In Search of a Father
Autumn of 1999
A young man walked the corridors of Hogwarts, deep in thought. A year and a half after the great battle he was looking for… he didn’t really know for whom. Old classmates? Teachers? He’d finished school four years ago, who could still remember his name possibly?
‘Harry?’ he suddenly heard a voice and quick footsteps. ‘Harry?… Oh, sorry, I took you for someone else…’
A pretty girl with red hair and brown eyes stood in front of him.
‘What is your name?’ the youth worked his brain frantically, but the speaker’s face did not bring anyone to his mind. Well, he’d known Slytherins mostly…
‘Ginny Weasley… oh!’ the woman blushed. ‘I was going to say, Ginny Potter. I’m sorry… I thought you were someone else, you look a lot like him. I don’t think we had met each other earlier by any chance?’
‘Evan Prince. Graduated in 1995’ he paused ‘You said: “Potter”?’
The woman he was talking to smiled.
‘I got married in July. And you remind me of my husband. Same eyes.’
Evan blinked. The comment about the eyes threw him out of the loop momentarily. He’d realized instantly who her husband is. Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived. Only after a while did he register her next words.
‘Oh, don’t look at me like that! If I hear something more about the Boy-Who-Lived, you’ll have the pleasure to meet a few bats! I wanted to see the Headmistress – I’d finished school in June. McGonagall seemed to be interested in my future career. And madame Hooch certainly was, too.’ Ginny laughed merrily. ‘And who might you be looking for?’
‘Professor Snape. He was my Potions Master and Head of House…’ he stopped, because the entire blood left the woman’s face.
‘Where were you for the last year?’ she asked finally in a choked voice. He noticed she didn’t add “you Slytherin”. ‘Haven’t you heard about the battle?’
Oh… Evan felt himself go faint. He took a deep breath.
‘I’ve heard, of course. What’s that got to do with… with Professor Snape?’
Ginny Potter’s brown eyes widened even more.
‘You don’t know…’ she whispered. ‘Professor Snape is dead. He was killed during the battle. Hey!’
The Gryffindor thrust her arm forth to catch him. Evan’s legs failed him. He couldn’t utter a word. Even if it were to ask an idiotic question worthy of a Gryff.
‘If you had an important question to ask Professor Snape, maybe you should go to Professor… Headmistress McGonagall’ Ginny said when Evan’d caught his breath.
The man shook his head.
‘She won’t be able to help me. Snape… Snape knew…’ the Slytherin’s fingers clenched on her arm. Evan looked really desperate. Ginny was intrigued.
‘Maybe you should go to Harry. That is – my husband. He knew a lot about Severus… Professor Snape… Besides, Harry’s an Auror. He’d be able to help you with your problem.’
The boy’s face whitened even further upon hearing the name “Severus” uttered. He took a deep breath and tried to calm down. He stared off into space for a long while. Suddenly Evan turned to face her.
‘Can your husband search for missing people? Now? Or maybe he’s on a mission?’ he asked.
‘He’s free at the moment’ Ginny reached into her pocket.
Evan stiffened, but she took out just a visiting-card. She gave it to him and he took a glance. “Harry James Potter, an Auror…” He did not read further, he just thanked her with a nod of his head.
Evan tapped his wand against a door nervously. He’d spent the entire day before wondering if he should take her up on her offer. Now the silence was the only answer. At last the door was opened a crack. To Evan’s surprise, no one was on the doorstep.
‘Lookie down’ a high, childish voice said.
Evan looked in this direction. A sweet child stood in front of him, with unruly black hair and brown eyes. The Slytherin blinked and tried to remember everything he’d known about Potter. The child looked to be about two… His thoughts were interrupted by a squeal.
‘Unca Harry! Unca Harry!’
Evan had only time to wonder why the kid calls Potter ‘Uncle’ before the man of the house appeared in the doorway. Harry Potter looked exactly like he’d been described. He had black unruly hair, just like the child at his feet, green eyes and the famous scar. He seemed to have just gotten home from work, for he still wore his Auror’s robes. He was pointing his wand, looking at the guest suspiciously. Evan fought the impulse to lift his hands up.
‘My name’s Evan Prince. I wondered…’
‘Oh yeah. Ginny’s mentioned you. You’re looking for someone, aren’t you?’
Potter caught his arm and led him to the drawing room, throwing a few word along the way (‘Teddy, stop it!” “Gin, we’ve got a guest!”). Evan had only time to blink before the table in front of him was covered with various scraps of parchment and newspaper excerpts. Potter sat on the other side of the table and instantly asked:
‘Who are you looking for, Mr. Prince?’
Straight to the matter of things. The Slytherin coughed. He seemed to be embarrassed. Surprised by Harry’s green eyes. He was deep in thoughts for a while.
‘I was looking for Professor Snape… at Hogwarts. Your wife told me he was killed in battle…’
‘Yeah… like Remus and Tonks…’ Potter sighed.
Evan did not look annoyed by the interruption, saddened rather. He quickly returned to the topic.
‘I’d hoped he’d answer a few questions for me…’ he swallowed, he continued though before Potter could interrupt. ‘I am looking for my parents. Your wife mentioned…’
‘Yeah, yes, that’s right’ the auror nodded his head.
He seemed to be waiting for more information. Evan noticed he was already holding a parchment and a quill in his hands. Potter was looking expectantly at him. The Slytherin coughed.
‘You see, I don’t know much about them. I was raised in a Muggle orphanage. When I turned 11, I turned out to be a wizard. I was Sorted into Slytherin. I never learned whether I am a pureblood or maybe a Muggle-born. I couldn’t understand for a long time why many people think my presence in the house of the snake weird. I did a little search in the library and I know the Princes are an old pureblood family…’
‘That’s died out a long time ago…’ Potter cut in, nodding his head. He was noticeably thinking deeply.
Evan continued. ‘When I turned 18, they threw me out from the orphanage. They only gave me one thing – a scrap of paper with my parents’ names on it. They told me my mother would visit me for the first two years. They’d never seen my father. I thought I’d search for my parents. But then the War started. I left England and have returned only recently.
Potter looked at him thoughtfully. ‘I’m guessing you kept the paper?’
‘Of course’ Evan replied, insulted. Only after a while did he remember that Potter is an orphan too. ‘Here you go’ he said, passing an old, yellowed scrap of paper. ‘Not everything is legible, unfortunately.’
Potter placed it on the table. He furrowed his brows, trying to decipher it. He muttered a spell under his breath and sighed disappointedly.
‘ “Born 21 September 1978. Evan Prince. Son of Severus…” dammit, I can’t read it… “and-’
Potter suddenly stopped. It seemed he’d choked on air. Evan bent over the scrap. He knew perfectly well that his mother’s name was illegible, but the surname could be read. Evans.
‘Look at me’ Potter said suddenly. Evan lifted his head, enough for the young auror to stare intently at him. ‘Yeah, you’ve got her eyes.’
‘Whose eyes?’ Evan wanted to ask, but was interrupted by Ginny coming in with the tea. To his surprise, Potter did not even glance at the tray. He was still staring at the Slytherin.
Finally he started rewriting the data from the old scrap onto his piece of parchment. The Slytherin noticed he did not hesitate at all before filling in the mother’s name. Then the Auror pushed the notes in his direction.
“Lily Evans” was put under mother’s name. Evan glanced, shocked, at Potter.