Disclaimer: HP and Co. belong to J.K Rowling not myself.
A/N: Here it is guys, the epilogue and final chapter of Silver Lining. This is NOT beta'd because I wanted to post this for you guys sooner rather then later. I loved writing this story and I hope you guys enjoyed it. I will definitely be doing one-shots from this 'verse.
Chapter 21: Moving Forward
Sun filtered through the open sitting room window, Daily Prophets were spread across the large coffee table being pursed intently by the rooms only occupant. Severus' head was bent over the latest copy of the British rag, his lanky hair hanging over him as he read, a rapidly cooling mug of tea by his elbow.
"Anything interesting?" A voice sounded from behind him, causing the former spy to jump slightly at the sudden intrusion. Standing in the doorway was one Sirius Black, the once gaunt man had filled out nicely, his black hair hung down to his shoulders, shining and healthy. It seemed getting Harry out of England had not only benefitted his adopted son, but his godfather as well. Though Remus and Sirius still technically lived at Grimmauld Place, they spent most of their time at Severus' small cottage in Greece, not that Albus knew that of course.
Since making the deal with Voldemort all those months ago, Severus' life couldn't be better. Harry was so much happier and was excelling in his home schooling. He still saw his mind healer, but only once a month instead of every two weeks. Karissa had recommended a new mind healer, a colleague of her's in Greece, fearing that Dumbledore would try and track Harry down using her. He wasn't above using such methods and had tried to find Harry numerous times, going so far as to try and break into both Zabini and Malfoy Manor.
Of course without Harry in England, the British witches and wizards had lost their rallying point, their symbol and the world was in complete shambles. Voldemort was quite clearly winning the war, his methods were less violent however, and true to his word, he had let those who wanted to leave, leave. Of course, certain factions were unable to leave the country permanently, like Remus and Sirius, but it wasn't from lack of trying. As members of the Order, however reluctantly, they weren't able to just up and disappear, no matter how much they wished they could.
Severus closed the Prophet and shrugged in response to Sirius' question. He had relaxed exponentially since moving to Greece and escaping from under both his masters.
"Nothing really, just speculation on where Harry is and how many people are leaving the country. Hogwarts is going to be a very empty school come September" Severus said casting a heating charm on his now cold tea.
"No kidding, Albus was talking about it at the last order meeting. He's quite disappointed in how many children have been withdrawn. He seems to believe that everyone should trust he is able to protect their children while they're at school" Sirius said, flopping onto the lovely, cushy couch Severus' had purchased a few months previous.
"He would believe that" Severus said with a snot. "And maybe once upon a time he could, but the Death Eaters are targeting prominent light families everyday and the Ministry is in complete shambles. Everyone with half a brain can see Albus isn't able to protect them, he can't even protect his own followers" Severus said softly, speaking of both Kingsley Shacklebolt and Alastor 'Mad Eye' Moody who had both been killed in a raid a few weeks previous. Both were well known Order members as well as aurors and Voldemort, along with a few favoured followers, had dispatched them with ease.
Sirius made a noncommittal noise in the back of his throat, he had liked both men and had mourned for them but he also understood war and knew with the way things were going, neither Kingsley or Alastor would have had a place in Voldemort's new regime.
"When are you and Remus going to leave? You know Harry worries every time you two leave" Severus finally asked after a moment of silence, Remus and Sirius would have to leave England soon or they would be involved in the final battle and there was no guarantee they would survive that.
"Soon" Sirius said, raking his fingers through his dark hair and sitting upright on the couch. "Albus has been watching us closer, I think he suspects something but he hasn't been around enough to actually speak with us beyond the usual weekly meetings. I have a feeling our departure is going to be a very clandestine middle of the night type thing" Sirius added. He wanted out of England, he wanted to be here, in Greece, with Harry and shockingly even Severus. The two were getting on much better and Sirius had proved to be a valuable asset in Harry's education. His grasp of Transfiguration was something to be marveled and he was able to explain the concepts in a way that the younger teen understood.
"Any news on the Weasley family yet? Have they left? Has Grainger?" Severus asked as he sipped his tea.
