AN: Alternative Universe
( June 5 1976 - Forbidden Forest )
"Reducto!" A tree explodes into shards of wood that fly away in every direction.
"Sectumsempra!" The curse hits another unfortunate tree which collapses after the curse cleanly cuts through it like a hot knife to butter.
"Baubillios!" A white ball of light shoots out of the tip of a wand and hits into another tree and leaves a smoking hole the size of a watermelon in its side.
The Forbidden Forest that lies by the outskirts of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft is forbidden for a reason. Magical creatures are said to live in the forest, feeding off anyone who makes the mistake on entering. Acromantula and Centaurs are known to live in the forest and while Centaurs won't bother anyone as long as they keep their distance, Acromantula will kill and eat anything that isn't one of their own. They fear nothing and only have the goals to protect their young and to feed off anything with blood and flesh.
Yet, they refuse to show to the very angry fifth year who is throwing Spells left and right, not caring for what damage he may cause to the environment.
This student is Severus Snape and he isn't mad.
He's downright pissed off.
Being Severus Snape is not an easy thing to live with which he will happily admit in his state of adrenaline. At this point, he wouldn't care if Voldemort or Dumbledore were accidentally hit by one of his Destruction Spells. Hell, he'll hit Dumbledore with one if he knew a way to get away with it.
At the first point of his young life, everything wasn't too bad for the youth. His mother was a Pureblood witch who married a Muggle, something her family apparently didn't approve of since they cut off all ties with her. She thought him all about Magic and how he could use it, something in which brought joy to the boy. He could do Magic like his mother which made her proud of him. She was especially proud of him when he took up an interest in Potions which was once her favourite subject before she gave up her life as a Witch and lived a married life as a Muggle with his father, Tobias Snape.
However, everything changed when the factory that employed his father closed down. Upon losing his job, his father would spend most of his time drinking which would usually end up with him beating his wife or Snape himself. His violent tendencies just got worse the more Snape used his Magic and would usually beat him even harsher, having no love for the mystic arts and he wasn't afraid to show how much. However his mother would never once fight back, allowing him to hit her, seemingly loving him too much to do anything about it. She must loved him very much if she gave up her life in a rich Pureblood family. She usually did do her best to sway Tobias's anger out on herself so he won't have the energy to bring his anger down on Snape.
With his father's violence and him spending most of their money on alcohol, life got very hard for the child.
When he met the neighbour's daughter, Lily Evans, he was overjoyed at finding someone just like him. Someone who can use the joys of Magic like him and his mother. Her parents being Muggles never once disturbed him and he was at least happy to have a friend for once in his young life. Her family were very nice to him as well with both Mr and Mrs Evans welcoming him with open arms. While her sister, Petunia is a bit of a pain, he reluctantly admits that he does find her friendly at times, especially when she thinks he doesn't notice.
When he and Lily got their letters from Hogwarts, they were both ecstatic at the chance of knowing more about Magic. They even both went to Diagon Alley togethor to get their robes and wands. While Lily's wand was made of Alder with Unicorn hair as its core, he got one made of Black Walnut with a White River Monster spine, something the wandmaker, Ollivander mentioned is quite uncommon.
When they got on the train for Hogwarts, Severus thought that he could finally have something other than Lily to make his life happy. Meet more people like himself and Lily and to discover the wonders of Magic.
That thought quickly came to an end after first year.
He was saddened when he was placed into Slytherin while Lily was placed into Gryffindor. He had hoped that they would be out in the same house but thought nothing of it later on. They would still be best friends even if they are in different houses. He didn't think that being in rival houses would change anything between them.
Then came the Marauders. James Potter, Sirius Black, Peter Pettigrew and Remus Lupin have many things in common with one another. They are all pranksters at heart, they are all in Gryffindor and they also out to make sure Snape doesn't have one day of peace within Hogwarts.
It all started with names like "Slimy Snake", "Mini Death Eater" or their personal favourite," Snivellus". A month of name calling, they started to get creative and would hex him whenever a professor wasn't looking. It was Stinging Hexes at first before the Spells went to the extreme. They even used a curse that makes soap bubbles pour out of his mouth. He can't even remember to amount of times he almost drowned in soapy suds whenever they used it on him. There was never a day when they wouldn't show mercy but didn't do it whenever he was with Lily. However, there were times he got a stinging hex with none of them near him, making him suggest that they have a invisibility cloak, something in which he can't prove.
The only good thing was that Lily was willing to defend him against their pranks, something in which he was grateful for. He always enjoyed it whenever she called Potter a toerag. He didn't have any other friends to help him but his fellow Slytherins did make sure to help ease his pain and tension whenever they were nearby. Being a house known to produce Dark Wizards and Witches, they were always treated with a disdain from not only other students but from the teachers as well. The headmaster included who was biased to all of the Marauders activities.
Whenever the Maruaders would do their usual attacks on him, he refuses to call them "Pranks", he would fight back against them, not caring for the numbers. He never once gloated for the many times he could hold the four back before a professor came running. Unfortunately, a few quick lies by the Marauders and Severus being Slytherin, Snape usually found himself losing fifty points for Slytherin and how he also got two weeks of detention.
By defending himself!
The Marauders only ever got a few days of detention, at best and James, Peter and Sirius would smirk at him victoriously, knowing they won. Remus would just look at him with pity, like as if he wants the others to stop but can't do anything about.
"Unbloody likely!" roared Severus, firing a ball of fire that bathes a tree in orange flames. Ignoring the impressive display of his Fire Spell discinerating the tree within seconds, he continues his bad memories.
