attackfish: Ron, drinking "felix felicis" while Harry watches, text "Always be specific when you lie" (Harry and Ron Rule 7)
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Disclaimer: Do I have to say it? I'm not making any money off this, because I own none of it.

Summary: Addendum to No Difference, As her son grows up, Eileen watches Lily Evans, James Potter and Tom Riddle.


 

Fairytale Princess



The first time Eileen saw Lily Evans and her almond shaped green eyes, she swallowed hard.  She knew those eyes.  With her son standing next to the girl, she wondered if underneath the glamour, he had those eyes too.  She listened with only half an ear to what he said about her, watching her eagerly, seeing little things here and there that she recognized, and wandering if she just saw them because she wanted to.  Then Lily opened her mouth, and Eileen knew.  Something familiar in the timbre of her voice told her this girl was source of Harry's eyes.  "I'm very glad to meet you, Miss Evans," she smiled.

"Mum, she's a witch!"  Severus' excitement bubbled over his sullenness and bad temper and something shone from his eyes.  Perhaps on some instinctive level, he even knew what she was.

"And she'll grow into a very powerful one, I'm sure," if her son was anything to go by, very powerful.

Severus beamed, or as close as he ever came to it, smiling smugly.

"Severus told me you could show me real magic," Lily told her imperiously, "and that you had a magic wand."

Eileen pulled her wand out of her apron and tapped the chair, "Wingardium Leviosa."  It floated a few feet into the air, wobbling a bit, and bobbed over to her.

"Wow," she giggled, sitting on it as it drifted around the room.  "Wow."

"I told you," Severus swung his arms.

She slid of the chair and bounded back to Eileen, the chair following at her heels.  "Can Severus come over for dinner tomorrow?" she begged, her hands stretched behind her back, "please?"

"If your parents say it's alright," she responded dubiously.

"They will," Lily said confidently.

When Lily left the room to use th toilet, Eileen put her arm around her son's shoulder and pulled him close.  "You will not tell her family about magic, or let her tell them!" she ordered, urgently.  "They'll find out when she gets her Hogwarts letter, not before."

Severus blushed, but he just tossed his head and suppressed it.  "I already told her sister."

"If she says anything to her parents, say it was a game, and get your new friend to say it too."  She kept her voice low, so that their guest couldn't hear her, both eyes fixed on the door in case Tobias stumbled home early.

"Why does it matter?" he hissed defiantly, but thankfully quiet.  "They're going to know anyway when she gets her Hogwarts letter."

She grabbed his chin sharply and held him looking into her eyes.  "You will not get us dragged in front of the Ministry, do you hear me?"

Severus nodded, "Yeah, I won't tell them then."

"And you won't say a word about her to your father."  Seeing Lily, something like glee bubbled up within her, overwhelming her with the simple fact that Tobias Snape was not her son's father.

~*~

Eileen straightened her son's Hogwarts tie and his conical hat.  "Everything packed?"

"Yes," he growled, batting her hands away.

"What's wrong?" she queried, "When you came home, I thought you'd be full of stories about Hogwarts, and then, nothing.  You've barely said anything."  She snapped her finger and grimaced.  "So?"

He glowered.  "It's none of your business," he mumbled, letting all of the words run together and crossing his arms.

Eileen pulled his arms out of their grip around each other.  "I went to Hogwarts too," she reminded him, "You aren't going to tell me anything I haven't already seen."

Severus' had snapped back on his neck so fast that it bounced back down.  His expression might have been appalled if it weren't so enraged.  "Are you trying to say you know what I'm going through?" he hissed, making his voice lower the angrier he became.  "Are you trying to be sympathetic?  You have no idea."

Eileen held her ground, setting her feet apart, for a moment seeing him as the hero Harry had assured her he would be, Sorted into her house, determined, proud, and unflinching, all the energy of that temper fixed on something else entirely, something great. The sight almost overwhelmed her, the faint prickling of something in her throat almost welling up, but she didn't let it.  "I can't have any idea if you don't tell me anything," she told him stubbornly, but he only narrowed his eyes.  Finally, with an exasperated sigh, she shoved the floo powder pot into his hands.  "Don't use too much," she said at last.  He obeyed that, at least, throwing only a pinch into the fire before shouting "Kings Cross, Platform Nine and Three Quarters."  She slid the pot back into place on the mantle and tossed her own portion of powder into the flames, following him in a greenish swirl.

