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Pottery Shards

Chapter Text

Notes: set just after the death of James & Lily. Could (Should) have been canon.

If you recognize them, they belong to JK Rowling.


"Do you really think you did him a favor?"

The older man looked at his friend, faded blue eyes peering over glasses, and one wrinkled hand rested on the stack of paper in front of him. "What do you mean, Severus? Of course I did him a favor. He won't need to worry about..."

"Knowing who he really is? Knowing about his heritage, about his family? He won't need to worry about fulfilling his responsibilities?" The younger man shook his head. "Hardly what most would call a favor."

"His family will be able to teach him..." the old man began.

"Nothing. They know only the barest hints, certainly not enough to prepare him even if they tried. You forget, I had the experience of meeting them once, and I have never seen anyone less suited to raising a magical child."

"He's only a child, he doesn't need to worry about everything yet," the protest was immediate.

"Today? No, he doesn't need to worry about them today. But it takes time and study to be ready to fulfill responsibilities like those. You did not learn of what would be expected of you as a member of an Old and Honored family and begin handling those responsibilities the next day, or even the next year. You were brought up knowing what you were, and gradually learning what that meant. Who will teach the boy?"

"We will have plenty of time to instruct him when he's older," a wave of one wrinkled hand was intended to soothe all the worries away.

With a snort, Severus countered, "You are old, Albus. To be blunt, how can you be sure you will survive long enough to see him come to the school? I know the general responsibilities of an old family, but none of the specifics of his family, and his father and I loathed each other. I would be a poor choice to teach him anything, even if I knew what he would need to know."

"He needs time to be young, to enjoy life," Albus tried to defend his decision again.

"Of course he will be young, everyone starts out that way. But being young does not mean that you enjoy life, that depends much on what sort of life one has. If they are still as bad as they were when Lily married Potter, he may not live to be old, or even come to the school."

"They could not be so terrible. He is their own blood, their family. Surely they will be able to put aside any lingering frustrations..."

"Albus, are you not the one who kept telling me that the only difference between wizards and muggles was that we have magic and they do not? That they have the same range of emotions, the same capabilities for passion and joy and fear as we do?" Severus tried a different strategy.

"Of course! That is just one of the reasons why Voldemort and his followers were so terrible, to do such things to fellow thinking creatures." Albus was looking at him now, no longer fooling with the papers on his desk.

The dark haired wizard's voice was harsh, "How many wizards have cast out their squib relatives, hated and scorned them for those differences? How many wizards have you known who caused pain, and suffering to their family, their wives and children? Who slaughtered their family in the name of obedience to the Dark Lord? What makes you think that muggles are any less capable of malice, jealousy, hatred, and violence? What makes you think he won't be in danger from the very people who should be watching over him?"

"I would hope that any of her family would share her gentleness, her noble spirit," Albus tried to look wise and confident.

"You are risking a helpless boy's life on that hope."

For several long moments, there was silence in the office.

"Maybe it would be wise to place a few safe guards in effect, just to make certain..."

"Another safeguard would be to determine a second choice of guardian. For when they prove themselves unsuitable."

"Don't worry, I'll handle everything."

end fragment - a favor?