Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or the information Hermione quotes about kitsunes. Harry Potter is owned by J, K. Rowling and the information about kitsunes is from the book titled Werewolves and Shapeshifters, authored by Darren Zenko, published by Ghost House Books in Canada in 2004, located on page 66.
'blah' means thoughts
“Well, Severus, it was bound to happen sooner or later.” Dumbledore sat back in his chair, blue eyes twinkling.
Severus growled almost ferally.
“And you're absolutely sure the glamour charm won't have an effect anymore?”
“I've already told you I've tried everything I could think of!”
“Then, there's nothing we can do about it. I'll call-”
“If you call an emergency staff meeting, I will not be there!” Severus interrupted. “I'd prefer not to be the cause of a few deaths.”
“IF the staff and/or students see their greasy Potions Master in his true form, they will without a doubt laugh themselves to death...except for young Draco Malfoy.”
“Except for Mr. Malfoy?”
“Draco knows what my true form is. Anytime I go over to Malfoy Manor, I drop the charm. I don't have to pretend to be full human around the Malfoys, especially Lucius.” Severus's white tail swishes angrily back and forth. His white fox ears were alert.
“Severus, my boy, no one would recognize you now...except the Malfoys.”
Severus remained quiet. He had almost forgotten his true hair and eye color. His eyes were golden and his waist-length hair was a gorgeous shade of silvery-white. “True; however, if anyone calls me by name, it'll spread throughout the school like wildfire.”
“Yes, I'll admit that the students have ways of finding interesting pieces of information.” Dumbledore stood up and walked over to the half-kitsune. “Follow me, Severus.”
Curious at the Headmaster's actions, Severus did as he was instructed. He belatedly realized where the Headmaster was leading him...the staff room! Severus turned to run, but Dumbledore grabbed his arm and guided him into the room. Then, the Headmaster spelled the open doorway, so the Potions Master couldn't leave. Not that he didn't try, but all he got was a shock administered to whatever touched the seemingly empty doorway. Severus's ears flattened against his head and his tail once again swished angrily. Seeing as the Headmaster was nowhere in sight, Severus sat down in a chair which faced the door and waited for the other wizard's return.
“Albus, couldn't you just tell us what's going on here instead of dragging us to the staff room to tell us?” McGonagall complained, voicing the rest of the staff's opinions.
“No, Minerva. I couldn't.” They reached the staff room a few minutes later and he removed the spell on the doorway. “In you go.”
McGonagall and Flitwick went in first. They were followed by Madame Pomphrey and Professors Sprout, Hooch, and Remus. What the staff saw shocked them. Sitting in one of the chairs was a half-kitsune. He had white fox ears and tail, golden eyes, waist-length silvery-white hair, and was wearing black robes minus the cloak.
“Albus, you do realize that I absolutely will not go along with anything you decide on at this meeting.”
“Albus, how does he know you?” McGonagall inquired.
The half-kitsune smirked. “Oh, I know all of you. Minerva McGonagall, you teach transfigurations and are the Head of Gryffindor. Filius Flitwick, you teach charms and are the Head of Ravenclaw. Poppy Pomphrey, you are the school nurse and can cure almost everything. Pomona Sprout, you teach herbology and are Head of Hufflepuff. Rolanda Hooch, you teach flying and love to referee Quidditch games. Remus Lupin, you teach Defense Against the Dark Arts and are a werewolf.”
“H-how do you know that I-I'm a werewolf?”
Severus held up two fingers. “Two ways. One, to my sensitive nose, you reek of wolf and two, I've seen you and almost got bitten as a result.”
“Enough, Severus,” Dumbledore interrupted.
“Severus?! Albus, surely you jest! Severus isn't a-a...” McGonagall trailed off.
“Half-kitsune and trust me. He is Severus,” Dumbledore replied.
“If you want proof, call Mr. Malfoy here, and he can tell you.”
“I'll get him.” Remus left the staff room. A moment later, he poked his head back in. “Hey, Severus. Where is he?”
Severus rolled his eyes and his tail twitched. “He's in the Common Room.”
