Its Bloody Better: Harry Snape and Time Paradox @veritygrahams
Halloween

A/N: I do not own Harry Potter

Hi guys. Thanks for all the reviews. I have gained a few more followers on this one, so welcome to the madhouse. I have finished with Locked in a Vault now. This WIP is my main focus; this should mean quicker chapters and more consistent posting. Let’s cross our fingers and hope I follow through.

This chapter did take longer than it should have because I deleted everything as it just wasn’t working.

Still not got a beta on these, so I am taking longer to give myself space and then beta them myself. It’s hard work. Oh, well!

If anyone would like what I wrote of the meeting between James Potter, James Jr, Snape and Harry, I can post it as a oneshot, but it wasn’t relevant to the story. It is a good insight into Severus and James working together and ‘dad club.’

Onward!

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Lily Snape stood in the staff room with her cup of coffee; she was staring at the hour-glass that mimicked the house-points. This was so that the faculty could keep track, but it seemed as though something was amiss.

‘Staring at it won’t give you more points,’ Severus said.

She turned and saw his smirk.

‘What did you do?’ she asked. ‘I had at least one hundred points more, last night!’

‘I’m appalled. I would not use my powers as a faculty member to unjustly remove points from Gryffindor!’

Lily folded her arms, looking at her husband. She tapped her foot irritably. ‘We both know you would.’

‘True.’ He smiled. ‘Quirrell was on call last night, though. I was busy brewing this month’s Wolfsbane.’

Her eyes narrowed. ‘A likely story!’

‘I swear; it wasn’t me. I left my potion unattended for about an hour, and you know where I was then.’ He winked.

‘You’re grinning like the Cheshire Bloody Cat!’

Severus laughed. ‘Of course, I am. Slytherin is in the lead again.’ He pecked her on the cheek. ‘When you find out who did it, let me know. I should thank them.’

Professor Quirrell walked through the staff room door. ‘Professor Evans!’ He smiled. ‘I’m afraid last night wasn’t a good night for Gryffindor.’

‘You took the points?’ Lily asked, looking almost confused.

‘Yes, well, I wrote up what happened; I was wondering if you would help me with letters to parents? I have five from Gryffindor alone!’

‘Five?’ Severus asked, smiling. ‘Sounds like you got off lucky. If it were me, I would have taken a lot more points.’

‘You have no idea what they did.’ Lily looked back at Quirrell, her shoulders slumped.

‘Well, I found them in the trophy room just after midnight; they were duelling; they broke three trophy cabinets.’

‘You just can’t keep the little pests under control,’ Severus said, though, he was enjoying himself quite a bit. ‘You’re never going to win the cup at this rate.’

Lily glared at Severus. ‘Will you be quiet. Who was it, Quirinus?’

Quirrell’s smirk was unrestrained now. ‘Longbottom, Potter—’

Severus sniggered, ‘—figures.’

‘Shacklebolt, Finnegan and Snape.’ He openly grinned. ‘You really can’t control your own child, can you?’

Severus’ amusement dissipated instantly. ‘Harry was there?’

‘Yes,’ said Quirrell.

‘With Potter?’

‘Yes… This isn’t about that stupid grudge you had with Potter, is it? I thought you got over that?’

Severus didn’t respond. He turned and left the staff room, his black robes billowing behind him.

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It was much later in the morning when Harry was walking back to his common room with James Potter. They were walking through the portrait hole when Neville greeted Harry.

‘What happened?’ he asked.

‘His daddy made us make friends, didn’t he, Snivellus?’ James shoved Harry’s shoulder as he walked past him. ‘It doesn’t change anything, Snape. It’s your fault I lost my cloak!’

‘I can’t believe he never told us his real name,’ Harry shouted back. ‘His first name isn’t James, it’s FLEAamont!’ James flushed and stormed up the staircase. ‘I told dad he couldn’t fix it. Bless him; he’s a trier.’

‘Did you get in trouble?’ Neville asked.

‘No, they just decided to force us to be friends.’ Harry rolled his eyes. ‘My dad called James’ dad; they actually think it worked.’

‘Did you tell your dad about Quirell though?’

Harry blushed and scowled as he pushed the portrait back open. ‘He said that I was trying to divert his attention from my bad behaviour. We should tell Ron, Hermione and Draco. I think you’re right; we need to know what Quirell is up to.’

‘Hell yes!’ Neville pumped his fist and punched Harry in the arm. ‘It’s like our own investigation. This is way more interesting than telling your dad.’

