All canon characters belong to JKR.
Thanks as always to June for all of her wonderful suggestions and all of her help.
Chapter â“ 20 â“ A corset, a lesson and permission
Friday morning dawned, and all the guests were up early.
Albus and Minerva were joined outside for breakfast by everyone else. Well, not everyone â“ Harry was mysteriously missing, as were the Snape children. Hermione got up to find out what her children were up to, but Severus stopped her.
âLet them sleep, Hermione. The holiday will be over with soon enough, and then we can get them back on their schedule,â Severus said. After breakfast, he would go to their rooms and get them out of bed himself.
As they all ate and chatted, the women decided to go into the small Bavarian town not far from the castle, to get some special things for their New Yearâs celebration on the following day. Hermione wanted to buy some cakes and chocolates for dessert. Also, a day out with the girls might nice.
After the group finished eating, Hermione, Cho, Ginny, and Minerva left via carriage into town. That left the men. Draco had brought along his laptop and was showing Albus the wonders of the Wizardnet. Severus and Lucius were at the other end of the table finishing their coffee. Harry was still in his room, and the children â“ well, they were somewhere within the castle.
The prior evening, before they went to bed, Hermione had asked Severus where he thought Lucius and Ginny were going as a couple. Hermione loved Ginny like a sister, and she knew the redheadâs relationship with Harry these last few years had been strained. Ginny wanted to fall in love and get married; she wanted a family of her own. Hermione asked Severus to talk to Lucius and find out just what he had in mind with her friend.
Normally, Severus would have told Hermione they should mind their own business, but in this case he himself was curious â“ not so much for Ginny, but for Lucius. After Lucius lost Narcissa, he became withdrawn and cut himself off from the world. But ever since Lucius came to the castle and became involved with Ginny, Severus noticed the old Lucius slowly emerging. His friend was smiling again.
Severus and Lucius sat at the other end of the table. Severus took a sip of his coffee and set his cup down, then looked over at Lucius.
âWell, this has certainly been an interesting holiday, hasnât it?â said Severus.
Lucius smiled and looked over to Severus.
âGinny is a wonderful woman. Have you made any plans to continue your relationship beyond this holiday?â asked Severus.
âGinny is a remarkable woman. She brought me back to life, Severus.â
As the two men talked, Severus noticed something in the sky.
âI hope to continue with Ginny, but I want to do this right.â Lucius noticed that Severus was looking towards the sky. He looked in the same direction and saw a dark object.
âWhat is that?â asked Lucius.
âIt looks like an owl, but itâs coming in too fast,â said Severus.
âGood lord, itâsâŚitâs coming straight at us.â Lucius looked on in horror.
âWatch out!â yelled Severus as all the men shoved themselves away from the table and hit the ground.
The owl came from the sky at an incredible speed. It landed at one end of the table, crashing into the laptop Draco was showing to Albus. Then the owl slid across the length of the table and landed in the bushes. After they were sure nothing else was coming at them, the men slowly got up from the ground.
âFucking hell, what was that?â yelled Draco as he helped Albus stand. The older wizardâs glasses were bent out of shape, and his beard had pieces of grass in it.
Severus stood and walked cautiously to the bushes. As he got close, the owlâs head popped out of the bush. It crawled out of its leafy cushion and extended its leg towards Severus. He took the note from the owlâs leg and unrolled it.
âItâs from Arthur Weasley,â he said as he looked at Lucius. âItâs for you.â
Lucius swallowed hard. He knew he would eventually have to confront Ginnyâs father about their relationship, but he didnât think it would be this soon. There was of course the added pressure of Ginnyâs father being the Minister of Magic. Still, heâd always known Arthur Weasley to be a fair man. However, Arthur was there the day Lucius gave his testimony and the records were sealed. Arthur knew the atrocities Lucius had committed as a Death Eater. Lucius took the note and read it:
I would like to speak with you this afternoon regarding an urgent matter.
