FIC: 'Memories Old and New' for xx_kerriann_xx Recipient:xx_kerriann_xx Author:snapesgirl Title: Memories Old and New Rating: G Pairings: Tobias Snape/Eileen Prince; Tobias Snape/Irma Pince Word Count: 3,287 Disclaimer:All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended. Warnings: brief mention of abuse, character death mentioned, bad poetry Summary: Tobias Snape is filled with reminiscences. Severus thinks it is time for his father to court someone. Author's Notes: I often wonder, What if the dark man in Snape's memory was his maternal grandfather. What if Tobias Snape was actually a caring parent? What would home be like for Severus? Many thanks to elfflame for looking this over and keeping me on track. Any mistakes are all mine.
My little darkling rose, you were so fae and delicate I couldn't help but notice you when first our paths did cross. When first we kissed I feared for you I worried I might give you harm. How little did I know the strength you held within your tiny frame.
The paper was starting to yellow with age. Tobias Snape shook his head at his pitiful attempt to be romantic. Beneath his spiky scrawl were lines done in a daintier hand. The ink was darker and the lines looked to have been written with a quill.
My Viking love, you are so large, strong and bold I thought you perfect for me and chased after you shamelessly. Our first kiss was joy Our first dance was perfection Our love grew despite your fears. You fell in with my plot so daring, you gave me the strength to flee my chains. Two disowned, reviled Each the other's shelter Appalling one so pure would dare sink so low Amazing a squib's child could catch a bride so pure.
Tobias' work rough hands were incredibly gentle while he folded the paper then replaced the poems in the ornate wedding album. The white and gold embossed leather was one of the few luxuries he had been able to give his bride. She never faulted him for this. He smiled at the photo of him standing next to Eileen. His little bride had the darkest hair, the palest skin and the most unfortunate nose. When they had a son, he took after his mother in every way.
The big man smiled at the tiny foot prints on a birth certificate from the local hospital. How outraged her family had been to finally discover their only daughter ran off with a common Muggle. He recalled coming home to arguments, threats and a howling infant. The day he overheard Eileen's father say Severus should be drowned as a mongrel was the same day Tobias forbade her family to ever enter their home. Eileen laughed at him until she realized he was serious. She helped him search her books for the spells that protected their home.
Somewhere, a clock chimed the quarter hour. Tobias placed the book on a short bookcase and went back to cleaning the sparely furnished room. He worked hard, polishing the windows with crumpled newspaper so that they would not streak. He wanted the lighting to be perfect in here. He paused in his work to smile at an old and faded plush donkey. The poor thing had started out grey and was now almost a pale purple color. He recalled the first time little Severus floated the toy off the kitchen counter and down to the wash tub on the floor. Scared Tobias at first. He had not expected their son to be capable of magic before he was talking clearly.
Once the windows were spotless, Tobias moved to wipe down the sills and the top of the door frame. He knew the boy did not need any thing contaminating his experiments. That was another thing Severus inherited from his mother. Their boy was fascinated by how potions came together. He was helping Eileen with her brewing by the time he was five years old. Ten years later, Severus had received his first offer of an apprenticeship. This was one of the few things from the Wizarding world that had not bemused Tobias. He'd been so proud of his boy the day the big Horned Owl delivered the offer. Severus showed great maturity in declining until he completed his N.E.W.T.'s.
"One of the few times he showed maturity," Tobias sighed. "Eileen, it is a pity he got both of our stubbornness and foul tempers." He paused as if he expected to hear her reply. There was no answer, and if he was lucky, his mother had not heard him speaking.
The old woman had good hearing when she wanted. She also had a terrible time accepting her grandson was a Wizard. The biddy once attempted 'to beat the devil out of the boy'. Tobias could have happily killed her when the police came to the factory with the news his son was at the hospital. That had been a very difficult year for them. Eileen died trying to have a second child, leaving her men to muddle through life on their own. His mother decided they would not survive without her. He changed the locks on this house seven times over the years in a bid to keep her away from his precious son.
