Playing with Trolls
Meanwhile, back in London“Mr. Potter, Mr. Weasley,” Severus greeted them. “Is there a problem? You look as though you've both seen a ghost.”
Harry and Ron stopped in their tracks.
Ron was the first to respond. “You're dead.”
“Really,” Severus drawled as Buffy bit the inside of her cheek to stop a rising giggle. “Are you quite certain about that Mr. Weasley?”
Harry remained quiet as the server reappeared bringing two drinks to the table where his dead professor sat. And Professor Snape was dead. The whole wizarding world new that Snape was dead. He
knew that Snape had died. No one could have survived Nagini's multiple strikes even if they could have somehow survived Voldemort's cutting curse. Severus Snape was dead and buried which meant that whoever he was looking at was not the Professor except somehow Harry was positive it was.
The silence stretched beyond the point of awkwardness when Buffy finally spoke up.
“Sev, you might as well ask them to join us. They look as though they could use a drink.”
“As you wish my dear. Please join us.” He turned to the server. “Two more butterbeers for our...friends.”
“Better make mine a fire whiskey,” Ron muttered as he pulled a chair over from a neighboring table.
Buffy whispered something to the girl before she left to get the additional drinks.
Silence once again fell as the two aurors sat down.
Severus was more than content to let the pair shift uncomfortably. His death had been well-documented in the immediate aftermath of the war by both the Quibbler
and the more respectable Daily Prophet
. Of course, the Prophet
's Rita Skeeter penned a report of the event that was wildly inaccurate in nearly every respect and then went on to embellish it even further in her later so-called biography. His daughter's copy of the latest edition of Hogwarts: A History
devoted an entire chapter to last wizarding war and his exploits, and death, had merited a total of 224 words, not counting footnotes. It was surprisingly accurate and relatively unbiased. Yes, as far as the wizarding world was concerned (and to its relief), Severus Snape died in 1998. Severus Prince was rather enjoying himself at the moment.
“How, how did you do it,” Harry finally got out.
“Do what, Mr. Potter?”
“Fake your death. How did you fool everybody? We saw you die.”
Severus took a sip of his drink. “I didn't fake anything.”
“Then who did,” Harry wanted to know.
“No one, Mr. Potter. Severus Snape died, killed by the Dark Lord or possibly Nagini. I'm still not certain which wound was ultimately the fatal one.”
“Bloody hell,” Ron swore. “You must have made your own Horcruxes.”
Severus remained quiet as the server brought the newcomers their drinks.
“Do you really think so poorly of me Mr. Weasley? Wait, of course you do,” he sneered. “My return from the dead was purely unintentional.”
“How does one unintentionally come back from the dead,” Ron asked. “Take a wrong turn on your way to hell?”
Buffy scowled at the redhead. “Mr. Weasley, there is no need to be insulting. Sorry to disabuse you of your childhood fantasy but Sev was not destined for hell. His return was the byproduct of several spells done by a very powerful and very arrogant witch.”
“Who would want to bring him back,” Ron retorted. “Besides, resurrection spells are prohibited.”
“Prohibited doesn't mean they aren't used, Mr. Weasley. As an auror, and yes I am aware that you are one, you should have noticed that by now. And if you bothered to listen, we both said that his return was not the intended result.”
“Ah,” Severus interrupted. “I was wondering when the brains of your little group was going to arrive. I see she finally managed to tame the thicket on the top of her head.”
Harry and Ron turned around and saw Hermione approaching their table.
“Hermione, you're supposed to be with Ginny.” Ron sputtered.
“Don't be ridiculous Ronald. You should know me better by now,” Hermione said before turning her attention to the older man sitting at the table. “Professor Snape?”
“Miss Granger, or is it Mrs. Weasley? I'm afraid that I rarely keep tabs on my former students, especially the annoying ones.”
Buffy giggled. “Sev, you know perfectly well it's Mrs. Weasley. I distinctly remember you lamenting on the potential tragedy that their offspring were likely to have her hair and his brains.”
“Professor Snape, it really is you,” Hermione said softly as she pulled a chair over to the table.
“Obviously,” Severus said.
“How did you survive? We watched you die.”
“We were just getting to that Mrs. Weasley,” Buffy replied. “Severus did die and went, as they say, to his reward. Not, Mr. Weasley hell but heaven I think, or at least a place where he was at peace. Several years later a very power, very arrogant witch decided to resurrect a champion. She was successful but Severus was pulled part way back as well. Less than a year later, the witch went mad. She tried to send the champion back. It didn't quite work as planned. Her target survived and Sev returned to the land of living.”
“That's not possible,” Harry said. “The Ministry would have known. The Aurors would have been sent.”
“To California? Doubtful,” Buffy said. Her home reality's California, definitely not. She was not inclined to share that tidbit of information just yet. “Your ministry hasn't had jurisdiction there since... Sev?”
“1815 following the Muggle war between England and the United States,” he supplied.
“Why didn't you let anyone know that you were back Professor?”
“How do you know I didn't Mrs. Weasley?” Snape took a sip of his drink.
“Well did you?” Harry asked.
“No. I did not announce my return to the wizarding world at large because it was no one's business but my own.”
“Or you didn't want to a trip to Azkaban.”
“Or an Avada from one of Voldemort's supporters, Mr. Weasley. I had no idea how many Death Eaters might still be at large. Considering how many slipped past the Ministry after the first war, there could have easily been dozens.”
“We got the last of them years ago,” Ron boasted.
“Really. I could have sworn Lucius Malfoy escaped...again,” Severus drawled.
“Er, well, the Malfoys got off because of Narcissa's help during the last battle.”
“I suppose the 'I was imperioused' excuse was getting a bit stale.”
“But to wait so many years,” Harry said. “Why surface now?”
“Harry, think about where we were earlier today. Why you were there,” Hermione said exasperated with her dense friend. “He was sending his child to Hogwarts.”
“Five points to Gryffindor, Mrs. Weasley.”
Ron looked rather ill. “Did anyone warn the school?”
Buffy laughed. “Sev considered it.”
“Bloody hell. We should at least owl Neville.”
“Don't tell me that dunderhead is teaching.”
Harry grinned. “Cheer up, Professor. He's the new professor of herbology, not potions.”
“Thank Merlin for small mercies.”
“He's going to faint when he hears the name Snape called out at the sorting feast though,” Ron chimed in.
“Why would he hear the name Snape?” Buffy asked.
“You changed your name?”
Severus rolled his eyes. “I was trying not
to announce my return to the living. What do you think?”
“Sev, please tell me that he was not one of Hogwarts better students because if he is, Durmstrang is starting to look very appealing.”