Electric Avenue by DesertPlanet
Summary: Following the disasterous Third Task, Harry begins to notice two things about himself. First: his appearence has begun to change. Second: something is very very wrong. The Cruciatus shouldn't continue to be causing him pain this far out from having received it, should it?
Categories: Parental Snape > Biological Father Snape > Severitus Challenge Main Characters: .Snape and Harry (required), Draco, Remus
Snape Flavour: Kind Snape
Genres: Angst, Family, Hurt/Comfort, Mystery
Tags: Disguised!Harry, Injured!Harry, New Identity!Harry, Physical Impairment
Takes Place: 5th summer, 5th Year
Warnings: Neglect, Out of Character
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 44 Completed: No Word count: 191134 Read: 197797 Published: 08 Jan 2021 Updated: 12 Nov 2021
Chapter 5 by DesertPlanet
“Thank you for coming,” Severus said to Draco as he poured a simple cup of tea.

While he would rather have been out joining the Order in their search for the missing boy, he was fairly certain the boy was within the wards, just that they were no longer registering him as being there. His family was undoubtedly still fawning over him and allowing him to laze about, doing whatever he chose rather than doing his homework. There was no point in going in and disrupting what he was certain was a normal summer for the boy. If anything, the boy would probably be more upset if Severus did show up.

No. For now he would focus on Draco’s apparent apprenticeship and getting the boy settled into life in Cokeworth. He would try to put those blasted letters behind him and focus on the work at hand as there was much work to be done.

“Thank you for taking me on,” Draco said quite cordially despite looking around the living room in thinly veiled disgust. “I shall do my best.”

“You shall do better than that,” Severus scoffed. As if he would allow a fifth year to do much more than ingredient preparation with some of these potions. Particularly the poisons. If Draco was truly going to be helping him with brewing, he would need to first prove he understood the theory behind how they were brewed and why certain ingredients needed to be prepared in certain ways. Draco’s best was hardly up to that standard.

“You have an… interesting… house, sir,” Draco said, looking at some of the few remaining muggle artifacts the house contained, namely the old television and radio, though the phone on the counter did catch his eye as well. “Why do you keep all of these muggle contraptions?”


“During the school year, I have worked out a deal with a neighbor to come look after my possessions as I do not have a house elf. That neighbor happens to be a muggle and would not understand the obvious lack of certain appliances,” Severus said.

“Ah,” Draco nodded his head approvingly. “Using muggles as servants. I understand.”

Severus resisted the urge to roll his eyes. Draco was so thoroughly indoctrinated by his father perhaps he was not the best choice for such a grey task. Undoing years of training would be difficult, though not impossible. Draco had yet to see the true horrors of the war he had already chosen sides on. With any luck, he would see reason before he ever saw the true atrocities of the coming war. That was the hope anyway.

“We shall begin in the morning. For tonight, you may entertain yourself however you please,” Severus said, putting down his tea for a moment and standing. “Follow me please.”

Draco stood and looked curiously at the man. The house was small enough, he doubted a tour was truly necessary, but he would humor the man.

“Here is your bedroom,” Severus said, pointing out the room at the end of the hall and opening the door with a flick of his wand. The Malfoy house elves had already delivered the boy’s personal belongings and unpacked the trunk into the awaiting closet and chest of drawers. “The loo is the first door on the right and my room is the second. Do not enter my bedroom or the lab unless it is truly an emergency or you are escorted by myself. Is that understood?”

Draco swallowed hard before walking down to look at his room. It was far smaller than any bedroom at Malfoy Manor, but it seemed comfortable enough. He was certainly not expecting to have his normal down pillows or mattress after seeing what the potion’s master’s house looked like. There was a desk so he could do his school work and enough room that he could feasibly practice wand work. It wasn’t ideal, but it certainly wasn’t the rundown room he had been expecting.

A sudden ringing sound was heard from the living room, causing Draco to jump and Severus to frown. It rang for a second, then paused, then another ring followed by another and another. Then there was a sudden click and a rather muffled mechanical voice began speaking followed by a loud beep.

“What was that?” Draco asked, looking at his professor in confusion.

“That was a muggle communication device called a ‘telephone,’” Severus said, continuing to frown. “The voice at the end was the message which stated no one was available to speak to. The caller should be leaving a message we shall be able to hear in a few moments.”

“Do you receive these communications often?” Draco asked in concern. He couldn’t imagine hearing such a piercing tone every time someone wanted to speak via floo, or, worse yet, for every letter brought via owl post.

“This is the first time in many months that that phone has rang,” Severus stated, walking back down the hall towards where the phone was. “I have no idea who it could be.”

Sure enough, the answering machine was now flashing the number ‘1.’ There was one unheard message. But who would be calling him? The last time he had received a phone call, it had been a telemarketer calling trying to convince him to purchase some sort of new living arrangement. That message was immediately deleted.

Severus pressed the play button and was immediately greeted by a rather chipper sounding female voice.