He can still remember the time when the Marauder's hexed his feet to trip when he walked in the Great Hall which caused him to fall face first to the floor and break his nose. It's because of them that his nose is now crooked. He remembers looking up, ignoring the Marauders and the other few students who laughed at him. Hoping for some form of punishment for them, he instead saw Dumbledore smirk in amusement before he hid it behind a cough but it was too late, he saw it. He didn't even punish the four, having said that it was all just a harmless "prank" that went wrong. Said harmless prank broke his nose and all he got for it was laughs. From the headmaster of all people.
For years, the same would happen to him, the Marauders would hex him and whenever he would defend himself, he would be the one to get in trouble. His evenings were usually spent with Lily guiding him to the infirmary for Poppy to heal whatever was done to him. He was at least happy to know that Potter's obvious attempts to charm her never worked and that she stayed at his side to help him nurse his wounds from the pranks.
Everything changed in third year.
Instead of ignoring Potter's flirting or insulting him, Lily actually started to flirt back! The betrayal broke his heart in more ways than one. She was not only his first and only friend but she was also his first love which he would rather die than admit. How can he not since she was his first friend and shown him kindness for nine years. She is also known as the most prettiest girl in year, if not the school so that probably helped as well.
If that wasn't enough to hurt him, she started to actually defend the four whenever he complained about their attacks on him. She saw what their pranks are for two years and then all of a sudden, she thinks that they're harmless!
While he continued to befriend her, he could easily see that he was losing her to Potter and the Marauders. He also knew that Lily's own friends, especially that Mary McDonald, would whisper in her ear and warn her to stay from him, saying that he's hanging around with sons of Death Eaters. Its not his fault that he wants to get to know his house mates since he is going to be living with them for the most of seven years. Then Lily started getting worried about him because he was finding an interest in Dark Magic, believing that he's starting to slowly move to the Dark Lord's side. How can't he not study them if he wants to learn to defend himself against them?
He highly doubts that while learning Occlumency is borderline dark, it isn't something to worry about. Besides, he has a few Spells he made himself after getting curious over the thought of making new Magic. While most of them are just small hexes and jinxs, there are a few he is proud of on making. His earlier Sectumsempra being an example and while he doesn't use it on people, he knows that it could maim if not kill with just one Spell. He's even messing around with the thought of flying without a broom but so far, he only has a small bit of work done on that. His second biggest Spell is the Levicorpus, a Spell which levitates someone upside down, making them vulnerable for anything.
A nearby tree suddenly explodes without warning, having been the effect of Severus's Accidental Magic pulsing out of him and he isn't willing to stop it.
The reason he is downright angry is because not just a week ago, the Marauders attacked him again and used his own Levicorpus Spell on him and pulled his pants down for all the nearby students to see. Now, he knows that he only taught one person that Spell and they must have obviously taught it to Potter.
She did arrive eventually and demanded Potter to cancel the Spell, but he ignored her of course. It wasn't until Lily looked up at him that Severus's heart truly broke.
She smiled at Potter embarrassing him in front of the other students with his own Spell. A Spell that he trusted her with and she broke that trust by teaching it to his biggest bully who makes it a hobby to make his own school life a living hell. He isn't sure which sin it was that made him say it but the word "Mudblood" just rolled off his lips. He remembers the look of horror on her face as well as the ones of shock on everyone else but he didn't care. It was as if everyone was out to get him and he didn't care at that point.
It was there where his friendship with Lily Evans died. At first, he felt sick at calling her such a thing and tried to apologize. He even stayed outside the Gryffindor Common Room so he can apologize. She just glared at him and waved him off, rejecting his apology and also rejecting any chance of them mending their friendship.
"AAAAAAHHHHHHHH!" Severus can't help himself but roar out his anguish to the sky, wanting it to somehow do something about his miserable life. The nearby trees shatter under the pressure of Snape's Magic lashing out at anything within radius. The Centaurs who are looking at the child from afar immediately run off in fright after feeling the power of his Magic wash over them, warming them up but also putting a chill to their spines.
"Why can't I catch a bloody break!" he thought to himself angrily. His one friend in the world won't talk to him anymore and now, he's alone in a world that hates him. Two years ago, his mother was murdered by Tobias in a drunken rage and he and Lily took a week off to go to the funeral, along with the rest of the Evans. While he didn't shed a tear for his drunken excuse of a father who was sentenced to life in a maximum security prison, he cried for what must have been hours for his mother. He didn't show tears but when he was in the safety of the Evan's spare room, he let out all of his pain and anguish.
The only good thing he has going for himself is that the school year is about to end in a week and then he can leave for his life of solitude. He won't be going back to Spinners End for sure, not with the Evans living there. His Accidental Magic quiets down at the thought of the family who took care of him as one of their own. Even Petunia in her own denying way.
"I can't see them" he thought with a sad frown, his Magic having finally dying down. "Not anymore. Not with Lily there."
Finally getting a grip of himself, he builds back up his Occlumen shields and finally notices the destruction around him. He blushes, feeling embarrassed over losing his temper like that, something in which he isn't use to after studying Occlumency since the start of second year. He's also a bit impressed with himself once he sees the trail of dead trees and the few holes in the ground, as well as the crater underneath his feet.
Unknown to Severus, Ollivander failed to mention to him that Black Walnut wands are very difficult to control. They are usually given to innovators and inventors but there's a word of caution for those to be given one, something Severus never once got. While some woods are difficult to dominate and may resist the performance of Spells that are foreign to their nature, a Walnut wand will perform any task required once it's subjugated and as long as the user is of sufficient brilliance. It will also cause problems if the user isn't sincere with themselves.
As of right now, the wand is subjugated under Severus Snape's will and ever since getting his wand, he is now finally feeling sincere with himself. With Lily being his light of day and everything about the school being his nightmare, he has always had trouble with his thoughts. With Lily's betrayal, his confusing thoughts aren't messing up his mind. Now he knows.