“Okay.” Remus left and a few minutes later, he returned with the white-blond boy in tow. McGonagall turned to him and asked, “Do you know who this is?”
Draco looked at who she was pointing at. It was Severus in his true form! “Yes. That's Professor Snape.”
“Explain how you know this.”
“Well, anytime Professor Snape comes to visit my family, he's always in his true form.” There was an uncomfortable little pause. “my father would be better informed to answer your questions.”
“Owl your father and tell him to come immediately,” Dumbledore said.
Draco nodded and wrote a quick note. He left for the owlery and five minutes later, came back. Not ten minutes later, Lucius Malfoy strode in and saw Severus. “Ah, Severus. I see the glamour wore off.”
“Mr. Malfoy, please explain how you know about Severus.”
“Well, it was in our fourth year...”
%%% HOGWARTS, 1968
Fourth-years Lucius Malfoy and Severus Snape were alone in their dorm room. Severus had been working on his Defense Against the Dark Arts essay. Lucius had looked over at his friend. “Severus, how long is your essay?”
“Oh, just five feet.”
“It was only supposed to be three feet!”
“I know, but I wanted to be thorough.” Severus caught the weird look Lucius was giving him. “What's wrong, Lucius?”
“What spell is placed on you?”
“What do you mean?”
“For a few seconds, you had silvery-white hair, golden eyes, and white fox ears.”
Severus paled as his best friend described what he saw. “I have a glamour charm that I renew every year.”
“Can you take the charm off and let me see your true form?”
“Well, I wouldn't want this to get out.”
Lucius spelled the dorm room door closed and locked. “How about now?”
“Swear on your wand that this won't get out unless necessary.”
“I swear on my eighteen inch elm and dragon heartstring wand that this secret will not leave my lips without permission.”
“Very well.” Severus flicked his wand, ending the glamour charm. His shoulder-length black hair became waist-length and silvery-white, his black eyes turned golden, and his pale skin became creamy white. He had white fox ears and a white tail. “This is the true me.”
“Who else knows?”
“Aside from you, my mother, the Headmaster, and Madame Pomphrey know as well as Narcissa.”
“She's one of my closest friends.”
“Do you like it? Having to keep the glamour charm on I mean.”
“No, not really, but I have to.”
“When you come visit me, you don't have to if you'd like.”
“That'd be nice, Lucius. Thank you.”
“No problem, Sev.” Lucius looked at the half-kitsune's DADA essay, which he had been adding information to. How long is your essay now?”
%%% HOGWARTS, PRESENT
“And that's how I found out. It was pure accident.”
“Thank you, Lucius. That's all we needed,” Dumbledore said.
:Come talk to me later, Sev,” Lucius whispered before he left.
“So, now what?” McGonagall asked.
“I believe, Minerva, that it's dinnertime.” Dumbledore stood up. “Let's go.”
“I am not going,” Severus stated.
“You have no choice, Severus,” Dumbledore said.
Severus's tail swished angrily, but said nothing. Remus placed a gentle hand on the half-kitsune's shoulder. “Come on, Severus. The students will find out sooner or later, so why not come down.”
Severus sighed. “Well, Poppy, be prepared to have many students admitted. They'll be comatose.” He brushed Remus's hand off his shoulder. “Hands off, Werewolf!”
Remus stepped back from the Potions Master.
“Now, Severus, be civil,” Dumbledore warned. Severus's tail swished angrily once again, but said nothing as he walked among the teachers. The walk down to the Great Hall was quiet. Once the teachers entered the Great Hall, many students watched the professors walk up to the Head Table until, that is, their eyes landed on the half-kitsune. Three-quarters of the students were more curious about the stranger than the missing Potions Master. The other quarter were wondering where their Head of House was, except for Draco. He locked eyes with Severus and barely nodded, so his house mates wouldn't see.
As soon as the professors sat down at the table, Dumbledore remained standing and addressed the students. “As you can see, we have a new teacher, but then again, he isn't new. This,” he indicated the silvery-white haired half-kitsune, “is Professor Severus Snape, Potions Master and Head of Slytherin House.”