Tobias finished dusting the room. He looked at the polished floor, the clean walls and spotless windows. All that was left was making up the bed. He clumped downstairs to check the laundry. Nothing was good enough for his little Prince. He was determined to keep the promises he made to Eileen. Their boy would escape the drab life of a factory worker. He would not have to follow Wizarding traditions that dictated arranged marriages based upon purity of blood. Such a strange idea to have cousins marry, didn't they realize the problems that came of such things?
His thoughts returned to his fae princess. Eileen was so slim, so brash and she loved to ride behind him on his motorcycle. He easily recalled the feel of her pressed to his back, her legs gripping him while they rode to town for a show. He automatically took the clean sheets off the clothes line, being careful not to let them touch the muddy patch of ground behind his home. Thoughts of Eileen on these same bed linens, wrapped around him made it a touch difficult to return to his self appointed tasks.
"Time for a one off later, old man," he informed himself before walking into the tiny kitchen. The room reeked of cooking cabbage. His mother was planted before the telly, watching her show in the front room. He ignored her. If they were lucky, she would leave before he returned with Severus. If not, the boy would go straight to his room and remain there, pretending to not exist. Tobias hated how Severus would retreat like that, he wished the boy would tell the foolish old woman off. Maybe this summer Tobias would convince him to tell off Grandmamma.
Tobias climbed the narrow stairs. He knew each portrait on the wall next to him, and took pride in every one. First was Eileen with the baby in her arms. Next photograph was of a small boy in an over sized coat with longish hair, glaring at the world. Tobias recalled teasing the lad about hunting Nargles and getting a raised eyebrow with a set down. 'Nargles do not exist.' Such a serious little man. The third and final photo was of Severus in his school uniform, looking very proud and full of himself. The day the Hogwarts letter came was a day of celebration and fighting.
"Face it, everything concerning my son is cause to argue with Mam." Tobias went to work making up the bed. He smoothed the wrinkles out of the sheets, fluffed the pillows and was very exact in folding the corners of the top sheet and blanket on the bed. There may not be a House-elf to help out, but Tobias knew how to keep a house clean.
He heard a church bell chime in the distance, tolling out the half hour. Tobias was smiling when he walked downstairs. Not only was the telly finally silent, his mother was gone. He took the liberty of opening windows to air out the stench of overcooked cabbage then dumped the contents of the stock pot on a compost heap in the neighbor's yard. In return for such offerings, Tobias and Severus would receive fresh vegetables all through the summer. Tobias paused long enough to rinse the stock pot before leaving his home. He walked briskly down towards the river that was at the edge of town. He still wondered if the boy was flying home on a broomstick or what.
There was a noise that was almost like a car backfiring followed by Severus appearing at the edge of the trees near the river.
"Look at you," Tobias beamed at his son. "All grown up and doing magic. You won't be in trouble for that display, will you?"
"No, I am of age and allowed to perform spells around family members that are not magical folk, provided they already know about such things." Severus smirked in pleasure. "Is the fattened calf ready for the prodigal son?"
Tobias snorted. "More like rotted cabbage head. The house is airing out. I thought we would have fish and chips tonight." He stepped forward and clapped the boy on a shoulder. "Need to get the locks changed again."
"She lied to another locksmith?" Severus leaned into the rare sign of approval. Both men began to stroll into town.
"Does not help that your aunt Ida married a locksmith."
"Da, why is it whenever your sister does something you do not approve of, she is my aunt?"
"Dunno, boy. I think I picked up the habit from my mam." Tobias glanced over at Severus. "Where are your belongings?"
"I had them sent along just before I arrived here."
"Having a wizard in the family will be very helpful." Tobias grinned. "Know any way to make folks we don't want disturbing us to not see the house?"