The world is truly not so black and white anymore.
With a sigh, he reluctantly heads back to Hogwarts so he can make it to dinner. He can only be thankful that school will be over next week since they've all completed their OWL Exams. He won't be returning home, one reason being that he doesn't want to return to the empty house full of bad memories and the second is because the Evan family would expect him to visit like usual. Not this time.
There's only one safe haven he has left in the world and if that went, he isn't sure what he would do.
Stopping for a second, he looks down at his wand in his hand and bites his bottom lip. After a moment of thinking, he flips it in the air and grabs it before spinning on his heel. "Baubillios!" he called out before a ball of Magic shoots out of the tip of his wand and makes a clean hole through the centre of a tree. Feeling slighty better at releasing his frustration through stretching his Magic, he pockets his wand before he makes his way back to the school.
Not once does he notice that the four trees lined up behind the one he casted a Baubillios on has the same smoking hole in the centre as the first. Nor the fifth that collapses due to the tree losing two thirds of its trunk.
( June 5 1976 - Diagon Alley )
Snape can't stop his lips from twitching upwards while he stands in front of the last bit of light in his miserable life.
He walks in and hears the usual chime of a bell. His dark eyes scan the layout of the dark shop and sees that nothing has changed since he left last year. Lining the shelfs all over the large room are jars and vials of all sorts of ingredients that one would need to brew potions. Scents of honey and dried cockroaches fill his nose and he sighs happily, feeling at home with himself.
"Severus my boy! So good to have you back" called a voice from behind the counter. Severus turns to the voice and his lips twitch again when he sees the same man who helped him more than anyone else has.
Reginold Ottoman is an elderly gentleman who is around twenty years younger than Dumbledore which still makes him very old. He adorns the same brown robes that are drench in all sort of smells from the ingredients he uses for his potions. With short grey hair and a bit of wrinkles, he looks to be any kind of old man. Only that this old man has a Gold Cauldron Potion Master Degree, something very few Potion Masters learn to obtain in their careers.
Severus likes him because they both share the same fondness over potions and ever since first year, he has given Severus a place to work to earn money. He also allows him to practice his potions at the shop whenever it isn't too busy and even teaches him a few things about brewing.
"Good to see you again, Master Ottoman" greeted Severus with a respectful nod.
Reginold sighs when his student calls him master again, even after telling him not to for two years. Taking in Severus, he is pretty amazed at how tall he's gotten. He's now taller than himself for crying out loud. However, the Potions Master narrows his eyes when he sees those charcoal eyes of Severus's. They've dimmed even more since last year and inwardly frowns.
Being the only trustworthy adult in his life, Severus has always felt it safe enough to tell what his life is like in Hogwarts. Afterwards, it took a lot from Severus to stop Reginold from going to the school board about the Marauders but it's mostly because he's frightened at what they would do to him if they found out. While agreeing to not talk to the school board, Reginold made it his business to never serve those boys in his shop ever again.
While he isn't sure why the boy goes through such pain, he does always notice a little shine in the boy's eye that only shines brighter when he talks about his best friend, Lily Evans.
"To be a lovesick kid again" he remembers thinking about himself. While the first few times Severus spoke about her, Reginold admitted that she sounded like a bright young witch and is happy that someone is Severus's friend. That was until Severus spoke less of her in third year and then mentioned how she's starting to hang out with the Potter brat more and more.
Now, that light that once put a shine to the boy's eyes have been snuff out and he can already guess why.
"Good thing you came, I'm almost running out of Pepper up potions. You can help me with the new batch" said Reginold, hiding his thoughts underneath a kind smile. He brings Severus with him to the back room where more potions lay on high shelves and a long table with cauldrons lining it. Immediately, Snape's eyes light up at the sight of the cauldrons, something Reginold doesn't miss.
Through the years of Severus working at his shop, Reginold noticed that the boy has a mind that far surpasses brilliance if he has ever saw one. He has never seen someone so in love with potions, certainly not an eleven year old at the fight time he saw Severus brew.
What he finds most impressive about the boy is how he has a tendancy to change the recipe of a potion. Sometimes by very little and others, greatly. He can still remember the first time he was teaching Severus how to brew a Polyjuice Potion when he was thirteen. At the time, he thought the Slytherin was ready to make it, seeing as they don't teach such things in Hogwarts until sixth year.
He was wrong.
Oh how he was so wrong!
Not only was the boy more than ready enough for such a potion but his young mind was already thinking of different ways to make it better. Reginold still remembers hovering over the boy's shoulder and could only gape as the child went to work. Hands grabbed different vials and jars, Blackseeds were squashed instead of cut and Dream Crystals were grounded into fine powder before being dumped into the smothering cauldron. The result was the most powerful Polyjuice Potion Reginold has ever seen in his long career as a Potions Master. At the time, he couldn't actually believe a thirteen year old created such a thing but at this point in time, he has gotten use to it. Severus Snape ingenuity is something that comes to having the boy as an employee and student.
However, Severus has never published any of his improved potions for Merlin knows why. He at least provides Reginold's shop with his enhanced Healing Draughts and Pepper Up Potions, which are all usually sold pretty quickly whenever in stock.
Not only is his skills in potions unheard of but Reginold is proud to say that his student has the imagination and stubbornness that would impress Merlin himself if the Wizard was still alive.
Severus always carries a little black book on his person that would always catch Reginold's eyes, especially when the Slytherin wrote into it while muttering who knows what. When he asked, Severus told him that its where he keeps his ideas for new potions and Spells, having already created a few. At the time, Reginold didn't fully understand the Slytherin so he had laugh at what he thought was a joke.