When she looked up after dusting her skirt, she could see Severus waiting for her, his jaw clenched so tightly that the blood fled his cheeks, leaving them even more sallow than usual.  The abrupt need to know what he looked like underneath the glamour had her pulling her arm out of the sleeve of her blouse, but she forced it back in and clenched her hands.  "I'm going to be late," he muttered when she pulled a piece of ash off of the tip of his hat.  She nodded, unable to say anything.

Shaking the ash and dust off of his school robe, he picked his way through the crowd in a ground devouring stride, and it was only his swift movement that enabled Eileen to see his small form through the gaggle of older students and parents.  Even as she stood with his trunk, waiting for him to dart back to her to retrieve it, she couldn't help smile sadly.

With his trunk in hand, he pushed back through the crush to the train more sedately to keep the trolley from toppling over.  He didn't speed up or even acknowledge them, but as he passed a group of boys in Gryffindor ties, he clutched his wand inside his sleeve, and his steps became stiff and jerky.  She couldn't hear what they said because they kept their insults whispered, but she could see the corner of her son's mouth move as he snarled back a reply without deigning to look at them.

Two of the boys had black hair, and through she couldn't see much else about them, she heard Harry telling her that Severus had gone to school with Harry's father, and a niggling suspicion built as she followed the boys, desperate to see who would bully her son.  Despite her suspicions, when James Potter turned around to eye her, bewilderedly, she fell back,momentarily unable to breathe.  She knew that hair, that chin, those cheekbones, that mouth, and everything else.

~*~

The door slammed behind him when he thundered his way up the stairs.  "Severus!" his mother shouted after him, "Don't stomp."

He didn't answer and she went back to folding the laundry, slamming Tobias' flannel shirts into the hamper enough to send the basket spinning off of the couch.  She carried the hamper, one armed up the stairs, and at the top, she turned the knob on her son's bedroom door and let it swing open.

He glared at her, "Why are you invading my room?" he demanded irately, dropping his book onto the bed and leaping to his feet.  She gazed at him, taking in the gawkiness and spectacular lack of physical appeal that hadn't been there the summer before.  He must look very like Harry indeed, she decided, to take after Tobias that powerfully.  "Get out!"

"You've barely set foot out of your room all summer," she said, neutrally, setting his laundry on the bed.  She'd probably have to buy him new trousers soon, if she applied another stretching charm to them, they'd rip apart.

"I have homework," he snarled.

Eileen shot him a sidelong look.  "I haven't seen Lily either.  Are you going to invite her over at all?"  Severus flinched visibly against the bed spread, his skin blanching.  Producing a sound somewhere between a growl and a sigh, he pulled his book back up and leaned in so close that his nose touched the pages.  "You can't read like that," she raised her eyebrows.

He shot her a poisonous glower.  "Get out."

"Are you going to invite her over?"

"No, get out!"

Eileen leaned against the wall.  "Are you two fighting?  Because if you are-"

"Mum!"  Dust puffed over the book as he closed it with a thump.

"The best thing to do is to talk to her," she finished, hitching the hamper higher up in her arms.

"She's not going to listen, go away!

But Eileen didn't listen either.  "Did you do something unforgivable then?"

"No," he spat, "It's all Potter's fault anyway."  Funny, Eileen thought.

"Ah."  Something in the back of his expression, a vulnerability and loss, left her wide eyed, the air in her chest leaving her all at once in a great rush.  Oh, she was glad Severus had fought with Lily, very very glad, because he didn't just love his grandmother, he was in love with her.  She wondered why she'd never noticed that before.

"Don't you have anything better to do?" he snapped, rounding his shoulders and hunching in on himself.

"No," she said before she closed the door, "you're my son after all."

~*~

"It's summer," Eileen exclaimed when she saw her son in lieu of a greeting.  "What are you doing wearing long sleeves?"

The bell above the door chimed when it opened, and Severus gritted his teeth.  "Mum, I have customers."

Eileen flipped through the barrel of rattlesnake rattles, trying to find three large ones without scratches and chips.  "And what am I?"

