I have seen many Harry Potter plot ideas, but never a 'good' Tobias Snape one, so I figured I'd write one.
The milling town of Cokeworth has been placed in Lancashire as that setting seemed to fit better than Pottermore's Midlands to my mind. Suggestion was taken from here.
Saturday May 2nd, 1959: Tobias Snape leaned on the bar at The Rose and slipped at the bitter John had just served him. He was reeling from the three main shocks he'd had today and the brown liquid was helping him calm down. First was his love Eileen telling him she was pregnant – that was not so bad given the amount of fun they'd been having- he smirked around his pint – but then she'd told him she was a Witch and Magic was real. Not just said, it but proved it too: tea cup to broom and back again. Floating stuff. It boggled the mind. He took a long pull on his pint. It was unnatural, but was it? His grandad would have said the same thing about tanks and planes... he sighed and sipped some more.
Then there was the Mill. It had been clear for a while that the industry was dying. Silk trade just wasn't what it was, even in the richer Galgate or Lancaster they had been closing. Sally in Finance, who he'd had a fling with back in his teenage years had told him in confidence that things weren't going well. The lads knew it as well, even if mechanics like him weren't affected yet there had been no hires on the shop floor for a while. Word had been floating about strikes, but Tobias had other things in his life now. He finished his pint.
"Another?" said John hoping for a bit of trade since the pub was quiet while folk where at the Match. Tobias looked at his empty glass and nearly agreed, but then an image of his drunken father during one of his beatings came to him.
"Nah" Tobias said surprising John and himself "promised I'd take the wife to the pictures in Lancaster. Gotta drive." He'd hadn't, but it suddenly seemed like a grand idea.
"Heh, one more won't hurt ya" John said a grin.
"Aye, but I've got more than me to think about now" Tobias said laying a big hand on his belly
"Is she?" John said, eyes going wide. Tobias nodded
"Well, congrats" John said with a side smile "I'll put one on ya slate from the pub heh?"
"That would be grand. Thanks" Tobias smiled too then caught a look at the page John had been reading in the local rag – the job ads.
"Thinking of moving on?" Tobias asked. The smile left John's face
"Cokeworth ain't want it used to be" John said quietly "the M6 ain't brought in the trade, they just bypass us now. Missus and I been looking at a lease up in Lancaster, though I've seen a place in Morecambe I fancy"
"What about machine work?" Tobias said picking up and rolling his empty glass in his rough hands
"Mill's all-right isn't it?" John questioned, but Tobias shook his head
"Genna be rough" he moaned "Lads will come out, the management will refuse demand, then pull out"
"Dunno" Tobias shrugged "but I got to think bigger now"
"BAC got an Ad in here for engineers" John said sliding the paper towards Tobias
"Aircraft, me?" Tobias grunted
"You fix things, they need folk who can fix things" Tobias read the ad. Engineers required at Samlesbury Aerodrome. No special qualifications needed. Testing will be done if called for interview.
"Bugger it, why not" he said to John
"Aye, why not" John said toasting him with his own half-empty glass.
Thursday October 15, 1959: Tobias sat with his wife Eileen in the parlour watching TV. The newsman was reporting on the fighting in the Congo, but Tobias was slowly rubbing his hand over Eileen's bump. The Midwife said she was in perfect health, and the Healer from the other world had agreed on her separate visit. They had talked about magic and Eileen had proved how useful it could be cleaning and fixing the slowly crumbling 2up-2down house he'd inherited from his folks. Tobias still had to fix the peeling paint on the gutters and windows manually in case the neighbours wondered, but inside the doors all now fitted, and the walls where clear of the damp. The furniture was all repaired and some of it was even new- when Tobias had switched job he'd been barred from most of the Cokeworth locals, and even the football ground, so the money he'd have drunk or spent on match days he piled into savings- got a better car, which made getting to work easier. The small promotion he'd got for pointing out an engineering design error had helped pay for a trip to see some of Eileen's friends in London – since she could not risk transporting them.
