|ellid (ellid) wrote in lupin_snape,|
@ 2010-11-30 08:05:00
|Entry tags:||community project: anniversary, project: a decade of ssrl|
Year of Snupin fic post: The Tichborne Claimant, #2
Title: The Tichborne Claimant, 2/12
Warnings for domestic abuse, anti-Semitism
Summary: Johnny Lupin-Snape is getting ready for his bar mitzvah, and the rabbi has asked him to look into his family. Little does he know what this means to his fathers.
Notes: This is a sequel to Motherless Child, wherein Snape and Lupin marry and adopt an orphaned werewolf. Johnny, their son, is about 12 in this story, and digging up family secrets that Severus would much prefer to have buried. I will post one installment each month between now and October 2011 in honor of the 10th anniversary of the 'ship.
For the curious, here is the source of the title.
Part One can be found here.
The Copper Beeches was quiet and still. Remus brushed soot from his arm and waited for his eyes to adjust to the dark before stepping into the lounge.
"Severus? I'm home, love. Where are you?"
He had just spent two weeks in Toulouse, leading tours for the Lupin family tour company. His Oncle Gil and Tante Celeste had been leading Wizards and Muggles through Cathar sites in Carcassonne, Montaillou, and other historic areas ever since the whole "Jesus was a Merovingian" craze of the 1980s. Their children had joined them in the business as the demand proved to be more than a fad, and now it was a genuine Lupin family business.
Remus had agreed to help when one of his cousins eloped with a starving artist from Montmartre. Jean's obsession with a girl who welded old rebars and photographic equipment into kinetic sculptures was bewildering, especially after both of them had publicly vowed not to use their wands until what Severus called their cause of the month had received more attention. Oncle Gil wasn't getting any younger, and Jean clambering about demolition sites to salvage old architectural bits had left Gil scrambling to find a substitute guide.
Fortunately his uncle had found a new guide, and that meant Remus could finally go home. Not that he would have stayed in France after that note.
The table was strewn with brochures, menus, letters, and souvenir merchandise. Remus fingered a purple satin yarmulke stitched with gold thread charmed to alternate between "SAMPLE, YOUR CHILD'S NAME HERE" and "BUZZY WEINTRAUB, 7 JULY 2025." Severus had sent him several letters complaining bitterly about the bastardization of what was supposed to be a religious ceremony in favor of a lavish party and mounds of gifts. It was unnerving to see that, if anything, Severus had downplayed the amount of money merchants would allow them to spend on the bar mitzvah and the celebration afterwards.
A note rose from the dining table and floated to eye level: GRAPE ARBOR. Remus frowned. It was a chilly late summer night, and despite the best efforts of Longbottom Nurseries, Ltd., stargazing under the vines was not really an option after Lammas.
The frown deepened as he walked through the suspiciously quiet house. No WWN pounding from Johnny's room, no creaking from the floorboards on the first storey, Severus in the grape arbor instead of the lounge - what was going on?
A clear, cool breeze blew in when he opened the back door. It was a brilliantly clear night, the stars almost as bright as the waxing moon. Remus took a deep breath of the clean Highland air and took the path into the grape arbor.
"Severus? I came as soon as I could." There was a faint smell of wine, and aconite, and the mix of skin oils that could only be Severus. "What's going on?"
"Took you long enough." Severus, voice slightly thick, gestured at a partially drunk bottle of Mar de Fredes Albarino. "Finish this before I make an ass of myself."
Remus calmly cast a recorking spell and banished the wine to its proper rack in the cellar. "I hope this means you had fish tonight. That wine is too good to waste by itself."
Severus grunted. "I'm not drunk. Yet." He threw his head back and stared up into the tangle of vines. "Have you ever noticed how very dark the sky is this time of year? Even with the stars."
One advantage to being a lycanthrope was better than human night vision. Remus moved easily toward the small wrought iron table that had replaced the hammock a few years ago and settled into an unoccupied chair. "Severus. You didn't call me back from France to talk about the night sky. What is going on? And where is Johnny?"
"Our son is visiting the Longbottoms so we can talk freely." Severus gestured unsteadily at a neatly folded letter on Muggle stationery. "John brought this home yesterday. I told you that American rabbi would be a disaster - "
"Severus." Remus' voice sharpened. "Let me read it before you start ranting."
"If you must." Severus drank what was left in his glass as Remus unfolded the letter and jammed his half-glasses into place. "Read it, then tell me I haven't the right to be upset."
…as part of their preparation for becoming a bar/bat mitzvah, we've asked your children to spend a few weeks exploring their roots by researching their family histories. Rabbi Sally's experience with her old congregation in Connecticut has shown her that learning about their families, Jewish and Gentile alike, leads to greater interest in their studies and -
Family research. Remus carefully refolded the letter and set it down beside the empty wine glass. "You knew this would happen eventually, love. If not now, then in History of Magic or the library at Hengewood House."
Severus curled his lip. "He's gotten along perfectly well until now without knowing about my wretched excuse for a father. It's bad enough that he knows that my mother made an arranged marriage without - "
"It can't possibly be as traumatic as finding out about his grandmother." Remus' face darkened at the memory. Mrs. Rookwood was still in Azkaban for the murder of her daughter and would never be free, but that hadn't stopped her from periodically sending impressive-looking letters demanding that Johnny be allowed to visit her in prison on the grounds that he was her last living blood relative. "We should be glad the Wizengamot finally found for us last year and enjoined her from contacting us again. I wouldn't have been responsible if she'd found a way to harm him."
"Even the purebloods couldn't stomach handing a child over to a convicted murderess on a regular basis." Severus tossed the letter into the air and snapped his fingers. It disintegrated into a delicate shower of cream-white confetti. "Even with Minerva intercepting the Prophet, everyone in the school knew what was going on. If Rita Skeeter hadn't slanted her stories - "
"Thank Hermione for that." Remus slid his chair over so he'd be close enough to take Severus' hands without reaching over the single candle in the middle of the table. "Skeeter is still terrified of her, all these years later."
"She should be. Granger can be rather intimidating when she's annoyed." The tension in the bony shoulders relaxed slightly. "That's another reason not to tell him about my father. Learning that his grandmother was a murderer and his grandfather was an anti-Semitic fraud - "
"Your father isn't a blood relative, love. It's not the same." Remus automatically began rubbing the long, somewhat calloused fingers. How many times had he done this over the years? "He might even think it's interesting."
Severus snorted. "Twelve year old boys so enjoy reading about wife beating and the Blitz." He sighed at the attention as Remus moved up to his palms. "Then again, he is a Ravenclaw. He'll probably be fascinated by the Chancery records."
"Binns avoids mentioning Chancery records." Remus couldn't help laughing softly at the thought of Johnny, whose latest career ambition was to the be first werewolf Seeker for Scotland, poring over racks of moldering pipe rolls and dusty copper plate property records. "Our family histories are his, the good with the bad. It's part of the package, being adopted."
"It was so long ago." Severus looked up through the grapevines at the stars. "Over eighty years."
"Is that when it started? Good heavens. It really is part of Wizarding history, isn't it?" Remus stopped massaging and stood. "We haven't a choice, love."
"I know." Severus sighed, then pushed back from the table and joined him. "I know."