Neville then practically dragged Harry out of the common room, and he took him to the Great Hall, where Draco and Ron were playing chess.

‘You won’t beat me, Ron.’ Draco had a grin on his face as he watched Ron frowning at the board.

‘Harry.’ Hermione waved them over. ‘It’s great, Draco is kicking Ron’s butt at chess.’

Harry practically ran over. ‘How long have they been playing?’

‘Only half an hour, but Draco is already winning. He’s taken Ron’s precious Knights!’ Hermione’s eyes were bright and her smile wide, in fact, she looked happier than Harry had seen her since she arrived at his house just before school.

‘No need to look so happy about it, Hermione.’ Ron was sulking as he turned the board around, looking at the game from various angles.

‘Ron, I think losing the odd game of chess is good for you.’ Harry slapped him on the back. ‘He never looses, it’s so annoying.’

‘Really?’ Draco smirked. ‘This was quite easy.’

Ron then pushed the board aside. ‘Now Harry is here we have more important things to discuss, right? What happened with your dad?’

‘He called James’ dad; they think we’re friends; James’ real name is Fleamont; he’s still calling me Snivilus. I tried to talk to my dad about Quirrell, but he thinks I’m just trying to divert attention from my “increasingly bad behaviour.”’

Hermione frowned. ‘Can you blame him, Harry? Duelling at midnight? I’m shocked.’

‘It was a matter of pride, Hermione,’ Neville said. ‘You just wondered understand. Sometimes a mans got to do what a mans got to do.’

Hermione smirked.

‘Anyway, the point is, we need to spy on Quirrell. He’s definitely up to something; Neville and I heard him. He said: ‘There are other ways of skinning a werewolf.’ Harry looked at Hermione, his eyes wide and pleading. ‘It’s for Professor Lupin. Come on, Hermione.’

‘Fine. But we do it properly. We have to plan it, and we have to have evidence which we will then take to your parents, agreed?’

Harry grinned. Neville was ecstatic, and they all spent the rest of the evening watch Ron lose his first game of chess.

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They all met the following morning. Neville had decided to meet outside by the black lake, as they were less likely to be overheard, and Draco decided seven in the morning would be a great time. Neville regretted agreeing to it as the sky was bleak, white with no warmth in the air. The iced-over grass crunched under their feet. No one was around, as planned; even the Quidditch teams weren’t out. They huddled together under an old willow tree; thankfully, it wasn’t the whomping variety.

Hermione had a blue and silver scarf wrapped her around her neck and face. She pulled it down, and her frosty breath warmed the air for a moment when she spoke. ‘If we’re going to do this, we’re going to do it properly.’ She was rooting in her bag, pulling out several notebooks and quills. ‘Everyone has to take notes of everything they see, understood?’

‘Sure,’ Neville said, his teeth chattering. Neville had his school robes on, no gloves and no scarf. He did clutch a cup of tea from the great hall, though this didn’t appear to be warm anymore.

Draco took off his scarf. ‘This is why we wear woollen outdoor robes, Neville.’ Draco’s pointed nose was red-tipped, and his hands remained hidden in his thicker outdoor robes.

‘So, what kind of things are we taking notes of?’ Ron asked.

‘Anything,’ Draco said. ‘You never know what will be important. We can’t follow him together; we should meet tonight in the library to see if we can figure out what he’s up to.’

‘But the Halloween feast!’ Ron dropped his notebook and quill.

‘And the library will be deserted; we’ll be able to talk more openly, Ron.’ Hermione looked at him pointedly and then to the book that still lay on the crispy, frosted grass.

Ron picked it up, but he continued sulking and mumbling something about pumpkin pie.

‘Professor Lupin is more important. Right, Ron?’ Harry said, his lips, blue and chapped, were fixed in the same downturned expression he had whenever they had discussed the impending release of Tom Riddle.

‘Yeah, I know. Maybe we can always go to the kitchens later…’ He was looking pleadingly to Hermione.

‘If we find something useful,’ she said. ‘Everyone has a timetable in their notebooks; it tells you when you are supposed to be keeping a lookout on Quirrell. I have matched it up with our actual time tables for the day, and colour coded it.’

‘It’s excellent.’ Draco smiled as he flipped open his notebook. ‘I wondered what you were doing all night after we finished homework. You even have Quirrell's timetable on here.’

Hermione grinned. ‘I am nothing if not thorough.’

‘Now we have everything we need, can we go inside. I’m sure Quirrell has breakfast…’ Neville chattered, pulling Draco’s blue and grey scarf tightly around his neck and wrapping his hands in the excess.

