The morning owls came fluttering in, delivering papers along with letters and packages from home to students. With graduation mere hours away, many of them were weighted down with last minute dress robes and for a select few jewels and the like; three large owls beat their wings above the teachers table waiting on the haunted faced potions master to direct them to come close.
Severus paid them no mind not even realizing they waited for him until Minerva touched his arm and quirked her eyes up to them. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Maybe that snakebite had taken his attention span when it failed at taking his life.
No, he knew it wasn't the snakebite that had sapped his will to live that was entirely because of the long haired twinkling eyed bastard of a wizard who usually sat three chairs to his left.
Albus had lied and cheated, tying him to Hogwarts as his jail for the rest of his natural life in doing so.
All his hope at finding himself alive, free and a begrudged hero of the Wizarding world was gone, maybe he should have killed him that night on the AstronomyTower. He would have, had he known that Albus had made changes to his estate bequeathing the entirety to the Order! He himself had only a faint unspoken dream of living but Albus had not even allowed him that! Only his books that he had stringently made arrangements for remained his thanks to Irma Prince who had returned each and every one when he left the hospital, now he was just waiting on Albus to retire tomorrow and then he would become Headmaster again.
No home, if Spinners End could have ever been considered such, a sparkling new near empty Gringotts vault, a reputation just barely on this side of good; hero or not his past still loomed large. They should just send him to the Dementors, Dark Saviour his ass!
Minerva patted his arm again dragging his mind away from dreams of castrating, and mounting Albus' body above the Great Hall entrance.
Severus gathered three pieces of bacon, no need to add owl faeces to his morning, and one by one took the packages giving the owls their treat. The first carried a Ministry seal. He popped that one open first. You never knew when the Wizengamot would pass an Anti-Death Eater law. It was a Ministry death notice his great aunt had died. He didn't remember this aunt; he'd probably never met her, hell he didn't know most of the wretches his mother had called relatives. He took it the same way he'd taken the rest of his failure of a family's death notices like a stranger had died.
Shrugging he reached for the second parchment a solicitor's seal this time, Oh goody who was trying to sue him this time? Didn't the dunderheads understand they could not sue him for acts of war? Anyway fucking Albus had made sure there was nothing for them to get. Most of his books could not be sold at least not legally, they were grandfathered into a new law so they never could be passed on to non- familial connections unless dozens of rigorous rules were followed, not even to mention he didn't know ninety-nine percent, OK, ok ninety-seven percent of the people the Dark Lord had had murdered. He'd killed a fair few, yes, but not every single one.
Surprisingly the second parchment was a notice of the reading of his aunt's will. As next of kin the solicitor offered to come to him at his leisure. Severus thinned his lips to minuscule threads, with his luck he was about to inherit a bunch of substandard dark magic books and debt, just a banner closing of a year for Snape! This followed the death notice once shrunk into his voluminous pockets.
Finally was an unexpected Gringotts package, the matchbox package expanded with a tap of his wand to the size of a shoebox inside lay several parchments. Severus opened the top one which stated this was his aunt's magical accounts which were now his and his wand had automatically at her death become the soul one capable of opening her vaults, he was asked to come to any location to finalize the turn over, it also noted her solicitor would contact him about her Muggle accounts. The second parchment was an account statement, one with an impressive amount of zeroes at the end of it. Merlin she was richer than Malfoy! Merlin's left bollocks HE was richer than Malfoy! Lucius was going to piss himself!
Heart beating a military tattoo in his chest Severus kept going, next came a smaller box with four numbered vault scrolls, who needed four vaults? Under them keys, one key drew him; he remembered it from his childhood his mother sneaking him to visit her own mother behind both their husband's backs. Oversized with a worn leather tassel as he touched it he was surprised at the sound of elf apparition. Three elves stood before him the oldest he knew, Plum!
She had apparated to the Snape home bringing food and treats when possible for a few memorable years of his childhood when they had found themselves barred from the ancestral home, his grandfather had put a stop to that final kindness; the elf gazed at him with large kind eyes filled with tears.
"Master young Prince, but this glamour is no good for the Lord Prince, no good!"
With that, Plum snapped her fingers and a mere house elf undid the very best of Albus Dumbledore's glamour work. The hall went from silent to still. Severus Snape the greasy git and great bat of Hogwarts had just had over 30 years of glamour removed and he looked 25 years younger.
His sallow skin had now had a somewhat healthier glow, gone were most of the harsh foreboding lines except for the one between his eyes but it was no longer such a gulf.
His face had smoothed, his perpetual, thin, lipped sneer relaxed as if his facial muscles had long been pulled too tight. Thin lank hair that had gotten him the moniker of greasy git now looked thick, lush, small glints of mahogany highlights showing. His nose however remained the same large hooked beak that it ever was.
The elf then gave a self-satisfied nod and smiled baring her sharp teeth "we wanted to look for Young Master but Mistress said looking was futile, then you became a Death Eater! We were so angry, Mistress cried for days, we were so happy you were secret.".
Plum slapped him neatly on his hand then held his face between her thin long fingers looking into his black eyes with a look quite similar to that of a parent with a beloved child, oblivious to the looks of the students and teachers, finally one of the younger elves pulled her way.
"Lord Prince we are pleased to serve!"
He bowed low, ears scraping floor white starched pillowcase trembling, as a gasp went thru the hall from those students closest and started a rushed avalanche of whispers.
Severus finally remembered where he was. He stood and barked an order for the elves to follow sweeping from the room
The Great Hall was abuzz but Ginny Wesley summed it up almost perfectly with "blimey the greasy git was near good looking just now wasn't he?"
The Slytherin table was abuzz, Lord Prince they had all heard Snape called Lord Prince!
There had been no Lord Prince for at least a couple decades. They had all read the same Who's Who books. The last Lord Prince, Professor's Snape's grandfather, had been dead longer than any of them had been alive. If Snape was Lord Prince he would have become that as soon as Snape's grandfather died, many rushed to get owls to out their families, Professor Snape no matter his spying and not being true to pureblood ideology as Lord Prince was interesting news to send home.
The other tables were much slower on the uptake, the most worried of them was Hermione who after nodding agreement to Ginny yes Professor Snape looked much improved, ignored some silly comment by Ron, whispered to Harry "Do you think Lord's take apprentices?"
Hermione rushed to finish her breakfast and go down to the dungeons if Professor Snape was leaving her Master-less for her apprenticeship she needed to know immediately, apprenticeships were hard to come by and this was her future, his Lordship had bloody well still be willing to teach!