Infinitely pleased with his work, the wizard returned home, expecting to be greeted with Lily’s body and a summons from his Lord for a job well done. He had slipped out with Potter’s body under the chaos that had reigned at Hogwarts as Dumbledore, then McGonagall and that oaf Hagrid all left to destinations unknown.
When he returned home to his quarters, an owl was waiting for him with an emergency edition of the Daily Prophet. The headline blared the news:
Harry Potter: Boy Who Lived Vanquished Dark Lord! Snape skimmed the article, sneering and scoffing at Rita Skeeter’s purple prose and exaggerated speech. Lily’s son, Harry Potter, had miraculously survived the Killing Curse, barring only a lightning bolt shaped scar on his forehead. James’s body was no where to be found, but Lily had been discovered at the scene beside the crib, her last act of defiance in defending her son.
In retrospect, he should have expected it; the woman he had loved was fiercely protective of her family. Still, he couldn’t help the bitter resentment and jealousy that rose like bile in his throat. Lily’s son – no. Potter’s spawn had survived, Sr. and Jr. both still plaguing the world with their presence while sweet Lily had died so they could live. And the boy – a toddler! –was credited with defeating, vanquishing the Dark Lord, accomplishing a feat that grown wizards – including the great Albus Dumbledore himself!—had failed at! When the truth of it was that he had done nothing except be born on the wrong day, coincidently fulfilling a prophecy—Snape paused, considering. The prophecy. ‘And the Dark Lord shall mark him as his equal…’ The scar was proof of that. Perhaps the connotations within the line were true as well. For the Dark Lord and Harry Potter to be equals, Voldemort would have had to be reduced to Potter’s level, physically, emotionally, mentally, and magically. And the boy was just over a year old. But as he grew in power and matured, so too, theoretically, would the Dark Lord. It was a long shot, Snape mused. But still one to prepare and watch for. The Potter boy would be attending Hogwarts as of his eleventh birthday. He would be ready.
Another article below the fold caught his gaze:
A Black with a Lion’s Heart: Sirius Black Killed Saving Muggles!
Hit wizard and Auror Sirius Black (of Gryffindor House), died in the line of duty last night when he confronted Peter Pettigrew with betraying the Potters to He Who Must Not Be Named. Pettigrew responded with accusations Black was the alleged Secret Keeper and betrayer himself, before blowing up a gas main, choosing suicide rather than consequences of whatever the truth may have been. All that was found of Pettigrew was his finger.
Black shielded the Muggles, 13 of them, but was caught in the blast himself, according to Aurors and witnesses on scene.
As the heir to the House of Black, Sirius Black will be buried with full honors, despite the mystery surrounding his death. Lady Narcissa Malfoy (nee Black) is set to inherit and become Duchess Ravenridge, as Black’s original choice for heir in his will, James Potter, is presumed dead as well. Potter’s son, young Harry, has no named magical guardian and thus no proxy to contest Lady Malfoy’s presumption of inheritance.