They made it to breakfast, and sure enough, Quirrell was there. No one took notes, namely because their fingers were numb from their clandestine meeting. There wasn’t much to report; Professor Lupin looked pale, but Harry assure them that was normal with the cycle approaching. Quirrell seemed at ease, and he was far more interested in his coffee than children or other members of the faculty.

With plans set in motion, they went about their day. They were meeting up where possible to keep each other informed. Harry was overjoyed; everyone seemed to be taking the investigation incredibly seriously.

Throughout the day, Harry and Neville stuck to the schedule that Hermione had given them. They had decided that it was best to work together, one watch and one take notes, and they alternated so that they didn’t miss a thing. They started right after their morning lesson: Herbology.

‘Where’s Quirrell now?’ Harry asked.

Neville, who thankfully had his woollen cloak, scarf and gloves now, glanced at the timetable that Hermione had made. ‘According to this, he just had a free period, and then he goes to his office at break so that older students can speak to him about their O.W.L or N.E.W.T coursework.’

‘To the castle then,’ Harry said.

They walked to the castle and through the corridors until they arrived at the staff room. They had already devised a plan to see if Quirrell was still there and a way to track him down if he had gone elsewhere.

The staffroom sounded deathly quiet from their side of the door, and suddenly Harry wasn’t as keen to knock. When he did, Professor Flitwick opened the door, who was, as always, beaming.

‘I’m just looking for Professor Quirrell?’ Harry fidgeted with his robes as he spoke. The fear that their true agenda would be discovered plagued Harry, and he would be in even more trouble than he was already.

‘Professor Quirrell? Are you apologising too, aye?’ Professor Flitwick's voice was unique, and it had a way of instantly irritating you. It was incredibly high pitched and squeaky; it almost sounded like a cat with its claws on a chalkboard.

‘Yeah,’ Harry replied, blushing.

If there was one thing Harry hated, it was being perceived as in the wrong when he felt morally justified in his actions.

‘I’m afraid he’s just left, boys,’ Flitwick said. He continued to eat up their precious break with a sermon on how proud he was that they were seeking the professor out to apologise, and how he hoped that they had learnt how their actions affected others.

It was hard to get away, but Neville finally butted in, enabling them to escape and begin the route to Professor Quirrell’s office. The halls were busy, and it was hard to see anything with the older students towering over them.

‘Harry, this way?’ Neville began pulling him off route and towards the Defence Against the Dark Arts department.

‘Neville, but—’

‘Harry, look. He’s going into Professor Lupin’s office!’ Neville hissed.

Harry pulled out the notebook and already-inked quill and began scratching notes, adding the time and a description of the Muggle Professor’sressor’s demeanour. Harry thought he looked at least a little shifty as he removed his wand from his robes and pointed it at the door. Then, even in the middle of a crowd of students, he slipped inside. No one seemed to pay any mind to the fact that the professor was sneaking into someone else’s office.

‘We should hold back.’ Harry pulled on Neville’s robes. ‘We don’t want to get caught. Let’s see how long he’s in there and then we can try and get in ourselves and see what he did.’

They weren’t waiting for long before Hermione and Draco arrived. Harry and Nevile filled them in on what he had done and that they needed to get into the office and see what’s changed.

‘I don’t know, Harry,’ Hermione said.

‘Yeah, we’ll just get in trouble again.’ Draco looked determined, despite his words. ‘This thing is bigger than us. Do you think that we could speak to Professor Lupin? He could check for us; he would know his office a lot better.’

Harry looked at Hermione. They were both thinking the same thing; Lupin has touched the paradox; he might take Quirrell’s threat more seriously.’

‘Fine,’ said Harry. ‘We’ve got to get going because our next lesson is on the other side of the castle. Write down everything he does.’

‘We’re with Ron next, so we’ll get him to meet us in the library tonight. We can discuss everything and then meet Professor Lupin.’ Harry relaxed at Hermione’s expression. She was just as serious and determined as he was.

Everything about Hermione had been off in the new time, and she had seemed less enthusiastic. Now, Hermione was on board, more than on board; she was Hermione: the girl with a plan. So, Harry was able to walk down to the dungeons with a lighter heart because as uncertain as things were, having Hermione back was everything.

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Harry had been anxious all day. He and Neville followed Professor Quirrell at lunch, too. However, his routine hadn’t involved anything suspicious. Finally, he and Neville made their way to the library to meet their co-conspirators.

