Dark Magic ch9
Lily reached for her wand when she heard knocking. Only two people – Severus and her son – knew where she lived. She opened the door a crack, not taking the chain off. A pair of green eyes was what she saw – Harry Potter was standing on her doorstep in his Auror robes.
Lily swallowed nervously. The boy walked in, although he didn’t react when she suggested he sit down.
‘We’ve determined you’re the person you said you are. Unfortunately, it leads to more questions. You need to come see S- Snape with me and establish some contact with him’
‘What do you mean “establish contact”?’ the woman sank into a chair.
‘It means Snape doesn’t want to talk to us. Or what he says makes no sense. Before we decide what to do with him, we need answers to several questions…’
The woman looked at him worriedly.
‘You need to help Severus…’
Lily extended her hand to him after a short hesitation. The world whirled around them and they appeared in front of the entrance to the Ministry of Magic. Lily gave her wand to a shocked guard in the atrium and her son led her down narrow side stairs.
A group of Aurors was present here and she could see holding cells on both sides of the corridor. Harry led her in the direction of one of these.
‘Auror Potter! It’s good to see you back! We have no contact with him… Who is the woman?’
‘His friend. I hope she can get through to him’
‘Better talk from a distance. You never know when he starts raging again’ the guard in the doorway said.
When Lily’s eyes focused, she saw Severus. He was sitting, restricted by a long chain affixed to the wall. He was wearing the same clothes as when they took him away. When he saw her son, Sev started swearing and trashing violently. Harry did not seem to be surprised. He swept his fringe to the side and Lily saw the scar Severus was talking about – for the first time.
‘I am not James. I am Harry, his son’ he said calmly.
‘Harry?’ Severus repeated, in a voice hoarse from screaming.
Lily realized something was not right. Sev talked as though he didn’t know her son at all… That was when she felt his gaze. He jerked, making his chains rattle.
‘Lily! Lily, you have to tell them I’m innocent! I haven’t done it!’
‘What is that you haven’t done? What they accuse you of?’ the woman tried to make her voice calm.
‘I don’t know! I don’t know! Tell them I haven’t done it!’ Severus shouted again.
Lily took a step back involuntarily. This Severus frightened her… burning eyes locked on her… the rattling of the chain. She felt a hand on her arm. Her adult son stood at her side. She swallowed.
‘What do you accuse Severus of?’ she asked quietly.
Harry glanced at Snape, and then he led Lily closer to the bars and further away from the prisoner.
‘Snape is accused of desecrating a grave in Godric’s Hollow’ he paused ‘Your and James’s grave’
The woman gripped the bars to prevent herself from collapsing.
‘What do you mean, “my grave”? Was I asleep for so long that I was declared dead?’
Her son looked away, shifted his weight from foot to foot.
‘You weren’t asleep, Lily. Nineteen years ago, Voldemort cast Avada Kedavra on you. He killed you, which saved my life. The same spell did not kill me… it just left the scar. You and James were buried in Godric’s Hollow. Ever since the war ended, I would come often to visit your grave.’ He swallowed ‘You were definitely dead, Lily. And in May Snape broke into the grave. Your body disappeared. If you are standing in front of me, alive-’
Harry did not have to finish the sentence. Lily dropped her head to her knees and took several deep breaths.
‘Are you sure it was Severus?’
‘Who was with you when you woke up? Who said he’d been taking care of you?’ her son responded with questions ‘We have no proof, but it’s the most probable version of events’
The woman glanced at the prisoner. She let go of her son’s arm and walked back to her friend.
‘What have you done, Sev?’ she asked quietly.
Severus shook his head, his black hair obscuring his face.
‘I have done nothing! I have done nothing!’
‘Where were you last May?’
‘Home. I was busy’
‘Did you visit Godric’s Hollow by any chance?’
The man nodded.
‘Was I in Godric’s Hollow, Sev?’
Snape looked at her as though he didn’t understand the question. Lily repeated it again. Her friend opened his mouth, closed it, indecision written all over his face.
‘Yes. Yes. No. I don’t know. You were sleeping…’
Lily felt goosebumps erupt on her arms.
‘Was I in Godric’s Hollow or wasn’t I?’
‘Yes. That’s where you slept all that time. I took you away. I woke you up…’
The woman flinched slightly when ‘waking up’ was mentioned.
‘Are you sure I was asleep and not dead?’
On hearing the word “dead”, Severus started trashing in his chains. There was no way to continue the conversation. Harry gently led his mother out of the cell, from which screams still could be heard.
‘Severus… he is crazy, isn’t he?’ when they sat down in the hall, Lily said aloud the very thing she was worried about ever since she started the conversation with her friend in the cell.
‘Maybe not completely crazy. It’s not like with Neville’s parents. He’s been behaving normally the entire time you lived with him? No signs of madness?’
The woman shook her head.
‘You see. I think that now we know nearly everything, we won’t keep him any longer. We have proof of… mental disorders… so we can’t really prosecute him. I think Snape will be let free – provided he will receive right care’
‘Which means?’ Lily twisted her fingers nervously.
‘Snape is not such a severe case to be placed in Saint Mungo’s. If a specialist who could take care of his healing was found… and if he was in the care of someone he trusts…’
Harry paused and ran his fingers nervously through his hair, in a gesture so very familiar to his mother. How many times has she seen James do this.
‘At this moment, the someone is you. It’s best if the few people know about you, so I’ll try to ask around for specialists. Maybe Neville will be able to recommend someone…’ he paused ‘If you agree, we could let him go tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.’