"I can arrange that. I can also fix the locks so that your mother can no longer break in."
"Eileen, luv, if you can see this boy, isn't he summat to be proud of?" Tobias looked up at the sky while speaking.
Severus shook his head. He hoped his plans for this summer worked out. It was past time for his father to cease grieving.
Three days later, Tobias Snape clumped into his home. He was exhausted after a long day of work. He paused at the sight of an unfamiliar female seated on his sofa. She was surrounded by books.
"Hullo, who be you?" His voice was gruff from yelling over machinery all day.
"I happen to be Madam Pince, the librarian at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You must be young Mr. Snape's Muggle Father.
"Here now, I happen to be descended from a squib."
Madam Pince sniffed disdainfully at his assertion. "You are non-magical and that makes you a Muggle. Howbeit, you are a Muggle with a very impressive collection of rare volumes."
"Those belonged to Eileen, she left them for the boy. What are you doing with them?"
"Your son is a very gifted scholar. He requested my assistance in cataloguing this collection along with assessing the total value of these texts. I have sent him to visit Gringotts with the rarest texts. They should have been in a vault long before now."
"Sorry to disappoint you, your Highness." Tobias noticed her almost smile at his sarcasm. "I need to freshen up, if you will excuse me? Perhaps the butler will bring along a spot o' tea while I am upstairs."
He allowed himself to grin when he heard her smothered chuckles while he was climbing the steep stairs. He wondered why the boy had not mentioned having a guest over. She was a tiny thing. Much like his Eileen. Tobias regretfully sighed. He quickly cleaned up, changed into better clothing then went downstairs to the kitchen.
Irma Pince found it difficult to examine the books. She was distracted by the soft noises coming at first from upstairs and next from the kitchen. She found the elder Mr. Snape's humor to be refreshing. She also thought him to be the best housekeeper she had ever met. Perhaps he would consider moving to the school and taking over for Apollyon Pringle who was considering retiring.
When Severus returned home, he was not surprised to find his father keeping Madam Pince company. It appeared to him that his plan was already working.
"Good evening, Father. Sorry I took so long with my errand, Madam Pince. They were busy at Gringotts and then the goblins wanted to set up a special area in my vault to preserve the books." He looked at the empty tea cups and plates on the low table in front of the settee. "I seem to have missed tea. If you two do not mind, I will find myself a meal. Do not let me disturb you."
"You are not disturbing us, I was just keeping our guest company while you were out." Tobias stood up. "I think the two of you might have plenty to discuss about these books." He gathered the tea things, and took them to the kitchen.
"I see where you get your fine manners," Madam Pince observed. "Your father is a fine man."
"That he is." Severus readily agreed. He lifted a leather covered volume. "Mother once said this came to her from her great-aunt Lucrecia." He offered the book to his guest. "Does it need any special care?"
Madam Pince examined the cover, the binding and the pages. She hummed as she worked. "Very nice set of preservation charms on this one. Someone has taken excellent care with keeping your entire collection dust free."
"That would be Da, he despises any dirt or clutter in the home. He is very set in the way he does things and refuses any help from me." Severus tipped his head to one side. "I thought charms faded over time if they were not renewed by the caster."
"It appears your father is capable of renewing your mother's charms." Madam Pince blinked. "He claimed to be from a line of squibs."
"Yes, his mother's family. Great-grand father Snape was the son of one." Severus thought her interest in the Snape family was a good sign. His stomach chose that moment to remind him he needed to eat.
"I think this is a good place to stop for the day. I will take our notes and have them properly worked up as a catalog. When would be a good time for me to return?" Madam Pince gathered together a long scroll, a journal and her shawl.
"Whenever you wish. If I am not here, my father can easily assist you with the books."
"Young man, are you trying to entice me into courting your father?" She glared at him.
"I would never dream of such a thing. I confess, I hope you will not find his suit offensive should he desire to court you."