"The twins, Bill and Charlie have all declared themselves neutral. Charlie has returned to Romania and Bill to Egypt. The twins have their delightful shop in Diagon Alley that they are reluctant to leave but they have left the Order, quiet noticeably might I add, so the Death Eaters seem to be leaving them alone. Voldemort has really held up his end of the bargain he made with Harry. He's still a psychopath but he's not attacking innocents, just those who oppose him. Not that I want to live under his rule of course" Sirius added hastily. Severus chuckled, he had understood what the dog animagus had meant. "As for the others, Molly point blank refuses to leave, as do Ron and Ginny. I think Arthur is only staying because they're his youngest children. Percy still works in the Ministry though I have no idea what he does" Sirius said with a shrug, Fudge had been one of the first to die, so Sirius didn't know if Percy still worked for the Minister.
"And Grainger?" Severus prompted curiously.
"She's with Molly, her parents are muggles and don't seem to know whats going on nor is anyone telling them. So Hermione stays with the Weasleys, she's taken up their 'war cry' and tries to help the Order as much as she is able"
"Stupid" Severus grunted. "She should leave, they all should" Sirius just shrugged. He had nothing else to add on the matter. Ron, Hermione and Ginny were basically lost to them, caught up so strongly in their beliefs.
"Harry still asleep then?" Sirius asked curiously, he had flooed in that morning and had yet to see his godson, not that he had ventured further then the sitting room where he had discovered Severus.
"Yes. He's not really one for mornings. I do believe this is the first summer in his entire life where he's been able to sleep in" Severus said with a sneer. Despite the Dursleys having been tried and sentenced, Severus still wished he had been able to deliver his own personal brand of justice. Sirius' expression turned dark, like Severus, he wished he'd been able to get his hands on the Dursleys.
"When is he taking his exams? I know they were scheduled for some time this summer" He, Remus and Severus had all been helping Harry prep for his OWL exams which he had missed taking with his classmates.
"Next week on Monday. We're going to the Greek Ministry for testing" Severus responded. "He'll do fine, though he's nervous about it. Blaise and Draco have been immeasurably helpful since they've already taken the exams"
Sirius was about to respond when a grey blur came rushing into the room and launched itself into the air, landing heavily on Sirius' lap.
"Ooof" The dog animagus huffed as the large kitten landed on his stomach. "Good morning to you too Silver" Sirius said as he lifted the kitten into the air and grinned. He had been completely shocked when he had been let in on the secret of Harry/Silver. He was so proud of his godson for achieving the transformation but hearing the reason why had almost destroyed him. It was one of the reasons he had accepted Severus' and his role in Harry's life so easily. The trial had opened his eyes to the truth and there was no way he could hate the man that had saved his godson.
"Seems someone is awake" Severus said with an amused drawl, his dark eyes glittering as he watched the pair in amusement.
"He's getting so much bigger" Sirius said, his tone pleased, as he looked at the kitten currently cuddling against him.
"He is, he's a lot healthier out here, being away from all the pressure of Hogwarts and Britain" Severus said as Harry stretched out on Sirius' lap, his paws extended in the air lazily.
"I can tell" Sirius said rubbing lazy circles on Silver's tummy. "Not to mention his summer has been filled with normal teenage activities such as swimming, flying and hanging out with his friends"
The two men and one kitten lapsed into a comfortable silence all three enjoying each others company,
Albus Dumbledore sat at the head of the table in the dingy dining room of Grimmauld Place. His gnarled fingers steepled as he surveyed his rag-tag team of light fighters. Minerva was seated at his right, Remus and Sirius were in a corner conversing quietly, the few members of the Weasley family present were also seated together though Molly was in and out of the kitchen making tea and serving food.
"When are you going to bring Harry back from the Americas Albus, he needs to be here!" Molly said as she set a mug of tea in front of her husband and pinned the aged Headmaster with a glare. Albus still hadn't told the Order about Harry and Severus. He wasn't sure how they'd react but he was willing to bet his wand arm it wouldn't be good.