"You're different," he informed her, his words clipped.

She raised her eyebrows until her forehead wrinkled  into her hair, just beginning to grey.  "Of course I am, I'm your mother."

"You're going to get me sacked," he hissed before turning to help a father buy a basic set of ingredients for a soon to be first year.  Eileen slipped the rattles into her purse.

As the father and his daughter left, leaving them alone, Eileen saw a dark green stain on the hem of the sleeve of his greying robe.  "Really, Severus," she said, snatching his arm and pushing up his sleeve, "you should roll these up, it's not like you can afford to buy new robes every time you..." she saw the inside of his wrist and stopped short.  "What's this?"

He pulled down his sleeve, but not before his mother saw the snake and skull in puffy red lines against his pale wrist.  "It's nothing," he growled warningly.

"That's, that's," she threw his arm away from her and stumbled back.  "That's the symbol You Know Who sends up above his kills!  Severus, you didn't..."

"Didn't what?" he challenged, flicking his hair out of his face, pulling his arm close against his chest.

Her eyes narrowed in the too bright apothecary.  "You didn't join him," she raged, her voice low.  "You aren't that stupid."

Severus backed up as if slapped, the back of his knees hitting against the counter.  "Someone has to do something for our kind!"

"Your kind?" she shouted, "Your kind?  Severus, you're a half-blood, you're not the kind he fights for and you never will be.  If he wins, he will throw you down, and the Malfoys, Lestranges, Blacks and the rest will walk all over what's left of you.  What do you think he'd to to Lily Evans if he won?"

Something sick flashed across his face, "Lily Potter, and it doesn't matter."

Eileen stopped whatever expression was bout to spread across her face from forming.  "Doesn't it then," she burst out as she yanked the door open.  In that moment, she wondered horrified exactly which side her son would be a hero to.

~*~

Eileen stared at the figures in the newspaper photograph on the table in front of her.  The black and white print took away the fantastic brilliance of Lily's eyes, and she wished the obituary writers might have found another photograph of the couple than one of their wedding.  She turned back to the front page and touched the name in the first paragraph, Harry Potter.  the baby in the photograph above opened its eyes sleepily and glanced up at her, seeming to recognize her and discount her before going back to sleep.  Her thumb traced the garish, badly sketched in scar on his forehead and she read what the article called the Potters, heroes.

She supposed that after a week, she should bin the newspaper, but she couldn't make herself yet.  Her hands trembled a bit when she read the birthday of boy who would grow up to become the father of her child.  July 31, 1980 was the same day Tobias walked into the center of the road drunk and died when someone crashed into him.  She bit the inside of her cheek.

She left the newspaper on the table and Apparated in front of the grubby little apartment her son rented in a grubby little Muggle neighborhood.  He opened the door before she could even knock.  "Hi," she said.

His chin wrinkled.  "What do you want?"

She shrugged. "To offer my condolences."  He glanced up sharply as she brushed past him into his apartment.  "What's all this?" she asked, plucking a roll of parchment off of the table and reading.  "All your old Hogwarts essays?"

"Only the Potions ones," he muttered, closing the door behind him.  "Dumbledore hired me to teach.  I start after the Christmas holiday."

She nodded and set it back down.  "Why?"

"I've been spying for him for the last several months."  If he had been doing much more than moving his lips, his words might have been condescending.

She rubbed his back, grimacing.  She thought she knew when he started.  A sense of resignation had overcome him that she didn't understand until then.  Being a hero, she supposed, didn't mean one was happy.  Her memory twisted back to the morning after his conception, and let her hear something she hadn't before.  Dying a hero meant he had to die.

He looked up at her when her hand on his back stilled.

 

Fairytale Princess

Date: 2008-11-14 04:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dramagirl007.livejournal.com
I'm glad you're still continuing the No Difference series even if they are just one shots. I really liked this story. I can feel what Eileen is feeling. I hope you write another one shot about the future where Severus knows Harry is his father. Keep up the good work. :)

Re: Fairytale Princess

Date: 2008-11-14 04:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] attackfish.livejournal.com
I'm glad you like it. I think I'll keep popping out oneshots every so often. No Difference hasn't let go of me yet.

I liked writing Eileen so much in ND that I couldn't help writing a little more of her in that universe.

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