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Family Matters

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"You know Minerva, that reminds me of the time Harry Potter and Hermione Granger…"

Albus was launching into another story featuring those stupid ruddy little twits known as the 'Dream Team' to some, just the trio to others and a pile of dunderheads as far as Snape was concerned. The staff of Hogwarts was in the staff room around a long narrow table, getting ready for the new semester when McGonagall had mentioned something about a polyjuice potion.

"Could we for once, not compare everything to those little twits?" Snape interrupted, shooting Albus a meaningful glance. Albus raised an eyebrow in warning at the man’s tone. When startled looks shot out at him from around the large table in the swirling around from the group and out of the staff room he sighed heavily and stood.

"It doesn't matter that Potter and his ilk have graduated almost three years ago, " he spat looking to Albus and Minerva, "you all never stopped talking about the bloody boy and remarkably tiresome friends."

With that, the enigmatic Professor whirled and strode out of the staff room, not caring that all the staff of Hogwarts was now whispering about him upon his departure. Seemed the meetings were always ending with him rushing off whenever Potter and his friends were mentioned.

Albus and the rest of the staff looked to the miserable Professor's departure, wondering why the man was so engulfed in misery. Everyone knew that Snape was miserable, that was his character that was who he was.

"I don't know what's wrong with that man," Minerva commented looking to Albus with a small frown. "I only brought up Potter and the lot of them because that's the last time I can remember Snape being, well, not so horrible."

"I know what you mean," Albus said scratching his chin through his long, white beard. "It seems that after that whole lot graduated he became even worse."

"Strange though," Minerva said, "I mean he didn't even like any of them. "

"Perhaps we do talk about them too much," Professor Sprout offered, her chubby hands placed over her notebook as she looked to them inquiringly. The rest of the staff echoed a reluctant 'maybe' behind her.

Madame Hooch suddenly looked to them incredulously, "Perhaps I'm the only one who remembers that Harry Potter and his group saved us from bloody Voldemort! Or have we all forgotten that small tidbit?"

"Severus did his part too and Lupin," Madame Pomfrey called from near the end of the table, her large eyes blazing as they remembered the fallen professor.  "That's the part everyone's forgotten."

"Ladies," Flitwick offered gentlemanly, smiling to them both, "we all know that Harry, Hermione, Ron and most definitely Snape and Lupin are to be thanked for the demise of Voldemort. “

"There is something else bothering Snape," Professor Trelwany spouted as everyone in the staffroom groaned. "His heart is in grave danger."

Everyone at the table either groaned or laughed at that one. Snape's heart in danger?

"Oh shut up you old quack," Madame Hooch said exasperatedly, as Sprout stopped her from throwing a paper airplane at the meditating witch.

"All right," Albus offered, trying to sooth Madame Hooch and keep the peace. "I think we should all calm down and stick to the matters at hand."

Madame Pince shrugged her bony shoulders until the blades almost met and looked to the group. "I require more funding for the Library."

The rest of the staff got down to business talking about funding and so forth while the infamous Professor Snape was soon forgotten. No one really guessing that Professor Trelawny's warning may just be correct.

* * *

"Idiots," Snape murmured sulkily, pouring another glass of red wine and standing at the window, looking down at the Quidditch field. He recalled a time when he used to referee for such a game, now he claimed he hadn't the time.

He never really admitted to himself why he had become so much more miserable, or why he was slowly drawing away from Hogwarts society. He could often be found reading in his study or marking papers, and no one really wanted to bother him not even to ask him to referee a game or host detention.

He hadn't changed at all over the three years since Potter's departure; his hair was still an iron black which hung above his shoulders. His skin was still pale, his mouth still a solid frown. He still deducted points with the same vigor, still attended meals in the Great Hall and still taught Potions with that same intense passion that other's feared. Most. After all, it had only been three years.

Three long years.