The brief pause which followed the Headmaster's announcement was the calm before the storm. Several girls squealed, which caused Severus's ears to flatten against his head. He tail swished, showing how nervous he was. A first-year Slytherin caught sight of the tail and said, “Cool tail.”
A matter-of-fact tone of voice drifted up to Severus's ears from half-way down the Gryffindor table. It was Hermione Granger, who was talking to Harry Potter and Ron Weasley. “Fast and agile, bright-eyed and alert, quick and cunning – all around the world the fox is known as a trickster, a prankster, a maker of mischief. But with creatures of legend, especially those that walk among humans, playfulness has a way of shading into maliciousness and jokes become deadly – or worse. So it is that [kitsunes], supernatural beings that can take the form of both fox and man are considered as dangerous as werewolves and other shapeshifters of a more violent and predatory sort.”
Harry looked over at the Head Table and wondered. 'Hmm. Maybe Snape's attitude is due to his malicious kitsune nature.'
Back at the Head Table, Hagrid's talking caught Severus's attention. “Kitsunes are gorgeous creatures. Blimey, I'd love a kitsune for me class.” He turned to Severus and opened his mouth.
Severus cut him off. He hissed, “Don't even say it. I'm not a freak to be put on display!”
Severus's pupils were slits, and Hagrid sputtered an apology. Severus stormed out of the Great Hall, his silvery-white hair flowing behind him.
Severus stormed into his office and spelled the door closed and locked. He grabbed a handful of floo powder, climbed into the fireplace, and before he dropped the powder, he called out, “Malfoy Manor!”
Seconds later, Severus stepped out of the fireplace in Malfoy Manor, just as Narcissa was entering the living room. “Severus! What a pleasant surprise.” Narcissa walked over and hugged her closest friend.
Severus returned the hug and asked her, “Hello, Narcissa. Where's Lucius?”
She released him. “He's in the study.” Severus nodded. “Will you two want anything?”
“Yes, just some Firewhiskey.”
“I'll have a house-elf bring it out.”
Severus nodded again and strode towards Lucius's study door. He rapped on the door twice and then opened it. Lucius looked up from his desk, where he was seated looking over some Ministry documents. “Severus, I wasn't expecting you so soon.”
Before Severus could respond, a house-elf popped in and set a bottle of Ogden's Old Firewhiskey and two clear shot glasses on Lucius's desk and promptly popped back out.
Lucius looked at the bottle and then back at his friend. “Hard time at the school?”
“Obviously.” Severus collapsed into the chair opposite the platinum-blond's desk
. “So, what happened?” Lucius poured a shot and set it in front of the half-kitsune, who downed it in one gulp.
“I was exposed to the entire school at dinner, during which Hagrid said he wants a kitsune for his classes.”
“Well, he hasn't seen many kitsunes.” Lucius downed a shot. “Come to think of it, neither have I, except for you. Why is that?”
“Most kitsunes prefer to hide like my mother and I.”
“Tell me about her.” Lucius poured two more shots.
Severus downed his before he started his story. “My mother was a full kitsune with magic. While she attended Hogwarts, she cast a glamour charm on herself much like I did. My father never found out about my mother or myself, because she kept her glamour charm on, and she cast one on my when I was born. When I got my letter, he left, and my mother dropped our charms and told me everything, including the warning not to go out without a glamour charm on.”
“So until you received your letter, you had no idea you were a half-kitsune?”
“I had an idea that I wasn't normal, but until then, I couldn't put my finger on it.”
%%% SATURDAY, HOGWARTS
A knock on the door roused Severus from his sleep. He slid out of bed and snagged a robe, slipping it on before opening the door. There stood Remus Lupin. The corner of Remus's mouth twitched. Severus stood there in front of him, his silvery-white hair tousled; his black robe covering his grey nightshirt; his tail swishing every so often; his ears between alert and angry; his golden eyes narrowed. “What do you want, Werewolf?”
Remus smiled. “You and I have to chaperone the students that are going to Hogsmeade.”
Severus scowled. “I'll be there.” The half-kitsune closed the door in Remus's face, before he could comment further.