His laughing quickly stopped when Severus let him read a page in his journal. On the page, there were hypothesis written down as well as the effects of a potion to restore lost limbs. Underneath it was the planning and execution of flying without a broom! As much as he wanted to deny that such things are impossible, he couldn't help but lose his mind over what he read. He couldn't even understand half the mathematics and theories on the one page alone. The same page had some handy ideas on flying and a potion to restore limbs, something which would most likely earn Severus a Bronze Cauldron at least. He can finally understand why the child held the book on him at all times. If someone were to find out about that journal, they would very likely do their best to steal it and take credit for the ideas in it. He can only guess what else is written in that little black book of his and what other Wizardry problems it may fix.
There is just no doubt about it.
Severus Snape is a prodigy. He just doesn't understand it yet and from the way he's treated at Hogwarts, nobody there seems to understand either. And here he would have thought that Dumbledore of all people would notice the genius that is quite literally underneath his nose. Instead, he ignores the needs of the abused child and practically encourages the bullying if the incident with Snape's crooked nose is any indication.
"Looks like I'll be flooing him after all" Reginold thought as he watches Snape brew away a new batch of improved Pepper Up Potions. Severus may not understand his own genius mind but Reginold does and he refuses to let such potential go to waste in Hogwarts. Anymore of the same treatment there and he's afraid that Snape will turn dark at some point. Knowing what it is to be young, he knows that when a kid is the victim, their minds tend to warp for the need of attention. Even if said attention is a bad one.
He can't have that happen to Severus of all people. Not just because he believes that Severus deserves better than joining the Death Eaters but also because if Severus were to join the Dark Lord, he's afraid that they'll actually win the war. While Dumbledore may ignore the child's ingenuity, Voldemort won't and that's a scary thought which brings a slight shiver down his old bones.
Just a month ago, he found a pamphlet of a prestigious school from America called Oliver Gardens. A school that only the most brilliant students in the world attend to since the only way someone can enroll is through a scholarship of some kind. Of course, that doesn't stop the few rich Wizards and Witches who try to buy their children a scholarship to the school, something which has yet to happen. He has read quite a lot about the school and is amazed at how 90% of the school graduates end up with a very bright future. The other 10% are the students who couldn't manage to keep their scholarships within the school. He hopes to have Severus go to the school and make something out of himself. Something which won't happen if he stays at Hogwarts.
Hopefully, it willl bring back the light in his eyes and there's no better way to do that then leave the school that ignores his troubles.
Leaving Severus with his work, Reginold leaves the room and heads upstairs where his fireplace is. He's gonna have to make the call.
( June 8 1976 - Apothecary )
"Thank you and come again" said Severus as he waves off another customer who he just sold one of his personally made Healing Draughts to. The man walks away with a limp so he can make a guess on why he needs it.
Reginold enters from the back room and taps his student on his shoulder. "Severus, can you come upstairs for a moment, I've got someone who wants to meet you" he asked with a small smile.
"Someone who wants to meet me?" Severus thought, wondering who would want to meet him and why in the first place. "But what about the shop? Won't I need to stay in case someone shows up?" he asked.
"Don't worry about it. I'll close up shop early for today" said Reginold who flicks his wrist to the door. The sign hanging on the door that reads "OPEN" flips around to read out "CLOSED".
Severus frowns at the idea of closing the shop early but agrees to it nonetheless. Maybe he can get some practice in with his Occlumency and maybe get some research done for his project of flying without the use of a broom. He can't stand how uncomfortable sitting on a broom is like and thought that flying without one would be handy. It would be more comfortable and he could use it to escape bad situations. He knows it won't be easy but in his opinion, it's worth trying.
Walking up the stairs with his master following behind him, Snape enters Reginold's office since the only other upstairs rooms are Reginold's bedroom and the spare bedroom which Severus is currently occupying. And because the floo system is connected to Reginold's office since Snape hasn't seen anyone walk by the counter to the back room.
When he enters the big office, he sees that there is a man sitting on one of the two guest chairs in front of Reginold's desk. Severus takes note of how smartly dress he is, wearing a light brown Muggle suit over a white shirt and blue tie. Over the suit is a robe with the same colour scheme as the suit jacket and he adorns a pair of black dress shoes. He has dirty brown hair that is neatly brushed and a pair of green eyes which he notices has a sense of intelligence in them. He hasn't seen those sort of eyes other than in Dumbledore's and his employer's. He also reluctanlty admits that the man is quite handsome.
"Please take a seat Severus" offered Reginold as he takes a seat of his own behind his desk.
With a nod, Severus takes a seat beside the older gentleman but not before he respectfully bows to the guest. The man seems to like that because he smiles and bows as well to Severus.
"Good evening Mr Snape" greeted the man who offers his hand. Snape responds by shaking said hand and offering his greetings. "Do you know who I am Mr Snape or why I am here?"
"No sir. I was only told that you wanted to speak with me." Severus glances over to Reginold who merely smiles, something that annoys him since the old man always has the same smile whenever he wants to hide his emotions, making it hard to study him.
"I am here today to hopefully guide you to a great future" replied the stranger, causing Severus to raise a brow in curiosity. "I'm sorry, I realized I haven't introduced myself yet" he said, feeling a tad embarrassed. "My name is Paul Deegan and I'm the current Potions Professor at the Oliver Garden Institute."
"Oliver Garden Institute? I've never heard of that school before" said Severus, unsure why a professor from a different school wants to talk to him.
"Of course you wouldn't. It's not a school that anybody can go to like Hogwarts" answered Paul. "Oliver Gardens is a very private school that only accepts the brightest students in the world. Which so happens to be why I'm here."
Paul reaches into his pocket and pulls out a small vile with a red liquid inside it. "Tell me Mr. Snape, what is this?" Paul asked, referring to the vial.
"It's a Healing Draught, why?" said Severus almost automatically. There's only one potion in the world that has that shade of red.