Sighing he surveyed the weary faces before him and realized he'd have to tell.
"Well, erm" He had the good grace to blush, "Harry never was sent to America" He paused letting the surprised and angry exclamations wash over him. Sirius was particularly vocal in his displeasure at hearing the man had lied.
"You see, the summer before fifth year I discovered something horrible..." Albus launched into the whole tale, telling them everything from the abuse to the animagus form to the adoption by Severus. As he spoke, horror slowly began to dawn on the faces of those around him. Molly looked livid and Ron's face had taken on an interesting shade of red.
"Y-you mean that cat was Harry?" The red head whispered in horror. He had tortured that damn cat, he had hated him, and the entire time it had been his best friend. Revulsion rose through him and a hand clamped over his mouth to keep himself from retching.
"Harry was adopted by Snape?" Sirius' strident voice rang out horrified. "You let that slimy snake adopt my godson? Have you lost your mind?" The animagus roared. Remus ducked his head, Sirius was a fantastic actor when he chose to be and no one would guess that he was already well aware of what had happened.
"It was the only option I had" Albus said, "However that is not the issue right now. Severus has resigned his position at Hogwarts, taken Harry and disappeared" Once again chaos reigned as soon as he had finished speaking. Instead of trying to regain control Albus let them rant while he thought about what to do. He knew the final showdown was coming, he knew Voldemort even know was seeking him out for battle but he was not yet ready for that. He needed Harry back, he was the only one who could defeat Voldemort, though Albus was sure he could give the man a run for his money. He didn't want to risk it however, Harry had been the perfect little solider and he would have done exactly what Albus needed him to do but then Dursley had almost killed the boy and he had had to step in. What he hadn't bargained on was Severus caring about Harry, adopting him and then taking the boy and running. He had asked Severus to take Harry because he knew the man would protect him but he had also hoped that Severus' hate of James Potter would prevent him from truly caring for the boy. Clearly he had over played his hand and now he had lost his weapon.
He had planned everything so perfectly and now it was all falling to bits. Harry would have either killed Voldemort or weakened him enough for Albus to step in and finish the job. Albus would have been a hero and people would once again place their trust in the wise Headmaster of Hogwarts as they had when he had beaten Grindelwald.
As people continued to bicker and argue Remus and Sirius slowly slipped out of the room. It was time, they knew what Albus was plotting now and they had to make their escape. Sirius planned to lock up the house once he and Remus were safe, denying Albus and the order the use of the house as well as keeping them from being able to follow him or Remus.
As the former Marauders snuck away, Ron and Hermione continued to reel at the news that Harry had been at Hogwarts. Both were horrified to realize that Harry had been the kitten Ron had so unfairly treated and damn near killed. It was Hermione who voiced the harsh realization first.
"We've lost him" She murmured softly, "He'll never be our friend again Ron. Not after what we did" She pinned Ron with an accusing stare, "After what you did" She added. Ron's shoulders slumped and he nodded, he had lost Harry. He knew he wouldn't be forgiven this latest transgression. However another realization slammed into Ron as he thought about the tiny kitten he had so tormented.
"He's Snape's now anyway" He hissed, his famous temper sparking as he thought about the last year. "He's a Slytherin now Hermione. He was there damn mascot. He doesn't care about us or this war" He sneered, a poor impression of Snape's but his message was still delivered. As much as he regretted hurting Harry, he wouldn't apologize for hurting a Slytherin and that was what Harry was now. A slimy snake, Snape's adopted son and damn if that didn't make him shudder. Hermione regarded Ron with sad eyes, she wasn't completely blameless in this mess but she still understood that what she had done was wrong and she wouldn't hold Snape against Harry. Looking around the table at the angry faces and the slight insanity in Dumbledore's eyes, Hermione realized that the war had already been lost. Voldemort had won and she honestly couldn't say if she was upset about that. Harry had already suffered enough and this group would have turned him into a murderer or a sacrifice. Biting her lip, Hermione felt silent and slowly began to think of her own escape from this madness.