Severus, clothed in his usual black robes, walked out of the castle, into the courtyard, and joined Remus in making sure only the students who had signed permission slips got into the thestral-pulled carriages. Once all the student-filled carriages were under way, Remus climbed into a vacant carriage and looked back out the still open door at Severus. The black-clad professor scowled and deliberately turned his back to the DADA professor and started on the path to Hogsmeade. Once he got to the town, he went straight to the Three Broomsticks. He sat in the back, hoping to not attract any attention. However, the clicking sound of heels coming closer made him groan inwardly. Madame Rosmerta would definitely not recognize him, so she would undoubtedly try to flirt with him.
“Haven't seen you around these parts before,” Rosmerta flirted, but got no response. “What'll you have, handsome?”
Rosmerta left, but came back minutes later, drink in hand. 'He sounds familiar.' “Here you go, sir.”
“Thank you.” Severus took the drink.
Rosmerta leaned in close. “Severus Snape?” Severus gave a curt nod in affirmation. “What happened? A potions accident?”
Sensing that Severus was not going to give her any answers in detail, Rosmerta walked back to the bar, but made a detour when she saw Albus Dumbledore walk in. “Albus, so good to see you.”
“And you, Rosmerta, my dear.”
“Severus is in the back and not wanting to talk about his new looks.” Rosmerta gestured towards the back of the tavern.
“His looks are not new, my dear. He has been wearing a glamour charm all these years.”
“Why did he decide to take it off?”
“It was not his decision. The glamour charm is no longer effective in hiding his kitsune looks.”
“So, Severus is a kitsune?”
“Only half-kitsune. His mother, who was full kitsune, told him not to go out without the glamour charm on.”
“I shall not keep you from the other patrons, my dear.”
“I'll get your butterbeer, Albus.”
Dumbledore walked over to where Severus was seated and took a seat across from him. “It's good to see you are not hiding yourself, Severus.”
“I will not shirk my responsibility to the school and its students just because my charm has failed.”
“It's good to know your priorities are in order.”
“Speaking of priorities, I need to go to the apothecary.” Severus stood up at the same time Rosmerta arrived with Dumbledore's butterbeer. Severus nodded at her in acknowledgment. “Rosmerta.”
“Severus.” Rosmerta set Dumbledore's drink down, and Severus swept out of the tavern. He walked into the apothecary and started picking out the ingredients he needed or was low on. Usually, that would be all, but he was low on a couple of ingredients from his personal stores, so he needed to talk to the owner. He carried his ingredients to the counter. He waited for the owner to come out of the back room, but when he didn't, Severus cleared his throat.
Mr. J. Pippin came hurrying out of the back room and only slightly paused when he saw the half-kitsune standing there. “Severus, is that you?”
“Yes, it is.”
“So, Eileen's finally told you to take the charm off?”
“How'd you know about my mother...or for that matter, me?”
“Eileen was a regular, much like you are, and she let me in on her secret. Later on, when you were born, she sent me an encrypted owl informing me that you inherited her secret. In any case, what do you need?”
“Six ounces of powdered Romanian Longhorn horn, ten frozen Ashwinder eggs, and all of these,” Severus said, gesturing to the ingredients sitting on the counter.
“All right.” J. Pippin went back into the back room, and a couple of minutes went by before he came back out, carrying a jar and a container with a cushioning charm and a freezing charm on it. “All right, Severus, that'll be five galleons, eleven sickles, and three knuts.”
The Potions Master set the money on the counter and took his purchases. “See you again in a few weeks.”
“Always a pleasure doing business with you, Severus.”
%%% BACK AT HOGWARTS
Severus was putting away his newly acquired potion ingredients, when his fireplace flared green and Lucius Malfoy stepped into the office.
“Hello, Lucius.” Severus had his back to the fireplace.
“How did you know it was me?”
“Only a few people are allowed to floo into my office and most of them are in this school and know to leave me in peace.” Severus turned around, smirking.
Lucius stepped forward and whispered, “The Dark Lord is going to hold a meeting tonight.”
“Are you sure?”
Severus growled. “I wonder why. Which one told Him that I'm half-kitsune?”
“We know it wasn't Draco.”
“Of course it wasn't Draco.”
“Then again, we don't know why He's called the meeting.”
