperius."
Something about this entire situation didn't sit right with Severus. The question was, who was behind it all? He needed everyone to leave so he could ponder the dilemma.
"Well, it's almost two. I have a prior engagement. Thank you all for dropping by. Now, get out!"
Groans of protest were immediately offered. However, Albus was missing. That wasn't a good sign after all the events of the morning.
"Where's the Headmaster?"
Immediately the flush of a toilet was heard. Albus using his toilet was dangerous. The old man had been known to cause a lingering stink before. The door opened and Albus came out and looked far too happy for Severus' taste.
"Ah, the bold look of Kohler!"
"Oh, he's got Kohler fixtures in the bath!" Granger exclaimed excitedly.
With that final exclamation- and Albus promising to let Granger come up to his office to sign an agreement to let her teach in the DADA position approximately five years after her graduation from Hogwarts- they were gone.
At precisely two o'clock, Lucius came strolling through the door.
"Thank Merlin you're finally here! You wouldn't believe the morning I've had," Severus told him.
"I've had quite the morning myself, Severus."
The blond wizard did look tired. Just then the Floo activated and Narcissa's face appeared. Severus thought she had terrible timing.
"Cissy! If this is about what we were talking about earlier, I've already taken care of it. You know not to bother me when I'm with Severus. What we do here is confidential. It's all for You-Know…"
Narcissa pursed her lips.
"Save your breath! I warned you not to cross me, Lucius Malfoy. What did you say to my sister?"
"The crazy one or the disowned one?"
"I was just spreading the Christmas cheer around and thanking people properly for their gifts was all, Cissy. If she couldn't take a joke…"
"And this, after our earlier discussion. We were supposed to have tea with my family today, Lucius!"
Lucius audibly gulped.
"Must have slipped my mind."
"I discovered what it was you had warded in the dining room."
Lucius' skin turned more pale than usual. Severus knew what he kept there too. This was worrisome.
"Hm. Know what else I found?"
"I couldn't begin to imagine, dear."
She held up his Death Eater mask and robes so he could see through the Floo.
"Hidden away in the wardrobe, I'm afraid. Now, I can only imagine the anonymous mayhem that two unmasked Death Eaters could be getting up to on a Sunday afternoon. Thought I wouldn't find out what you were up to all these times, did you? Thought you could lie…to…your…wife?"
"Lie? Well, I'd never…not to you, love."
"Thought you'd have Severus lie to me as well?"
"Not in a million years, darling!"
Severus felt his blood run cold when the blonde witch turned her glare on him.
"Looking radiant, as ever, Narcissa."
"Did you like my little taste of what is to come if you cross me after today, Severus Snape?"
"That was all you? But how?"
"A witch doesn't give up her secrets. Let's just say that lots of people owe me lots of favors and I can rig things to my advantage. Mistake number one- you both have everyone thinking that you're on the Dark Lord's business every Sunday afternoon so we won't bother you. The ruse is officially up. I've played along long enough. Mistake two- you didn't bring Draco into your little group when asked the first time. The boy has been driving me insane. I've resorted to bringing him into my plans as a consequence."
And scary plans they were too, if Severus did say so himself.
"Now see, that's why, Cissy! The boy is still too much under your apron strings. He can't properly appreciate what Severus and I are doing here. Perhaps in a few years…"
"No, Lucius. Now! I am going through the change and I need ME time!"
"Oh, sweet Merlin!"
Lucius closed his eyes.
Severus certainly didn't want more of the insanity that today had brought him; and if Narcissa was really behind all of it- how, he still had no idea, but if she was- then, dear God, he'd do whatever she wanted just to have his life back. Severus shuddered.
"Lucius, just do what she wants. You've no idea what she's capable of."
Lucius simply gave Severus a look.
"Don't I? Fine, Cissy. You win. We'll take Draco into our group."
"That's all you had to do in the first place, dear."
Ten minutes later saw Draco sitting in the Eames chair.
"This is what you both do every Sunday?"
"I told you he wouldn't appreciate it, Severus."
Lucius pointed to Severus' warded cabinet.
"We'll start him out painting the figurines," Lucius suggested.
"They're pewter creatures," Draco complained.
"Orks boy, they're orks!"
"Maybe he can fetch the lager and crisps from my kitchen. Turn on the wireless when the Falcons game comes on."
"Good thinking, Severus."
"Lager? I thought you only drank Firewhisky?"
Both Severus and Lucius laughed at the boy's naïveté, but otherwise ignored him.
"You got the prawn crisps this time, didn't you, mate?"
"Course I did. Say, we could let him read the codexes. The boy can't be expected to play with us unless he knows the rules."
"Damn straight, Severus."
Severus threw a rulebook at Draco.
"Isn't codices the plural?" Draco asked.
"Not in Warhammer 40,000 it isn't," Severus responded. "Thought you'd be clever in helping your mum to pull one over on your dad and me, but you're on our turf now, boy. Now, don't talk to us while we're playing."
Severus and Lucius shared a smirk. The boy would learn soon enough.
Author's Note: I wanted to see how many HP cliches I could conceivably fit into a one-shot fic and still have it make a reasonable amount of sense. Please feel free to spot them all. I had a lot of fun writing this. I hope you enjoy it. Please read and review.