She shook her head while standing up. "A Slytherin through and through. Consider your matchmaking successful. I find your sire to be very intriguing."
Severus went to the kitchen after seeing Madam Pince out. He watched his father work at the stove, preparing a meal for them.
"Your guest leave already?"
"Yes Sir, she will be back another time to continue cataloguing the books. She is impressed with you."
Tobias snorted. "Playing at matchmaker, are you?"
"If I am?"
"I might have to punish you for being such a cheeky brat. Do you think your old man canna find a lady for himself?"
"I believe you have lead a monkish existence for far too long. I am of age and will not be home this summer. I start an apprenticeship as soon as I finish at Hogwarts."
"Translation, you worry about me fading away, mourning for your Mum." Tobias served eggs, sausage and fried tomatoes onto two plates. "I have news for you, boyo, your old father is fully capable of taking care of himself."
"I understand. I apologize, I meant no harm." Severus took his place at the table. He bowed his head briefly before eating.
Tobias checked his reflection once more in the mirror. He was glad the mirror did not talk back like the ones Severus told him about. He was not certain he would appreciate commentary from an inanimate object. He straightened his tie and finally left off with primping. He heard the now familiar tones of Madam Pince greeting Severus. He walked downstairs and almost shyly greeted her. It felt wrong having the woman come to him. However, Tobias had no magical way to go to her.
"Good evening, Irma. You look lovely." Tobias took one of her hands, bent over and placed a light kiss on the back of it.
"You look especially handsome this evening, Tobias." She simpered while looking up at him. "What do you have planned for us?"
"I have made reservations at an intimate place for our supper, followed by a private showing of a musical."
Severus rolled his eyes as he made his escape. His father had cooked a fabulous meal, chosen a movie on the telly and threatened him with mayhem if he disturbed the older couple on their date. He made his way to his special grove of trees. He was going to meet friends from school for the evening. The first of September was the day after the next. Severus wondered if the courtship would continue during the school year.
Severus returned home the next day. He was not surprised to find his father away. Tobias was up early and worked long hours at the factory. He found a note on the telly. Picking up the parchment, he raised an eyebrow at what he read.
"This calls for a celebration." Severus was grinning when he went to make a floo call. He soon went up to his room. Today, he needed to sleep. Tonight, he and his friends were going to party. There was little that could be considered better news to them.
The seventh year Slytherins arrived en mass at Platform 9 ¾ . They all looked to be nursing hangovers and in foul moods. Everyone did their best to avoid the mixed group. There were whispers up and down the train as to what caused them to be in such condition.
Severus bowed his head. He'd not had a chance to say farewell to his father. He hoped Tobias would forgive him. He did leave a note for Da with his plans for the last day of freedom from school. Unfortunately, there was no reply. Not that he expected one. Tobias did not own an owl and had no access to the owl post. Severus already missed the easy camaraderie he and his father had shared over the years.
The train arrived at its destination with a minimum of hexes cast. The Slytherins bullied their way off the train and into the first carriages. They wanted to see if Snape's news was reality. There were murmurs of discontent at the sight of Apollyon Pringle. This meant another year of shackles, chains and whippings. Then a tall, slim figure stepped up next to the caretaker. The man wearing simple clothing and had greying reddish-blond hair. Severus almost grinned. He nodded his head in greeting at the newcomer before entering the Great Hall and taking a seat at the Slytherin table.
The introduction of Argus Filch to the students went reasonably well. While no one cheered at Pringle having an assistant, everyone understood the new man would eventually take the old caretaker's place.
Irma Pince smiled from her place at the Head Table. Tobias Snape was a fine figure of a man and a very sensible fellow. She was going to enjoy the pleasure of his company for years now that he'd come to work at Hogwarts as the new caretaker. She was tickled to have the honor of renaming him. It took some doing, however, she eventually found a perfectly pureblood name in his genealogy. No one would ever confuse him for a Muggle now.