"Exactly. This is a Healing Draught but not just any that I can buy at a Potion Shop. No, this one just so happens to have enhanced healing properties that aren't normal in any run of the mill Healing Draught. If I may say so, it's an improvement of the normal brand."
Severus stiffens when he hears that and glances back over to Reginold who has yet to break his smile away from his face. It hasn't grown or lessen any bit, staying the same locked up expression that he can't figure out.
"Your employer, Mr. Reginold Ottoman, sent us a jar of your creation three days ago." Severus sends his employer an accusing glare that doesn't deter the elder one bit. "And I must say that I am impressed. We've gone through several tests with it already and we've found out that it can heal several wounds that the usual brand can't. Many including shattered bones, pierced lungs and to my amazement, blindness. Our healers are still going crazy over it and are actually hoping for some more" said Paul before he waves his hand away. "But that can be a discussion for another day."
Heat warms Severus's cheeks as the Potions Professor praises his work. Nobody has ever done that before, well everyone except for Ottoman, his mother and once upon a time, Lily. Not even his Head of House and Potion Professor, Horace Slughorn, ever praised his work. Maybe because he always partners with Lily in Potions and Horace has a sweet tooth for her. Whenever they get an O which is all the time, he would always praise Lily for doing a good job, ignoring Snape for what he actually did.
"Now that I think about it, did Lily ever mention that I did most of the work?" he thought with a frown. Not once does he remember her ever correcting Horace, instead accepting the praise with a smile while he was overlooked. While he doesn't like Horace since all he cares about is having the most prestigious and wealthy students join his little "Slug Club", Snape would have liked to be given some sort of recognition for the potions he worked hard on. Of course with Lily being Horace's "best" student, she was offered to join the Slug Club which she accepted happily, himself overlooked and ignored yet again.
"-rus, are you listening?" asked Reginold with a frown when he notices Severus's eyes glaze over in thought.
Severus blinks out of his thoughts and blushes again but this time, in embarrassment at having lose himself so easily in his thoughts. Being actually praised by someone who he doesn't even know was enough for him to ignore his Occlumency training and lose himself in thought.
"I'm sorry about that, I spaced out for a bit" he said with a blush.
Paul waves his embarrassment off with a laugh. "Don't worry about it. This is probably coming in too fast anyway with the scholarship and all. I remember visiting a child brilliant in Transfiguration and when I offered her a scholarship, she fainted. That was always a good laugh" laughed Peter, not noticing Severus's own flabbergasted face.
"Scholarship? To Oliver Gardens?" Severus blinks three times in case he is actually in a dream. "I'm sorry sir but what is that about a scholarship" he had to ask.
Peter blinks owlishly for a moment at Severus before chuckling good naturally. "Wow, you must have been truly out of it" he chuckled before he coughs in his hand and gets serious. "Mr. Snape, Oliver Gardens would like to offer you a Potions scholarship and to attend after the summer holidays end."
Now Severus is truly flabbergasted. A prestigious school that only accepts the brightest actually wants him to join? It has to be too good to be through. But first questions. "Before I choose my answer, can I ask a couple of questions?"
Peter inwardly smirks when he hears that. "Of course. This is a big decision so go ahead."
"If he continues with this, he'll fit in perfectly" he thought, appreciating that the child has a more clever mindset than he'd thought. After all, this is a big step in a person's life and simply accepting it without considering their other options is never a smart thing to do.
"If I were to accept the scholarship, how exactly will I be able to make up all the points I've missed out on?" asked Severus, knowing how if he were to transfer, everyone else will have severely surpassed him points wise.
"That is what afterschool clubs are for" replied Peter. "Oliver Gardens has many clubs that provide extra credit to students who take part in them. Of course with you being a transferee, you will need to join more than one club if you want to make up enough credit to match everyone else in the year.
"Is there a Potions Club?"
"Why, yes there is" answered Peter with a smirk.
"What about accommodations? I don't exactly have a lot of money on me" said Severus, not liking the idea of his poor conditions being the reason that he can't enter the school.
"You won't have to worry about that" Peter waves the concerns away. "All accommodations are provided for the students as well as for food and studies. All you need to purchase are your school equipment. Quills, ink, notebooks and the likes."
"What about school houses?"
That where Peter frowns in distaste. "Oliver Gardens don't believe in that whole housing pattern Hogwarts do every year. It causes nothing more than prejudice and distrust to run rampant. At Oliver Gardens, everyone in equal, no matter who they are."
The more questions he asks, the more Severus is inclined to agree on the scholarship. "Am I allowed to transfer over to Oliver Gardens if Hogwarts doesn't want me to?" he asked, not once believing that the school or anyone in it would try to stop him from leaving. However, he prefers to be safe than sorry.
"Neither the headmaster nor the school board of Hogwarts can stop a student from transferring over. They might try to state that the other school isn't as good a Hogwarts but other than that, they have no right to stop you."
With no more questions to ask, Severus bites his bottom lip in thought. From what the professor has said, the school almost sounds all to good to be true. Only the brightest students go so maybe he can actually have a consversation with people who don't get confused at what he says. Something that happens way too often in the Slytherin Common Room. No houses, meaning that he won't be judged for what house he belongs in or who he is. A school that offers one of the best educations in the world. Better than that, no Marauders to make his life a living hell. And now, he doesn't have to worry about walking around Hogwarts with a broken heart eveytime he sees Lily with Potter.
"I accept" said Severus with a nod. Paul grins and Reginold's smile grows large.
"Excellent! I'll head back to the institute and give the headmaster the good news. I'll owl you everything you need to know sometime next week" said Paul who stands up along with Severus. He grabs the boy's hand and shakes it with enthusiasm. "I can't wait to see you in my class Mr. Snape." After bowing one last time to Reginold, Peter heads over to the fireplace and after throwing in the floo powder, he walks in the green flames with an extra skip to his step.