-One Year Later-
Harry leaned contently against Severus' side as he stared out across the water the pair were having a quiet moment away from the group currently taking over their kitchen. The sun was setting slowly seemingly disappearing into the ocean and Harry was entranced by it. Severus' arm was placed comfortably around Harry's shoulders and the pair just watched the sun sink contently. The war had been won by Voldemort, not that anyone was surprised, Albus Dumbledore was dead having died during the battle of Hogwarts where the last stand of the 'light' had taken place. McGonagall was alive and the new Headmistress of Hogwarts, she had sworn not to fight Lord Voldemort after he had beaten Dumbledore but she had also sworn to give children the best education she could as well as protect them. Voldemort had agreed to that, while he may not be a fan of Gryffindors he knew what a powerful witch Minerva was and he was pleased she'd be around to teach future generations.
Flitwick, Sprout and most of Hogwarts staff had remained, choosing to keep teaching students as well as protecting Hogwarts. Many had returned to Hogwarts with the end of the war and the death of Dumbledore though Harry, Blaise and their Slytherin friends had remained withdrawn, choosing rather to continue with home schooling.
"It's been a long year hasn't it?" Severus said softly, breaking the comfortable silence.
"It has" Harry agreed, he was still small for his age, but he had put on some much needed weight and had some nice muscles from all the outdoor activities he had engaged in over the year. "But I wouldn't change it for a thing" He added.
Severus glanced at Harry surprised stamped on his features.
"You wouldn't?" Severus asked his tone surprised.
"No" Harry said, "Because if I did, I wouldn't have you or Blaise or anyone. I'd be alone or dead" He explained. It was such a simple response but the emotions involved were anything but simple. Severus' arm tightened and soon he was crushing Harry against him.
"I love you" He told his son. "And I am so glad you are part of my life"
Harry snuggled closer and nodded, a muffled 'love you too' coming from the teen.
"Alright you two, enough of the mushy stuff" Sirius said as he approached the pair a chef hat perched precariously on his head. "Dinner is ready" He added. Chuckling both Severus and Harry rose following the excited animagus inside where Blaise, Draco. Theo, Remus and Pansy were all awaiting them. Having escaped Dumbledore and England, Remus and Sirius had moved to Greece to be near Harry and Severus. Using Black funds, Sirius had purchased a small chalet nearby the pair, though with enough distance to allow everyone their much needed privacy. With Voldemort winning the war, Pettigrew had been captured and the new Minister, one Lucius Malfoy had pardoned Sirius, allowing the man his freedom though Sirius still refused to return to England.
Sliding into the kitchen, Harry sat down next to Blaise at the table and slipped his hand into his boyfriend's, grinning as he felt Blaise stroke his thumb softly.
The pair were still going strong but slow and neither could be happier. Draco and Pansy had begun dating a few months previous much to the pleasure of both their families and Theo was currently courting Daphne Greengrass. They were all beginning to grow up much to their parents despair.
"So is anyone returning to Hogwarts in September?" Remus asked as he began to place large platters of food on the table. Sirius was bouncing about wearing the chef hat, not that he could cook in the least, but he still liked the hat.
"I think the Greengrasses are going back" Draco said looking at Theo for confirmation.
"Yes, and most of the Ravenclaws are returning as are the 'Puffs and Gryffindors"
"Not to many Slytherins though?" Sirius asked curiously.
"No, most of us are homeschooling though a fair few went to Durmstrang" Blaise responded still cuddling Harry into his side.
Dinner conversation was quiet and content and after a delicious dinner, everyone was flooing back to their respective homes with promises to see one another over the next few days.
"Goodnight love" Blaise said kissing Harry tenderly before he stepped into the fire and flooed back to his home in Italy. His mother was introducing her to her newest husband later and Blaise wanted some time to prepare before that happened.
"See you tomorrow!" Harry cried as Blaise disappeared into the green flames, leaving Harry, Severus and the marauders at the house.
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY HARRY"
The brunette teen took a step back and let out an involuntary squeak as he saw the large group of people awaiting him in Blaise's sitting room. The once tiny teen had grown into a lovely young man, he still wasn't tall but he had filled out nicely and no longer looked like he was starving. As he stared out at the large group of people awaiting him, an easy smile slid onto his face.