Had that been an eye opener- Diagon Alley hidden in the heart of London. And what a throwback to some sort of medieval/Victorian cross. They had only made a quick trip in after meeting Elieen's old school friends Elizabeth Moon and Augusta Longbottom to pick up the small brown owl Titus who was perched in the kitchen. Tobias struggled to understand Magicals – Eileen had got him a book on the history of the magical world, but it all seems so… fairy-tale even now. Still Eileen seemed happy with letters and the odd trip they had made, so Tobias let it just wash over him. Happy Eileen made him happy as it just made life easier.
After the news Top of the Pops came on and Tobias got up and turned it down. Eileen seemed confused as he knelt before her
"Love, I have something to ask you" he rumbled
"And what's that?" she laughed "I already married you" Tobias grinned
"How would you like to move?" he said unable to think of a smart line.
"From Spinners End? Your parents house?" she said surprised
"Aye" he answered "pay has been good, and there are some new builds in Galgate we can afford. I don't want to bring up our kid in Cokeworth. He… or she deserves better"
"Then yes" she said and reached out to pull him into a hug.
Saturday January 9, 1960: Tobias sat in the Royal Lancaster Infirmary Delivery Room with his son Severus in his arms. Next to him on the bed lay his exhausted wife, still beautiful even with her sweaty matted hair. The Midwife had gone to fetch some things and had not come back, instead Healer Moon bustled in. She barely said "Hello" to Tobias before fussing over Eileen and taking the baby from him. Tobias only watched as she cast some spells from her wand over his wife. He wondered how it would be explained if someone wandered in, but then again from what Eileen had told him of warding…
He realised with a start Elizabeth was talking to him and apologised. The Healer laid down a load of ground rules regarding the treatment of the baby and what Muggle (how he hated that word) medicines he was allowed. She handed him a selection of potions and told him to briskly to follow the instructions. He had never gotten on with Elizabeth Moon, too stuck up, too…. Slytherin if what he'd read about that Hogwarts House was correct. Still she stayed in contact with his wife despite the 'scandal' of her marrying him, so she had some good points…
After repeating back, the instructions to her satisfaction, Moon pronounced mother and son both fine and departed. A few moments later a confused looking Midwife walked back in.
Sunday December 25, 1960: The Evans came to the Snape's for the babies first Christmas. Not that little Severus and Lilly did much but play with the glittery wrapping paper, but 18-month-old Petunia seemed more engaged with the pile of toys she had gotten. It was not as if they had far to come as their new build semi-detached houses where literally joined. Tobias found it easy to get on with them, William was a low-ranked BAE designer over at Warton Aerodrome so they the work to talk about, while Helen had been in Admin at Galgate Silk Mill before she'd stopped to have Petunia, though he doubted she'd go back until they had both started school full time.
As he watched the kids play together Tobias reflected that life was good.
Monday August 5, 1963: Under a full moon Tobias met a shady man and his mates who tried to beat him up. They had been friends once when Tobias worked at a now closed mill, but he was doing better than them now and in their drunken state they had turned on him and his family. He defended his ground, stood in front of his family. With Eileen just showing bump now nothing was getting to her or Severus. The fists flew – grandad and da's boxing lessons came back and he drove them away. Put two on the floor, broke a nose. Police turned up and hauled the lobs away. The Tobias family got free cinema tickets for a year from the manager.
Tobias also got on the front page of the paper. He'd not even noticed the reporter and her camera, but there he was. Eileen framed it. He got asked to come and talk to some schoolkids about boxing and responsibility- Eileen encouraged him to go.
Saturday September 3, 1963: Under a full moon Tobias met a shady man. A Prince. He'd come to meet his daughter and see what sort of man she had married. Discovered via a newspaper report of all things. Eileen was terrified, but Tobias held her hand as the grandad met his grandson- who turned his thinning hair into a huge Afro 'like J'cob at shop' his son sorta squealed. The Prince was actually pleased and laughed and laughed- to Elieen's amazement. He came back a month later and gave her a key to a Vault he'd put aside for his grandson and any other Snape who had magic. A family tree had a new branch.