I will be waiting for you this afternoon at the Burrow. I hope 2:30 p.m. is fine. Everyone will have gone out for a few hours and I will be alone.
I shall expect you here promptly.
Lucius folded the note and looked at Severus.
âIt seems you arenât the only one who wants to discuss Ginny with me today. Arthur wants to speak to me on an urgent matter. Ron must have told him about Ginny and I,â said Lucius quietly.
Severus smiled and patted him on the shoulder.
âIt was inevitable.â Severus saw a look on Luciusâ face he had rarely seen â“ worry. âArthur is a smart man, Lucius. He knows you have changed.â
âYes, but would you want your daughter to marry an Ex-Death Eater?â scowled Lucius.
âMarry?â Severus blinked, then smiled.
âI havenât asked her yet, but yes, I would like to marry her. I only hope her father accepts that. Please donât say anything to Ginny; I want to tell her about this myself when I get back from the Burrow.â Lucius was unsure of what would happen there. Indeed, what man would allow his daughter to marry an Ex-Death Eater? Especially after having heard about the atrocities committed from said manâs own mouth.
The men all walked inside followed by Albus and Draco who were still seeing to their own things. Albus fixed his glasses and decided to do some reading. Draco sat on the couch and tried to fix his laptop, using his wand. Lucius went to his room to get ready for his meeting with Arthur. He decided to wear something casual, not wanting to look too menacing to his hopefully future father-in-law, while Severus went to wake up his children. Severus wondered if he should knock on Harryâs door, but decided against it. Not knowing exactly what was happening to Harry, Severus decided to let him have some private time.
Severus knocked on Odinâs door. He waited but there was no answer. He opened the door and walked into the boyâs room, only to find the bed empty. He narrowed his eyes, then walked to Sageâs room. There he found that his daughter was not in her bed either.
âWhat are they up to?â he wondered to himself. As he turned to walk out the door, he took a quick glance at the mirror next to the bureau. The wall across the room seemed to be out of alignment somehow. Severus walked to the wall and realized it was a hidden door. âWhat theâŚâ he thought. Severus opened the door and stepped through. It was a tunnel of some sort. The first thing he noticed was that it ran in two directions, to his right and to his left. He decided to go left.
âLumos,â he thought, and the tip of his wand lit up. He quietly followed the tunnel until he sat two pinpricks of light ahead of him. He got closer and noticed that the wall next to him had holes in it, letting through light from the other side of the wall. Severus bent down slightly and looked through the holes.
It was one of the guestâs rooms. Severus wasnât quite sure whose it was, and decided to keep walking, until he saw Harry. But oh, how he wished he hadnât.
Harry came into his range of vision. He wore a red corset with black frills along the edge. His garters were black, as were his hose and stiletto heels. And the cherry on top of the cake was that Harry also wore heavy eye makeup and dark red lipstick. Apparently, his strange behavior from last night still had not worn off, and Severus wondered if someone had cast a spell on Harry. At least, thatâs what heâd hoped after seeing him dressed in that manner.
I\'ve been making a man
With blond hair and a tan
And he\'s good for relieving my... ...tension
I\'m just a sweet transvestite
From Transexual, Transylvania.
I\'m just a sweet transvestite. (Sweet transvestite)
From Transexual, Transylvania.
So - come up to the lab,
And see what\'s on the slab.
I see you shiver with anticiâŚ pation.
But maybe the rain
Isn\'t really to blame.
So I\'ll remove the cause. (chuckles)
But not the symptom.
It was quite possible a counter-spell might need to be found. âPity I donât know the spell or counter-spell,â thought Severus as he smiled and turned away.
He continued to walk down the tunnel. He seemed to be going down on an incline. He marveled at the construction of the tunnel. It was wide enough for a normal-sized person to walk through comfortably. The inner walls were also very cool and smoothly cut. Severus finally reached the end of the tunnel and saw he was in the dungeons, specifically in the potions lab. To his amazement, the wall of shelves was a door. Just as he was about to push the door open further, he heard voices.