"This is wonderful news, this calls for a celebration" said Reginold before he claps his hands and summons two shot glasses and a bottle of his finest Firewhiskey. "Don't worry, I won't tell, anyone" he said with a wink as he pours both of them a glass. He passes the glass to Severus who looks at it for a moment before looking back up at the elder.
"Why did you give them my potion?" There's no anger in his words, just curiosity.
Reginold's smile drops slightly as he sighs. "Because I know that you can do amazing things Severus and you staying at Hogwarts is going to do nothing but hinder you."
"Hinder me? What do you mean?" asked Severus. Hogwarts gloats about being one of the best schools in Europe after all and with the strongest Wizard as headmaster, it just increases its reputation.
"What I mean is that those bullies are doing nothing to help your self-respect." Oliver looks deep into Severus's eyes, causing the boy to flinch from the powerful eyes and his words. "You don't appreciate yourself Severus and staying at Hogwarts isn't gonna improve that. The teachers are biased and bullying is allowed to run rampant on the grounds. Such things are strictly forbidden in Oliver Gardens since the punishment is expulsion." He takes another sip of the Firewhiskey, enjoying the burning sensation in his throat. "That's why I sent the potion. I believe attending Oliver Gardens will be good for you."
"What does he mean that I don't appreciate myself?" wondered Snape with a thoughtful frown. "Does he mean my appearance?" He brushes a greasy lock away from his face. "It's not like I can do anything about it. I don't know why my hair keeps getting greasy."
It's always one of the many things James Potter and Sirius Black likes to make sure he understands by calling him a "Greasy git".
"Believe me, you'll thank me later" said Reginold before taking another sip. Soon Severus follows and takes a sip of his own drink.
Only for the room to be filled with Severus's gasps and choking and Reginold's laughter.
( 1976 June 22 - Spinners End )
Mrs. Evans stands up from taking care of her flowerbeds and wipes the sweat off of her forehead with a proud smile on her face. She admires her flowers while mentally patting herself on the back for the good job done on them. Wiping away the dirt from her hands, she turns to the door but stops when her eyes catch the sight of a dusty dark house at the end of the road. She frowns, thinking of the boy who lives there and who would always visit to play with Lily. Such a lovely boy as well.
A month has pass since the summer holidays and she has yet to see any sign of Severus and can't help but worry about him. His mother is dead because of his deadbeat father who's stewing away in a prison cell and now he's all alone, not a family member to his name. She wouldn't usually worry because he would stay with them for the summer as he tends to do every year. Not this time since Lily and Severus seem to be having some sort of fight with each other.
She remembers picking up Lily from the train station and obviously noticed how Severus wasn't with her. When asked, Lily glared at nothing and told her that he wasn't coming with them. Of course, she didn't move until everyone else left. She eventually did leave an hour later since it was obvious that he wasn't coming. When they got home, she and her husband asked about Severus. Mrs. Evans didn't like her daughter's answer.
"We're not friends anymore. He called me a m-mudblood at school! In front of everyone! Can you believe that! And I was trying to help him when James prank went over the top."
Lily has mentioned James Potter a few times over the years and is obviously interested in the boy. While she wouldn't mind a boy taking her daughter out at her age, she doesn't like how Lily mentioned that James was pranking on Severus. She was told that he tends to be a prankster at school but what Lily failed to mention is that Severus is the one being pranked on by the boy.
"As if his life isn't hard enough as it is. Bullies are the last thing he needs" she thought with a frown. If Lily ever brought the boy home, she'll need to have a very long conversation with him if he's gonna ever have her blessing to date Lily. Her husband's as well.
Besides, she wants to hear Severus's side of the story before making any judgement. He has been a part of their family for years and she just can't see the reason why he would suddenly talk bad about Lily. She finds it hard to believe that one bad word is enough to break a nine year friendship. Lily did say that he's apparently hanging around the wrong crowd at school, something that even Petunia finds a bit overdramatic since the bad crowd he's hanging out with are from the same house he's in. Even with that reasoning, Lily refuses to deny that Severus is slowly turning dark.
Mrs. Evans refuses to believe that until she talks with Severus which isn't easy with him not being home for the last month. She just can't help but worry about the boy.
( September 5 1976 - Ministry of Magic )
Both Reginold and Severus are at the Ministry of Magic and are standing by an international floo which Severus will use to get to America.
"B-But I can't" said Severus as he pushes away the offered bag of galleons.
"Severus Snape, you are taking the galleons and you aren't leaving here until you do" ordered Reginold with a stern glare.
Today's the day that Severus is going to Oliver Gardens and he would have left five minutes ago if it isn't for the owner of the Apothecary insisting on taking a pouch full of galleons.
"I just can't sir. I've already saved up enough from working here. I can't take anymore" said Severus, refusing to take the pouch.
Reginold sighs and prays to Merlin that the boy doesn't come back as stubborn as he is now. He takes the boy's hand and places the pouch in his palm before he can resist. "Don't think of it as charity but as a raise. You've been working hard for me for years now and it's about time you got one" he told Snape sternly.
Severus frowns but can't deny that logic so he looks at the pouch in his hand and reluctantly places it in the pocket in his robes. "Thank you."
"Now, was that so hard?" asked Reginold with a smirk before he brushes down Severus's clothes. Being that Oliver Gardens has no uniform, Severus has gone with a white shirt with Slytherin green, lining the collar. Over the shirt is a open black robe and for pants, he adorns a pair of black jeans he got in the Muggle city, London. He never got Muggle clothing before and is surprised to find that it's so comfortable. That's why he splurged a bit on himself by using his savings and bought a pair of black and white Nike trainers that fit him like a glove.