Suddenly Snape’s attention was drawn to a large black raven that soared through the open window of his chambers. He immediately recognized that bird, knew whose it was in an instant. That same stupid bird that had been the constant pain in his side. He took a large swig of his wine, draining the glass of its rich remnants and drew closer to the dodgy bird.

"Good to see you Chansy," he murmured, suddenly placing the large wine glass on the raven's head, and twisted it ensuring it wouldn't come off. 

The bird battled with it a moment, his clawed feet trying desperately to pop it off. No luck. After a flurry of squawking and feathers Chansy finally stopped, looking to Snape furiously through dark eyes.

Snape smirked darkly and made his way over to his favorite chair by the fire. After pouring himself another glass of wine he reluctantly opened the scroll.

Dear Snivellus,

Severus sighed, he knew exactly who it was. From the messy writing on the parchment to the nickname he'd obtained far before Black and Potter. He frowned, it was Austere.
Austere Snape.

Little bugger.

Austere was Snape's younger pain in the ass brother who himself hadn't gone to wizarding school like his older brother. He instead proved to be quite 'Muggle-brilliant' as his family claimed, and gone onto some prestigious University and graduated top of his class in medicine.

Snape felt his stomach churn as he recalled the day his parents had told him he was to have a little brother. He had been almost sixteen at the time, and very much into the dark forces. He had frowned and left the room without a word, his mother's concealed sobs emitting from behind him as he shut the door to his room.

His heart tugged at this memory a bit. Austere was such a saving grace for them, his stomach lurched again. Must be the wine.

Snape never really got past the feeling that Austere was their replacement for him, the right son. This may have been the reason he had ostracized him so readily, that he never really spoke with his brother. No matter.

But why was his younger brother writing to him at all? They usually only corresponded when holidays came around. Snape rarely went away for holidays, and Austere knew this. Always tried to force him over to the family manor for Christmas dinner and so forth.

Little prat, Snape thought miserably, not paying attention to the scroll and lost in past memories.

Suddenly the raven cawed behind him, muffled in the glass and obviously wanting release along with something to eat or drink. Snape's eyes narrowed as he stood, and grasping Chansy by the neck, tugged off the wine glass and promptly threw the damned bird out the window before he shut it soundly.

Chansy dropped a few feet and then with a muted call, flew off in the direction of the Snape manor. Severus sighed and strode over to the hearth again, opening the scroll and preparing for the worst. Sadly even that never could have prepared him.

Dear Snivellus,

How are you dearest brother? How are the drafty confines of Hogwarts? My days are greatly brighter now that I have found the love of my life. Yes, I Austere Snape have found true love, and am cordially inviting you to the wedding to be held at the family home in three weeks time. But, I also ask of you to be my best man.

Snape rolled eye eyes, this sounded all too much like his stupid, younger brother. Another sip of wine and a groan later he wondered aloud who the woman could have been. Austere was not a man to be easily won over, he was already 30, and not surprisingly hadn't shown any interest in marriage. The woman must be phenomenal in many ways. Snape read on darkly, jealousy and anger consuming him.

I would like it if you could come two weeks in advance, to help me (Mum's going quite overboard!) also being best man entails that you may help with run throughs and organization etc. You always were splendid at that. As for my fiancée, She was a student at the very school that you taught, and she is the light of my life. I hope that you may become good friends and perhaps your time over holidays will be spent at our home. I know this may be asking a lot but I hope you agree. Please owl me as soon as you possibly can. I hope to see you on Saturday.

All the best dear brother,

Austere Snape.

P.s. Also Severus, my fiancée ensures she knows of you, but guarantees that you shall have forgotten her. I told her that this was absurd, that you have a mind like a steel trap. Surely you recall a certain student named-

Snape's heart leapt into his throat as he viewed the girl's name, he read it over and over to make sure it was right. No, it couldn't be her. Of all the witches in the entire world, why her? Finally the paper fell to his lap and all he could so was gaze at the name staring up at him.

Hermione Granger.