âNo, we canât do that one,â he heard Sage say.
âWell, why not? It looks like it might be fun to watch,â argued Odin.
âFine, but can you pronounce that first word? Because I know I canât,â countered Sage.
âAll right, all right. Donât you ever get tired of being right?â Odin complained to his younger sister.
Severus walked quietly to where his children were sitting side-by-side as they pored over a book, and stopped behind them. He crossed his arms as his shadow enveloped both Odin and Sage.
âOh, for goodness sake, why did you turn the torches off? I can\'t see.â huffed Sage.
âAnd how do you propose I did that? Iâve been sitting next to you since we came down here,â snapped Odin. They both looked at each other, then down at the shadow. Ever so slowly, their heads tilted up.
âUh-oh,â said Sage.
âUmmâŚhi, Dad. WeâŚwe just thought we would have a look at some books. You know how much we love to read,â said Odin.
âOh yes, I do. Especially,â Severus leaned down and took the book from their hands, then turned it over to read the cover. âA Spell a Day Keeps The Houseguests Away, by Martha Stuartman.â Severus looked down at his children, then opened the book to the page they were trying to read.
âNavigium asinus,â Severus read aloud, then looked down at his children. âAre you trying to give Harry diarrhea?â
âHe did say he was constipated,â said Odin, trying to look concerned for Harry.
âWe promise to leave Harry alone, Daddy. Please donât punish us. We canât pronounce the words anyway.â
Severus felt the corner of his mouth twitching. So, his suspicions were indeed correct. His children were making Harryâs stay at the castle miserable. What they were doing was wrong, and he knew he should punish them by making them scrub cauldrons for a month when they got back to Hogwarts.
âI should punish you. You both have been extremely disrespectful towards Harry.â
âBut Daddy, it was his fault Uncle Lucius was so sad. We saw Harry with those papers in his room.â Sage covered her mouth quickly, realizing sheâd said too much.
Severus looked at his daughter and â“ without her feeling it â“ he broke into her mind. He saw the incident she had just spoken of, from that day he was gathering some ingredients. As he suspected, the package delivered to Harry was from the Ministry, and it was Luciusâ transcript. He looked at Odin, than back at Sage. He knew that they were both afraid of being punished. And while they deserved to be disciplined, he knew they had only done what they did because if Harryâs injustice towards someone they loved. He knelt down and took out his wand.
âNow watch closely, and repeat after me: Navigium asinus.â
Later that day, Lucius stood outside. He decided to Apparate to the Burrow instead of going via Floo to see Arthur. He was wearing a white long-sleeved shirt and didnât want to get it full of Floo powder. Lucius had always been a vain man, but today he wanted to look good. He needed to make a good impression. While he and Arthur already knew one another, he still felt it important to look presentable and put his best foot forward. He would do anything to have Arthurâs acceptance of his relationship with Ginny. It was important to have his blessing; Lucius was old-fashioned when it came to courtship.
Lucius Apparated to the Burrow. He was greeted at the door by Arthur Weasley.
âArthur,â Lucius said as he extended his hand, and both men shook. âHow have you been?â
âIâve been well, thank you. Come in, come in.â Arthur stepped aside and allowed Lucius to enter. They walked to the living room and sat in two large chairs in front of the fire. Even though Arthur was the Minister of Magic, he found it hard to leave his home of so many years. He and his wife still lived in their modest home, where all their children were raised. Arthur poured a glass of firewhisky and handed it to Lucius. Both men sat quietly for a few moments.
âI suppose you are wondering why Iâve asked you to meet me here,â asked Arthur.
âYes,â Lucius said as he took a sip of his drink, then set it down. âI can assure you, Arthur, that I love Ginny very much. It was my full intention to come to see you after the holiday.â
Arthur looked at Lucius in confusion. âGinny? Youâre in love with Ginny?â
âWhy yes, of course. And with your permission I would like to ask you for her hand in marriage.â Lucius saw Arthur was beginning to turn white as a ghost.