"Now off with ya. Don't want to keep them waiting do ya?" Reginold shoos him off towards the fireplace.
Severus grumbles as he walks to the fireplace and takes a handful of floo powder. Once he throws the powder and calls out the name of the institute, green fire erupt to life. He turns around and looks at the man who made all this possible, feeling a bit reluctant to leave. The nod from the elder strengthens his resolve and after taking a deep breath, he takes a step towards the fire and disappears within it.
( Diagon Alley - Gringotts )
The Goblin owned bank is as busy as ever with the Goblins counting away gold, silver, bronze, galleons and knuts. Wizards from the common folk to the heads of Noble Houses all walk in and out to either make deposits or to use Gringotts many other services.
Inside a large luscious office is a wrinkly old Goblin who is writing away on another form for a Witch's new vault which he is watching over. He silently continues his work until he notices his log book glow a bright yellow which he knows signifies that there is a change in one of the vaults he's watching over. Pushing away the form to one side, he takes his log book and opens it to see what changes are there.
Due to him having a lot of vaults to watch over, he has a Charm on the log book to explain the details of the changes on the front page. Looking at the page, he reads it over and does it again twice to make sure he isn't reading it wrong.
"Mmm, so Apollo finally bit the dust. Isn't too bad, he was a strong one. One hundred and twenty is an honourable age to die" thought the Goblin with a smirk that looks to be more of a snarl than anything else. "Now then, let's see who's the next heir of the Prince name."
The Goblins flips several pages before landing on the one that has the words "Prince" on the top of the page. The page has a list of names that reach back all the way to Merlin's time. There're around twenty names on the page with all of them with a red line going through the middle of their names. The Goblin reads down the list but soon starts to feel panic rise in his heart when the red lines keep appearing on the names, signifying that person's death. If there isn't a heir to the family name, all of the riches will just go to the Ministry, something that all Goblins hate to see happen. And it looks like there's a red line for everyone on the list.
All their names but one.
Releasing the breath he didn't even know he was holding, the Goblin runs his finger down the list and stops at the bottom where it lands on a lone name that doesn't have a red line going through it.
With a nod, the Goblin takes out a black piece of parchment and a Quill and starts writing. He needs to inform the boy immediately.
( USA - Oliver Gardens )
When he steps out of the floo, Severus takes in the sight of a massive halfway that somewhat resembles the black marbled floo corridor within the British Ministry of Magic. Only real difference is that the interior is of welcoming red wallpaper with mahogany benches between every fireplace and the floor even has a lush red carpet covering it which just only brightens the hall even more.
The hallway is full of people of all ages walking in and out of floos while making their way to whatever destination they're going. Few people gave him brief glances but that's all which he's thankful for. Pulling out his wind, he gives it a few twirls before the sooth on his clothes disappear.
Turning his head to whoever called him, Severus notices a young pretty woman with green hair in a bun making her way towards him. She looks to be around her mid to late twenties if he guesses right. What he especially notices is how her black robes hug her curves almost like a second skin, something which is quite frowned upon in Britain.
"I'm here for five minutes and I'm already loving it" he thought to himself, happy that he finally mastered his Occlumency enough to keep out any Legiliments that might try to enter his mind and read his thoughts. It took many tiring weeks to finish with the tweaks but he now has his mind perfectly closed off to all outside intruders. All he needs now is someone who can help him compare results since the only person who would help him was Reginold who is the only person he knows to have training in Legilimency but he isn't seriously experienced in it. He'll have to ask if there's anyone at the institute who's skilled with Legilimency.
"Yes, that's me" he replied, giving a respectful bow to the older woman. She may be young but she's still older than he is and those pair of glasses she wears does give her a mature vibe.
"It's good to meet you. I'm Sarah Felix and I work at Oliver Gardens as the head master's secretary. Follow me if you would." Without missing a beat, she turns around and starts walking down the hallway and starts writing on a notepad. Severus quickly follows and his long legs make fast work to keep up with the secretary. "I've been instructed to give you a quick tour of the facility so if you have any questions you want to ask, go ahead" said Sarah with a smile, her Self-Writing Quill still writing away.
"Is there anyone here who's skilled with Legilimency?"
Sarah raises a brow, not ever hearing that as a first question before. Usually the new students would be going on about where's the cafes or about the Quidditch team. Never about studies. "Oh? Do you have an interest in learning Legilimency?" she asked as they walk through the large double doors that lead them outside. She finds the art of mind reading interesting as well and likes the idea of the younger generation getting into it as well.
Severus looks thoughtful before he shakes his head.
"Legilimency would take up too much of my time and I'm already busy enough with my latest experiment" he thought while thinking back the the potion he has been hoping to make for a month. In fact, the potion he's working on is the one he hopes to use when he applies for his Masters in Potions. "Not that. I've mastered Occlumency so I want to test how good it is with someone who has experience with Legilimency. My employer helped me a little bit but he isn't any good with that type of Magic."
Sarah stops mid-step and so Severus stops two steps ahead of her and turns to her, blinking at her look of disbelief. "Did I say something wrong?" asked Severus, feeling some tension in the air.
"You said you mastered Occlumency, is that true?" Sarah asked, disbelief in her voice. Someone of his age can't possibly master the art of Occlumency which takes most people a lifetime to get down right.
Severus's nerves start to kick in, feeling pretty unsure with how she's addressing him. "Yes it is, why?"
"May I test it?" she asked. Even her Self-Writing Quill has stop writing and the tip is pointing towards him like as if it's looking at him with a blank stare. "I'm pretty experienced with Legilimency so maybe I can test it for you now?"
"Really?" asked Severus, surprised that she knows Legilimency and is willing to help him. Not a lot of people do that for him lately.