Monday February 14, 1965: There was a tantrum next door that blew out the lights in 2 houses as older sister got a Valentines card and Lily didn't. Elieen and Tobias knew what that represented from the feel of it. Severus had exploded a cooker when 2-year-old Julia had tried to 'help' him with the 'potion' he was trying to make for Mother's Day. A quick trip round and brushing off 'it's just the electrics' then another family are made aware of Magic. A private word between parents about jealousy sees another problem hopefully nipped in the bud as Petunia seems to be mundane.
Saturday April 5, 1969: The trip to Diagon had been intended as a 'quick shop' for potion ingredients and to finally show the Evens' the Magical world. Everyone had robes on, everyone had been warned to be on 'their best behaviour' but even with 4 parents, and a grandad 4 excited children where a handful, particularly when they met with some Prince 'cousins' in the Blacks. Eileen had not been keen on running into them considering the Blacks views on Muggles, but Tobias wisely steered William and Helen into buying the children ice cream at Florean Fortescue's. As it turned out Sirius and Regulus where with Alphard who seemed eager to talk about anything but 'blood matters' and everyone had a fine time – though Petunia nearly let the cat out of the bag about her magical status, but Severus managed to distract Sirius (and Petunia) by asking about his pets. Which of course led to a trip to Magical Menagerie where Petunia fell in love (and left with) a big brown part-kneazle, Lily took home a magnificent white owl, Julia a black Alsatian pup, Severus somehow found an golden eagle, and while Sirius and Regulus where offered a pet Alphard had to turn down the offer as the boy's mother Walburga would disapprove- leading Severus offering to share Septimius with them.
"At least we are near the Bowland" he'd say to Eileen much later, resigned to having to learn falconry as well as teach boxing and a day job.
Thursday July 9, 1970: A 'boys camping trip' to the Forest of Bowland takes place. Tobias is in charge of the small party of Alphard, Sirius, Severus, and Regulus. Septimius has of course pride of place (carried by Severus), but Titus, (carried by Regulus) and Lily's Snowclaw (carried by Sirius) were along for the hunt. They tramp quickly across the moors and into the forest itself, letting the birds fly and having a good time. Camp is set up inside a nice bit of forest, off the beaten track so Alphard can set up a nice wizard tent and a fire without any risk of a Mundane – Tobias has got them all saying it (at least in his hearing) now finding them. Of course, they run in other Magicals.
"Sirius, what are you staring at?" Severus asked looking up from the meat treats he was cutting for Septimius.
"There is a boy in that bit of forest over there. He's watching us" Sirius whispered back, one hand stroking the preening Snowclaw.
"Where?" Severus whispered back, eyes narrowing. He thought he saw something…
"Send Septimius over see if he can flush him out" Sirius whispered.
"I can't always make the contact…but" Severus closed his eyes and asked his familiar if he would swoop on the area Sirius indicated. Severus better at boxing than bird communication (though he was learning) but Septimius got the idea and swooped low into the area like he was hunting a vole, starling the brown-haired boy out from hiding. Sirius took off like a rocket, Snowclaw jumping from his arm with a swark of protest, Severus close behind him. Regulus woke from a nap was just behind them as the two adults wandered out of the tent to see what the noise was about.
"Who… be.. you.. then?" Sirius said slightly out of breath from his run. The smaller boy looked between him and the long-haired Severus running up.
"I am Remus" he said in a small voice, clearly intimidated. Severus reached out a hand
"How do you do" he said formally. Remus shook the offered hand just as Sirius clapped a hand on his shoulder.
"You got a robe; therefore, you must be a Wizard yes?" he said quickly. Remus nodded.
"Come and have some tea then!" Sirius said loudly. As Regulus joined them a thin older man stepped out of the woods behind Remus.
"Who are these people?" he said to Remus sharply
"I don't know, father" Remus said quietly.
"I am Sirius" the boy said offering his hand "we have a camp, wanna cuppa?" Severus was surprised how much 'posh' Sirius managed to take out of his voice. Remus looked up at his father.
"I suppose" the older man grumbled. Severus reached out an arm and Septimius landed on his leather vambrace, starling Remus.
"Come on then" Regulus said and lead back to camp.
Introductions between adults where swiftly made and Lyall Lupin was surprised a Mugg..mundane had heard of him.