âMarry? Ginny?â Arthur said as he leaned forward and fell in a dead faint.
Lucius immediately moved towards him and helped him sit back up. He shook Arthur slightly, not wanting to use the Ennervate spell. The last thing he needed was for someone to walk in and see him, a former Death Eater, pointing a wand at the Minister of Magic.
âArthur, Arthur, wake up.â
Arthur slowly came to, and looked at Lucius. He then reached for the drink heâd left on the table and drank it down in one gulp.
âIâm sorry, Iâm fine, really. I justâŚwell. You surprised me, thatâs all.â
âDidnât you summon me here because of Ginny?â asked Lucius.
âNo, I asked you here because of Harry. Iâve found out who gave him your transcript,â said Arthur.
Lucius sat back in his chair, thinking he was the one who might faint now. Judging by the other manâs reaction, he got the feeling Arthur wasnât too crazy about his request for Ginnyâs hand.
âLook, letâs get this business out of the way,â Arthur said. âSeverus sent me an owl with his suspicions. I made an inquiry and found out that one of Harryâs old classmates, Dean Thomas who works in the records department, sent him your transcript. Itâs well within your rights to press charges and demand that they both be relieved of their Ministry jobs. If you decide not to press any kind of charges towards either or both of them, then I can guarantee you that they will at least be suspended without pay for an entire month.â
Lucius listened to Arthur. The fact that the two men would be suspended from their jobs for a month without any wages was enough. He had worked things out with Ginny. While he had hoped to tell her of his past on his own time when he felt their relationship was strong enough, he felt good that things were now out in the open.
âNo, I will not press charges. A month of lost wages should be enough to teach them a valuable lesson,â said Lucius. He emptied his glass and set it on the table.
Arthur nodded, relieved at Luciusâ decision. An unrepentant Death Eater would have pressed charges, if not worse.
âNow, as to the matter of Ginny,â said Arthur. âSheâs my only daughter, Lucius. When you have a daughter, you feel differently towards her. Your love for her is different than your love for a son. Sons grow up; they get married and become part of their wivesâ families. But daughters â“ well, daughters belong to us forever. Sheâs my little girl, and I still feel that I have to protect her.â
Lucius felt a knot in his stomach begin to form.
âYou remember I was there when you gave your testimony to the Wizengamot.â Arthur stood and began to pace. âI had nightmares that night. I never believed wizards could do such things to each other.â
âArthur,â Lucius said, as his voice trembled.
âPlease, let me finish.â Arthur placed his hands behind his back and looked out the window. âI didnât trust you for a long time. When you came to us, I thought it was a trick. But Severus assured us you had changed sides, and I decided to give you the benefit of the doubt.â He looked back towards Lucius. âYou proved to be a great help in the defeat of Voldemort. The shelters you set up for the widows and orphans left behind â“ that was a great thing. I never liked you much, Lucius. But Severus and Hermione swore by you, and one day, I realized I respected you. Youâre a fine man, I see that now. If you want to marry Ginny and she wants you, then I give you my blessing.â
Lucius couldnât believe it. He stood and shook Arthurâs hand, then hugged him.
âThank you, Arthur,â said Lucius as he smiled widely.
âI know youâll take good care of her.â Arthur felt his eyes tear. He knew how Ginny had suffered all these years waiting for Harry. But now, here was a man who loved his daughter and wanted nothing more than to make her his wife.
âI give you my word, she will never want for anything.â
I hope you enjoyed this chapter. I think Harry has had enough don\'t you?
The spell Navigium asinus â“ translates into Leaky ass. Yes, you knew it would eventually come to that, sorry.
Also, the song Harry was singing was part of âSweet Transvestiteâ from Rocky Horror Picture Show.
The Snapes go on holiday by ancientgir