‘I hope Hermione and Draco found out what Quirrell was up to,’ Harry said as he took the steps two at a time.

Neville, who was trying to keep up, nodded. ‘And how long he was in there. Maybe Ron found something out too?

They both lugged their bags down the final corridor, panting as they finally entered the library. It took a while to find Hermione and Draco, and they were waiting for Ron for some time.

‘Where have you been?’ Hermione pursed her lips, her eyes narrowing at Ron.

Ron threw his bag on the table and pulled out a notebook. ‘It was worth it,’ he said, sliding into the opposite chair.

‘What did you see?’ she asked.

Ron frowned. ‘Quirrell. He was delivering Professor Lupin’s Potion.’

‘Well, the full moon is soon, right.’ Draco started rummaging in his huge book bag for something. ‘What’s wrong with him delivering the potion?’ he asked.

‘He could have spiked it or anything.’ Ron looked at Draco quizzically, wondering how his friend didn’t seem to get something so obvious.

‘He can’t,’ Harry said. ‘Professor Lupin only ever has my dad’s potion. My dad always said that Quirrell is useless at anything practical. He probably doesn’t know what he would have to spike it with.’

‘Harry, it feels a little like you’re underestimating him,’ said Hermione. Her eyes were hard and focused on Harry, although sending the telepathic message “again.”

‘Whether Harry is or isn’t,’ Ron said, ‘we need to tell Professor Lupin.’

Everyone started packing up notebooks and quills into their bags. They seemed to have made the universal decision to go straight to Professor Lupin.

Draco was the only one not tidying up. Instead, he was looking at a chart of some kind. It was a perfect circle, and each wedge seemed to correspond with a date, within the wedge were notes and sketches that seemed to depict moon cycles and constellations. ‘Wait,’ he said, his eyes suddenly wide with fear. ‘We can’t go to Professor Lupin!’

‘We have to.’ Harry’s eyes narrowed at Draco. Suddenly, he seemed to see him in the same way he saw his counterpart from another reality altogether. ‘I get it if it doesn’t matter to you, Malfoy, but he’s my Godfather.’

Draco shook his head. ‘No. That’s now what I meant. It’s too dangerou—’

‘—You’re seriously worried about House Points now?’ Ron scoffed, his bag already on his shoulder as he pushed away from the table.

Everyone else had followed suit, sneering at Draco’s remarks and they were all heading for the door.

‘Stop!’ Draco shouted. ‘I don’t care about House Points. It’s the full moon; Professor Lupin isn’t here.’ Draco’s arms flayed as he tried to pull Neville back, trying to get his friends to listen. ‘Don’t you get it?

‘Quirrell wasn’t taking Wolfsbane to Professor Lupin; he was taking it from him. If he’s out and attacks a student that law Harry told us about will get passed, you can guarantee it. Professor Lupin will get fired. We need to get to the Great Hall.’

Suddenly, they all froze.

‘Oh, Merlin. He’s right, Harry. What do we do?’ Hermione dropped her bag, and suddenly her hands were trembling. ‘It’s Halloween,’ she whispered.

‘Everything’s going to be fine,’ Harry said. ‘We’ll be more sensible this time.’

Ron already had his arm around her. The shakes moved up her arms to her shoulders, and soon she was trembling all over.

‘It’s all happening again,’ she said, her voice barely even there. ‘It’s different, but it’s the same.’

Draco and Neville were perplexed. They both looked at Hermione’s trembling, which seemed to be about far more than Professor Lupin’s plight. It didn’t seem to be the time to address it now, so Neville put the information to one side before he took charge.

‘Right,’ he said, ‘we need to get to the Great Hall; that’s where all the Professors are. We can’t handle this, but they will know what to do.’

‘We have to avoid Professor Lupin too; telling a professor is no good if he attacks any students. I think we should split up. It’s easier to hide if you’re alone, and if he caught five of us together, he would be in a lot more trouble.’

‘You’re right, Draco,’ Hermione said as she grasped her hands together, trying to stop them from trembling. ‘We have to do our best to protect Professor Lupin!’

‘Great plan.’ Neville put his bag down. ‘We’ll be faster without,’ he said. ‘Everyone, avoid the Defence Department, and warn anyone you see.’

Ron and Harry stuck with Hermione down the main corridor with the plan that each of them would go through a different department. Ron would take the left route, through the very empty and hardly ever used Alchemy corridor. Hermione went straight ahead through the Charms Department, and Harry dived down the Transfiguration corridor, running without thought, without looking back and without listening. He hadn’t gone far when a sound broke through and chilled him to the bone.