"I can't believe you're seventeen" Severus moaned playfully as he pulled his son into a tight hug.
"Me neither" Sirius agreed from where he was stationed near a large, chocolate cake shaped like a snitch.
Soon Harry was socializing with his friends, Blaise's arm wrapped around his waist as he laughed uproariously at something Fred, or was it George, Weasley had said. Severus, Remus and Sirius were all standing nearby each of them watching the young man they regarded as theirs laugh.
"I can't believe how far he's come in two years" Severus said sipping his wine. Madame Zabini had provided them with the wine since she couldn't be there for Harry's party.
"Me neither. You've done amazing Severus. I don't think I've ever seen him so happy" Remus said his warm eyes crinkled in happiness. Sirius just beamed, his face flushed happily from all the wine he had enjoyed.
Harry stood on tiptoe and pecked Blaise on the cheek. His lover had gotten them tickets to the Quidditch World Cup, held in Ireland that year, for his birthday present. The two would go for a week and enjoy the sights of Ireland as well as the match.
"Thank you" The emerald green teen said softly.
"You're welcome" Blaise said with a grin as he sipped his own wine. Harry wrinkled his nose at that, much preferring butterbeer to wine or most liquors.
The pair continued to wander about stopping to chat with all their friends though they studiously ignored the corner that Daphne and Theo had hidden themselves in, there were some things they just did not need to see.
"Are you surprised that Grainger has returned to Hogwarts?" Blaise asked Harry curiously, they had received some tidbits of news from the twins and he was curious about Harry's reaction.
"No, she'd want to finish her education, no matter what" Harry said, "I am surprised that Ron's going back. I didn't think he'd want anything to do with a Voldemort controlled Hogwarts" Blaise just snorted.
"He'll probably try and rally some sort of school children army. You know how he is" The tall Italian teen muttered. Harry snorted, probably. Ron wasn't exactly bright.
"I just hope he leaves Neville and Luna alone. They're going back this year as well" He glanced up, finding the gleaming blonde hair of his friend standing not far off. She was wearing her radish earrings and chatting amicably with a bemused looking Draco.
"He will. Neville has grown up a lot, he won't let the likes of Ronald Weasley bully him" Blaise said watching Draco and Luna converse with a smirk. Luna had fit in amazingly with their group of friends, paving the way for Neville who had struck up an easy friendship with Theo and Blaise though he and Draco still weren't close.
Harry leaned against Severus' shoulder, the pair standing at the back of the room watching everyone mingle and talk.
"Happy Birthday" Severus said softly nudging his son lightly.
"Thanks...Dad" Harry responded with a grin, ignoring the way Severus' breath caught in his throat. Though Harry had mentally referred to Severus' as his Dad, or described him that way to other people, he had never actually called Severus the name. A huge grin broke out on the former dungeon bat's face and he pulled his son into a hug.
"You brat" He muttered affectionately into Harry's ear ignoring the teen's chuckle. That title made everything he had done worth it. He knew James and Lily would always be Harry's parents, but to know Harry truly felt that way for him was awe inspiring.
"Go party" He ordered roughly ignoring the imp's roughish grin as he went to rejoin his friends.
Watching Harry socialize, Severus grinned. He had come a long way from that poor, broken little kitten that had wormed his way into Severus' once cold heart. Silver had saved both him and Harry and for that he would always be thankful. Who knew that all it would take was a silver kitten animagus form to make Harry and Severus into a family and to grant Harry the life he truly deserved? Chuckling at the thought Severus eyed his wine glass, perhaps he had had to much to drink. Shaking his head he went back to join the party a small smile playing over his features. Life was good.
A/N: Here it is guys! The end! Hope you liked it. If you want to know whats going on in my writing life, or just my life in general you can follow me both on twitter ( BloodyRed_Queen) or Facebook (BloodyRed Queen)
Thanks for sticking with me through this. Remember this isn't beta'd, so mistakes are mine!