"Sure I can. I don't have to drop you off for at least another hour so I don't see anything wrong with wasting away a couple of minutes" she said with a smile. "You ready?" she asked which he nods. "Ok but this might sting a bit so bear with me."
With his second nod, she makes eye contact with him and attempts to break into his mind, of course, not to browse any of his memories as that would get her immediately fired and arrested. To her surprise, she can actually feel his mental walls and gives them a push. Since they aren't budging she pushes a little harder but still, his walls remain standing. The don't even crack from the pressure. Giving it a few more attempts, she pushes against the walls as hard as she can and fights with his mental defence for a few moments. After a few minutes and having only scratched the walls. she pulls back, feeling amazed that someone so young has mastered the difficult art of Occlumency. She's been studying it for five years now and she can barely put up half as good defence that Severus has. While it isn't perfect, it's definitely classed as a masters, something that should be impossible for someone of his age.
Feeling the secretary leave his mind, Severus rubs his head to ease the slight throbbing pain. "Well, how was I?" he asked, wanting to know how good his defence is.
"I've got to say Mr. Snape, I am impressed" said Sarah with a bright smile. "Paul did say that you're clever but I think he was putting it mildly. Occlumency usually takes years for someone to master and many simply don't have the patience for it. For someone your age to have it mastered, truly incredible" she complimented. Her Quill goes back to writing on the notepad in her hands but is doing it more quickly.
Again, blush fills Severus's cheeks as the older woman compliments him. While he felt satisfactory when Paul complimented his potion skills, a beautiful woman like Sarah doing it is a bit too embarrassing for him. After all, no other girl but Lily ever gave him the time of day which he blames on his greasy hair and crooked nose. While here, he hopes to at least do something with his hair, knowing that his nose is a lost cause after the little "prank" by he Marauders. He never did a thing with his hair since Lily always said she doesn't care about his appearance. Now that her opinion doesn't matter anymore, he hopes to do something about it.
"We should continue with the tour" said Sarah as she continues walking.
While walking around, Severus looks around in amazement as he sees all sort of Magic being used in different ways. Dozens of large connected buildings surround the areas with patches of grass beside a few. He already saw a pamphlet of the school which has a map on it and he already knows how large the school is. While Hogwarts is a large school, it has nothing on Oliver Gardens who forsakes a giant castle and instead, has a wide area of large buildings that are used for classes, clubs, student housings and events. The closest resemblance he can think of the institute is the town of Hogsmeade but it's almost twice the size of the Magical Town.
After an hour of touring, Sarah brings Severus into the infirmary, much to the former Slytherin's surprise. "What are we doing here?" he asked, feeling unsure on why they're here.
"All our students get checkups to make sure they are feeling one hundred percent. Our main objective here is the students education and we can fulfill that if they have an injury that's holding them back" told Sarah.
"I guess that makes sense" mumbled Severus who isn't exactly happy. He has only been here for an hour and is already in the infirmary. He can almost taste the nostalgia. The pair walk towards one of the few desks in the large room that has around a dozen beds lining up against opposite walls. Sitting by the desk they're heading to is a beautiful long, brown haired woman who is wearing a short skirt with a light pink wool jumper that's underneath a open white cloak. Just like the secretary, she's wearing a pair of glasses but what has Severus's attention are the pair of high DD-Cup breasts that are straining the wool of her jumper.
"Dear Merlin! Those can't be real!" he thought in disbelief. He has never been one to pay attention to other girls except for Lily but even he knows that those kind of breasts can't be possible."Maybe it's a charm?" Blinking a bit, Severus takes a thoughtful expression, wondering if such a charm is possible and being a young boy, he makes a mental note to study up on it.
"Hey, Sarah" the Healer greeted before casting her eyes to Severus. Like she expected, his eyes glance over to her tits with a look of utter disbelief. Although, she does find it surprising that in a few seconds, instead of him drooling over her like every other student has done, he makes a thinking expression, seemingly trying to figure something out in his head.
"Well, that's a new one."
"Hey Alex" greeted the secretary with a wave.
"And who's this?" asked Alex as her eyes land back to Severus who comes out of his stupor.
"He's the new transfer student so we just want to have him checked up before we ship him off" said Sarah who pushes up her glasses up her nose.
Alex seems to perk up as she gets right up in Severus's face with a very excitable expression. "So you're Severus Snape" she stated with a big grin. Severus takes a few hurried steps back from the woman so he can have his personal space back.
"You know who he is?" asked Sarah, raising a brow.
"Know him? My word, when the others hear that he's here, they're going to mob him the first chance they get. After all, we've got a little celebrity here" told Alex with a smirk as she eyes Severus in a way that makes him squirm underneath her gaze. "This little genius has revolutionized medicine." She gets back into Severus's space with a glint in her eyes. "Tell me, how did you do it? Did you add more or less honey? Maybe Frost Salts? That would explain the cold temperature." She starts to rant away in her own mind, seemingly forgetting to interrogate the creator.
Sarah coughs into her hand which gets Alex's attention. "If you don't mind, you can interrogate him all you want when you finish his check up."
Alex blinks a few times and looks at Sarah with a lost expression before suddenly grinning. "No problem" said Alex before she spins on her stool and moved away some of the items that litters her desk. With a triumphant shout, she spins around again and with a wave of her wand which she found on her desk, she summons a stool in front of herself. "Take a seat. This shouldn't take too long" she said with a smile.
Without a reply, Severus takes a seat on the stool and with all his willpower, does his best to keep eye contact with the voluptuous Witch.
With a cheerful smile and hum, Alex twirls her wand in the air a few times and uses the Analysis Spell on Severus so she can see the damage done. Severus glows a light blue colour before all sorts of different colours envelop his person.
"Dear Merlin" gasped Alex with eyes wide with horror.
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