A faint rumble became a growl.

Harry turned around slowly, behind him, between him and his friends, was Professor Lupin. He was on his hinds feet and was easily eight feet tall; his shoulders were so broad they took up the entire corridor, blocking his friends from view.

Harry recalled seeing a transformed Professor Lupin in the before; somehow, he seemed a lot bigger now. His eyes were still Lupin’s, but they seemed torn between humanity and hunger. His muzzle curled, showing his long, sharp fangs were dripping in saliva. The wolf snarled. Lupin looked as though he were ready for a feast.

Suddenly, Harry heard something he did not expect. A howl.

Lupin turned almost instantly. His terrifying claws struggled to get purchase on the stone floor, and when they finally gripped, they cut through the stone like butter. He crouched before bounding down the Charms corridor.

He was going after Hermione.

‘Ron,’ Harry shouted, ‘he’s after Hermione.’ Without waiting, Harry chased the transformed Defence Against the Dark Arts professor.

Ron had followed, and soon they were running side by side. The wolf didn’t seem to have caught up with Hermione yet; in fact, the wolf was sniffing a rather familiar-looking bathroom door.

‘Hermione,’ Ron whimpered. Without thinking, Ron picked up a heavy-looking instrument and threw it at the werewolf. ‘Hay, pea-brain!’

Lupin skidded around, facing Ron and Harry, great grooves marred the smooth stone floor. He crouched a strange noise, something between a snarl and an affectionate rumbling noise.

Harry looked in the werewolves eye; its pupils dilated, and he skittered back. Ron picked up a heavy book from a nearby shelf, and Harry shook his head.

As Harry took tentative steps forward, he said, ‘Uncle Remus?’ Then, he looked at his friend. ‘He’s still in there, Ron.’ Harry reached out a hand.

Lupin sniffed and shook his head, the fur behind his neck stood up, and his ears were pinned back.

‘Harry, don’t!’ Ron grabbed Harry’s robes again but was easily shook off.

‘It’s okay, isn’t it, Remus. You know me; it’s Harry.’

A low growl escaped, and Harry noticed the once big pupils that were surrounded by his godfather’s hazel iris’ had disappeared; the pupil contracted, and the hazel paled until it was almost yellow.

‘It’s just me, Uncle Remus,’ Harry continued, looking his uncle in the eye hoping for something that seemed impossible to Ron.

The wolf lunged forward. Harry only just dived out of the way, and as he and Ron scrambled on their knees to escape to the stairs, they found that the werewolf had blocked their way.

‘It’s no use, Harry. He’s got us cornered.’ Ron pulled Harry to his side, and they clung together, shuffling away from the wolf that blocked their exit.

‘I didn’t think it would end like this,’ said Harry. The wolf continued its lazy approach, greed in his eyes and saliva dripping from his deadly sharp canines.

Lupin swiped, and Harry closed his eyes, waiting for it all to be over. However, they never felt the wolfs assault.

Harry bravely opened one eye and saw Lupin, fighting and scraping against what appeared to be an invisible wall.

‘Harry, it’s okay,’ said the familiar voice of his father. ‘We’re here.’

Suddenly silver cords sprang from nowhere and wrapped around Lupin’s snout, smoking as they did. Lupin howled in pain as the cables continued to wrap around his body, subduing the beast. The end result was similar to a harness used for any pet Crup, and someone seemed to be pulling the wolf into submission.

Towering over the wolf was Professor Hagrid. He was not as Harry and Ron remembered him, jovial; a harmless giant, but now he was a fierce and powerful wizard, his eyes stern as he fought to protect students. There was, in his dark eyes, a sense of remorse at hurting the wolf, and that told them that this was still the Hagrid that they loved, a gentle giant that hadn’t met a monster that he couldn’t love.

Soon, Hagrid had the struggling wolf captured in his arms. He tried to scratch and claw at Hagrid, but the werewolf couldn’t seem to pierce Hagrids skin.

‘Harry, are you okay?’ his mother said as she rushed to his side.

His father soon pulled him out of his mother’s embrace and seemed to be making a mental inventory of possible injuries. ‘Did he hurt you? Even a little scratch?’ he asked urgently.

‘It wasn’t Remus’ fault; I swear,’ Harry said.

Ron eagerly stepped forward, shoulder to shoulder with Harry, like soldiers in a war. ‘Harry’s right,’ he added. ‘It was Quirrell.’

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A/N: Thank you for reading.

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