"Saw you name in one of our books. We got a ghost in one of the family coast cottages, had a job dealing with it since the place had been closed up for a while. Advice came in handy!" While the full story was told the boys bonded over the birds of prey. Titus was roused from his afternoon slumber to fly a bit for treats on Remus' hand. Snowclaw didn't seem to like Remus and would not be touched by him, and he was too scared of Septimius to try and touch the juvenile eagle. The fun lasted all afternoon but eventually the Lupin's had to go home- and although address' where exchanged the boys would not see Remus for over a year.
Sunday January 31, 1971: Severus stood in Ollivander's Wand shop with Eileen and Lily. Severus could have come earlier in the month, but he promised Lily they would go together. Lily had her wand already- willow with a dragon heart string core, 10 ¼ inch and 'swishy' – she had got it on the 2nd try. However, Severus' was taking a while, having gone through both dragon heart string and unicorn hair wands. Ollivander was about to open a particular phoenix feather wand box, when Severus pointed a dusty box high on a shelf. Ollivander seemed reluctant but got the box.
"Blackthorn and Troll whisker" he said in his particular whisper "11 inches. Rare these days." Severus gave it a swing, and red sparks flew from the end and he knew had his wand.
"Wand of a warrior" Ollivander mused "power and strength aplenty but needs to go through danger or hardship for them to fully bond with their owner. Great things must lie ahead of you, young man" Severus grinned at Lily and his Mum. Now he was a Wizard!
Wednesday September 1, 1971: Standing on the platform of Kings Cross station looking at the train that would take them to Hogwarts was making Severus excited, truly excited to be going to learn magic along with his best friend Lily. Not that he didn't know any, but proper magic away from mum's protectiveness. Lily's mum had treated her to a new dress, and father had brought Severus a whole new wardrobe- mundane and magical. Now all washed and scrubbed, hair clean and gleaming, they walked slowly down the platform, staring in awe at the train and the seer magical bustle going on. They picked a compartment and loaded their luggage on-board. Both Snowclaw and Septimius had flown ahead- neither wanting to be confided for the journey. Once stowed they said goodbyes to their parents. Tobias was surprised at how strong his boy had become as they hugged.
Before long they stepped back towards their spot. A black-haired boy with a posh sounding voice appeared next to Severus. A severe older woman seemingly waiting impatiently a little way back from him.
"Are you related to the Princes?" he asked Severus, who nodded, but before he could say anything the black-haired boy continued "I thought so, you look like one of the portraits in my house. I'm Sirius Black, how do you do" he stuck out a hand to shake and Severus did so, then remembering his manners he said
"I am Severus Snape; my mother was a Prince until she married. May I introduce Lily Evans..." He turned and gestured to Lily who nodded and offered her hand, she was surprised when Sirius raised it and kissed it but held back her giggle.
"I don't believe I know your..." He started before a boy barrelled into him. They crashed to the platform in a tangle of limbs. Severus and Lily jumped back in time. Sirius was about to start whaling on the bounder, before Severus reached out a hand
"Let's help you up" he said and pulled Sirius up, rolling the other boy off him.
"Terribly sorry!" The other boy cried from the floor, trying to smooth down his messy black hair, and straighten his glasses at the same time.
"Well you should be" Sirius said crossly, trying to brush down his robes, if his Mother saw him all dusty...
"Well I said I was sorry..." The boy said, clambering to his feet.
"Don't want to know" Sirius scoffed, and turned to his other companions "shall we find a seat?" he asked politely.
"I'd like that" Lily replied, offering her arms to both Sirius and Severus as she remembered Ladies did on TV. The two boys linked arms with her and walked away from the other boy who was staring at them the whole time.
"Wow... she is beautiful" he murmured to himself as he watched the three enter a compartment which contained a rather ill-looking brown-haired boy whom they seemed to know.
Tobias watched the train pull away and take his boy away to Scotland. While his daughter and wife would be at home, he was going to miss Severus. Still the baby growing in Eileen now might be another boy to raise right. He linked arms with Eileen and smiled at the Evens
"Tea?" he suggested to smiles.