“Why else would He call a meeting if not to address the fact that I lied to Him?”
“We'll have to wait and see.”
“I'm going to brew a glamour potion. Hopefully, it'll have an effect.”
“I hope it does too.”
%%% THAT NIGHT
Severus growled inaudibly as he and Lucius apparated to the meeting site. As they got to their spots, Voldemort addressed his Death Eaters, “My followers! Our time is almost at hand! The muggles, Mudbloods, and blood-traitors will feel our wrath! The wizarding world will be on its knees before us, the elite few!”
The Death Eaters cheered. Severus growled inaudibly again. He couldn't believe the potion didn't work, but he was thankful for the hooded robe, silvery mask, and black gloves, which all Death Eaters wore. He was so deep in thought he missed the first half of Rookwood's report. “...saw something unusual. I saw Snape go into Arthur Weasley's office several times last month.”
“I teach two of his children. It's only natural that I talk to the Weasley patriarch,” Severus interrupted.
“But his children are not in your house,” Rookwood pointed out.
“Enough!” Voldemort interrupted. “I have known for some time that there was a spy in our midst, and now I know that is was you, Severus.” Voldemort pulled out his wand. “Crucio!”
Severus fell to his knees and gritted his teeth, determined not to scream. However, Voldemort increased the spell's intensity, and Severus had no choice. He fell to the ground on his side and his mask and hood fell off. To Severus's surprise, the curse was lifted. “That is not Severus! Find him! He will pay for this deception!”
“What about him?” asked Nott.
“I don't know how this half-breed received my mark, but he shall have it no longer!” Voldemort pressed his wand tip to Severus's Dark Mark, which then disappeared. “Rookwood, Lestranges, your next mission is to find Severus! He must be made an example of, and anyone caught helping the traitor will face the same fate...death.”
Voldemort apparated away, leaving his Death Eaters (sans Lucius) stunned. One by one, they too apparated away, except for Lucius, who approached Severus. “Are you all right, Severus?”
“I'll be okay, Lucius.”
Lucius extended his hand to Severus. “Come on. Let's get back to the castle.”
Severus gripped Lucius's hand, and they apparated to Hogwarts' grounds. Lucius supported Severus as they made their way to Dumbledore's office.
“Treacle Fudge,” Severus said. As they rode the spiral staircase up, Severus stared at his unmarred forearm. “I can't believe it's finally gone and it'll be awhile before Rookwood or any of the Lestranges realize who I am.”
When they reached the top, they knocked on the door.
“Come in, Severus, Lucius.”
The two wizards walked in, and Severus sank into the chair opposite Dumbledore's desk. Dumbledore noticed the two were wearing Death Eater robes. Before Dumbledore could say anything, Severus blurted out, “Albus, it's finally gone!”
“Calm down, Severus. Why don't you start at the beginning?” Dumbledore stated.
“I came to see Severus earlier this evening to warn him about the meeting.”
“I was in the process of brewing a glamour potion, which obviously didn't work.”
“Later on, we were summoned, and Severus was exposed as a spy.”
“I had a short duration of the Cruciatus Curse before my mask and hood fell off. Obviously, no one told the Dark Lord my secret, because he took the curse off and said that I wasn't Severus Snape. He took my mark off!”
“He told Rookwood and all three Lestranges to find Severus.”
“I've been freed,” Severus repeated, pulling up his left sleeve and revealing his unmarred arm.
Dumbledore walked over to Severus and grasped his arm. “So Voldemort thought you were an imposter? I'm surprised you weren't tortured more or killed outright.”
“I'm surprised myself, Albus.”
“You have had a busy couple of days, Severus. Take tomorrow to rest. I'll see the two of you later.” The two wizards clicked shut, Dumbledore chuckled to himself. “So Voldemort released the one person who could have helped him strengthen his ranks.”
Fawkes trilled from his perch before flying over to land in front of his master.
“Severus, in the early days, could've convinced kitsunes and half-kitsunes to join the Death Eaters.” Dumbledore started stroking his phoenix. “Fortunately, he is on our side, and now Voldemort has lost him completely. This old man can rest a little easier tonight.”