FIC POST: The Tichborne Claimant, 5.2/12
As promised, here is the COMPLETE version of the February post. This will make more sense than what was posted as a placeholder. Thanks for your patience!
Title: The Tichborne Claimant, 5.2/12 Rating: R 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. Part Two can be found here. Part Three can be found here. Part Four can be found here.
"It's roughly in chronological order," said Dad. He opened the dusty old album and pushed it across the table into Johnny's hands. "If you have any questions, ask."
Johnny cautiously opened the scratched green leatherette cover. Dad still didn't look happy, but at least he wasn't angry anymore. Whatever Papa had said last night had definitely helped. "Dad? I can owl Rabbi Sally and tell her - "
Dad's throat worked as he swallowed. "No. Your father is correct. It is time you learned this." He leaned across the smudged walnut table top to lay a hand over Johnny's and grip long enough to reassure. "Start here, with the obituary."
Johnny squeezed back. "Okay." He opened the scrapbook and began to read.
Excerpt from letter from Sir Augustulus Snape to Jonathan Jarndyce, solicitor, dated 5 November 1935. The handwriting is noticeably shaky.
…I hereby designate the sum of 1000 galleons to make a concerted search for my son and his family, either in Africa, Germany, or Britain. Without a body there is still a chance, faint but real, that one of them may have survived what those barbarians did to British Wizards on Lake Victoria. My dear wife never recovered from our loss, and I owe it to her memory to make one last effort to find him.
Should all efforts to locate my son fail, whatever funds are left are to be allocated to find the descendants, if any, of my sister Julianna. I realize that my father disowned her after she eloped with that Squib all those years ago, but times have changed, as they say….
"'Augustulus'? That's a terrible name." Johnny wrinkled his nose. "Wasn't he an emperor?"
"The last one in the West," said Dad. He tapped a photograph of an elderly wizard with an impressive mustache and dark, piercing eyes. "The wizarding Snapes preferred Roman names."
His mouth curved slightly. "Be glad we didn't name you 'Dionysus.' when we needed a name beginning with 'D' to honor your mother."
"Eww. You wouldn't - "
"Thank your other father for 'David.'' Dad turned the next page of the scrapbook. "Read on."
Advertisement placed in every Muggle paper in the North, November 1935, and in major papers throughout Britain in December 1935 and January 1936
Persons having knowledge of JULIANNA SNAPE, possibly known as JULIA SNAPE or ANNA SNAPE, are invited to communicate with the firm of Dombey & Jarndyce, solicitors, c/o R.T. Dodderidge, Charing Cross Road, London, for information that will possibly be of great advantage.
SIR AUGUSTULUS SNAPE, 138
Sir Augustulus Snape, the well known maritime financier and philanthropist, has died after a long illness. The announcement was made by the executor of his estate, Januarius Jarndyce of Dombey & Jarndyce, Solicitors at Law.
Sir Augustulus, 138, was born in Yorkshire to the late August Tiberius Snape and his wife, Junia Phoebe Eeylops-Yaxley, daughter of the well known animal importing firm. He was an only child, and devoted his time to improving the family shipping and commercial interests. Under his direction, Athanor Steamships became the major Wizarding import/export line, working particularly with the late Alastor Zabini to introduce exotic fruits and vegetables to Britain.
A Slytherin, Sir Augustulus was privately tutored before attending school between 1811 and 1816. He joined the family business immediately upon leaving Hogwarts and quickly gained a reputation for honesty and diligence throughout British Wizardry. He married the late Lucinda Araminta Arabella Wellborne de Malfoi, Ravenclaw, in 1844 in a wedding that was the social event of the season, and one of the first alliances between the gentry and a family in trade. His only son, Augustulus Justinian Julian Esme, was born in 1878 and followed his parents to Hogwarts in good time.
Sir Augustulus and his wife donated generously to the Red Wand and other charitable foundations for the relief of the worthy and deserving poor, most particularly orphanages and other organizations designed to assist young women in their hour of need. Sir Augustulus was also known for his work restoring architectural monuments in the North, especially around Halifax and York, as well as his endowment of scholarships to Hogwarts for the worthy poor. He supported the efforts of Her Majesty's Wizarding Highlanders during the colonial wars of the last century, and was knighted in 1903 for his stout defense of British policy in South Africa.
Tragedy struck the family during the Great War, when the younger Augustulus disappeared in one of the most enduring mysteries of that dreadful time. He followed his father into Slytherin and captained the House Quidditch team in their undefeated season of 1894-1895, and married Ginevra Racheline Armida de la Zouche-Yaxley, Slytherin, of the Roxburgh Zouche-Yawleys, in 1910. He entered the family business in 1911 and was the local factor for Athanor Steamships in East Africa until the beginning of the Great War. Young Augustulus enlisted in the Royal Wizard Corps in 1914 and was sent back to East Africa early in 1915, taking his wife, an accomplished linguist, as his thaumaturgical assistant. The couple and their only child, Julian Tobias Augustulus Dianthus, born in 1916 in East Africa, disappeared in 1917 just after the Battle of Mahiwa. Sir Augustulus actively searched for his son and grandson until his wife's death in 1922, but it is believed that he never ceased to hope that his son would return to him.
Sir Augustulus will be interred at the family plot in Yorkshire. Contributions should be made to one of his numerous charities.
Augustulus Severus Septimus Snape, died 30 December, 1938
LEGAL NOTICES - 1 February 1939
Persons having an interest in the estate of the late and greatly lamented AUGUSTULUS SNAPE are invited to reply to Dombey & Jarndyce, Solicitors, 23 Diagon Alley, London, regarding a possible inheritance.
ROYAL POST OWLS SUCCUMB TO MYSTERIOUS ILLNESS Disruptions Reported Throughout the Country
28 February 1939
LONDON - Angry wizards and witches converged on the Royal Owl Post offices in Diagon Alley as the Owl Pox epidemic continued into his its second week. Mail throughout the country has been disrupted, with particular problems in the areas around Yorkshire, the Pennines, and the Scottish border.
Miss Regina Ula, Deputy Postmistress, told our reporter that specialists had been consulted and the post owls were receiving appropriate medicines. "We expect regular service to be restored by the end of the week. The Royal Mail apologizes for any inconvenience this may have caused to our customers…."
"Bruckner's treatment has almost eradicated it," said Dad. "It disrupts the navigation and homing instincts."
Johnny frowned. "What does that have to do with your family?"