“Hello Mr. Snape, this is Morgan at Children’s Hospital in London. If you could give me a call back, I would greatly appreciate it. This is not a fundraiser. My number here is 020 7946 0102. Thank you!”

Severus looked at the phone oddly. Why would a children’s hospital in London be calling him of all people? It’s not like he had a … shit. But how would they know this? Was it actually Potter? Harry? Whatever his name was now? If it was, how had they found him so quickly? It wasn’t like this was common knowledge! And even if it was… the boy… what in Merlin’s name had he done this time to end up in hospital.

“Children’s Hospital?” he heard Draco ask from behind him. “A muggle hospital is contacting you.”

“It seems so,” Severus said, summoning a scrap of parchment and playing the message once more so he could get the call back number.

“You aren’t actually going to respond, are you?” Draco said incredulously. “They’re muggles, what could they possibly want with a potions master?”

“What they want or don’t want is not up to me to decide,” Severus said, picking up the phone and preparing to dial. “Returning their message is the polite thing to do, especially if one does not want to be contacted again. It could very likely be a case of mistaken identity or a transcription error on their part.”

Draco scoffed at the very idea before turning and going back to his room. Muggle styles of communication were so inherently flawed. If a simple transcription error could lead to a message being left for the wrong person, it was no wonder they were as uncivilized as they were. Rushing around constantly, looking like ants waiting to be stepped on. Their communication abilities were rudimentary and their ability to travel and transport items was only slightly faster than those of Neanderthals. Even house elves were at least able to appear immediately when called! A muggle servant would need significantly longer to complete the same task it would take a house elf seconds to do. Being polite to them was a joke; there was no reason to be.

Dialing the given number and stepping into the kitchen, Severus quickly threw up a silencing charm over the door, making sure Draco wouldn’t inadvertently hear something he ought not hear.

Within seconds he was connected with a live person. The number he had been given must have been a direct line to a desk phone rather than a line to the main hospital. Good, at least the muggle he was dealing with knew how to give a phone number correctly.

“Children’s Hospital London, Neurology Intensive Care Ward, this is Yasmine, how may I direct your call?” a heavily accented voice on the other end of the line said rapidly.

“May I speak to Morgan?” Severus bit out, not wanting to speak on the phone for any longer than necessary. He hadn’t had to pay much in the way of phone bills in years and didn’t want to start racking up charges now.

“May I ask who is calling?” the voice on the other end of the phone asked.

“Severus Snape,” he said, rather impatiently.

“Oh, yes! Mr. Snape! We’ve been trying to find a way to reach you all afternoon!” the voice said rather excitedly. “One moment please while I transfer you to Morgan!”

Severus sighed impatiently as he was put on hold. If it didn’t involve so much energy, he would have rather apparated to the hospital, answered whatever asinine question they had for him, then come straight home. He had potions to work on and an idiot 'apprentice' to train. The hold music wasn’t even music so much as it was ‘the sounds of a dying walrus.’

“Mr. Snape?” the chipper female voice from the message broke through his thoughts.

“Yes?”

“Hello, my name is Morgan. I am a nurse here at Children’s in our Neuro Intensive Care. We have a patient here by the name of Harry who we believe may be your son?”

Severus felt the blood drain from his face. So it was Potter. But what was he doing in a muggle hospital in London? And what had he done that had landed him in the Neurology unit?

“Yes?” he said, still highly confused by the situation he found himself in.

“May I ask you a few questions to confirm you know him?” she asked politely, not wanting to give out information to a random person.

“Yes,” Severus said, beginning to sound annoyed at the situation. How had they found his number? He lived nowhere near London! In a town that only made the news when a drug dealer was caught or a murder occurred.

“Can you confirm his date of birth for me?” Morgan asked politely, despite the rather rude tone she was picking up on the other end of the phone. She had dealt with far worse parents in her day.

“31 July, 1980,” Severus said from memory. Any wizard would have known the answer to that question if they suspected this was Harry Potter.

“And his mother’s name?” Morgan asked, looking at the letter they had pulled off of the boy when he was first brought in. Such a sad state of affairs this boy’s parents seemed to have been in at the time the letters were sent. Why he chose to carry them on him, she could only guess. But at least they had managed to find one of the parents. No record could be found of either of the other adults stated by the letters. It was as if they had vanished or died years ago.

“Lily Evans Potter,” Severus said.

“Thank you, sir,” Morgan said. “I’m sorry for any confusion my message may have left you with, but I didn’t want to accidentally give patient information to someone who was unrelated to him.”

“What happened to him?” Severus asked curtly.

“Your son had a grand mal seizure while working in a garden,” Morgan said. “He suffered some head trauma when he fell, but that was only minor.”

“A seizure?” Severus said, trying to keep his surprise hidden. Since when did Potter have seizures?

“Yes, sir. We don’t know what triggered it, and we were hoping you may be able to shed some light on his medical history.”

Severus was silent for a moment as he thought about the question. How could he possibly explain half of the injuries Potter had sustained since coming to Hogwarts in a way that was acceptable for muggles? Explaining a broken arm away was one thing, but the removal and regrowth of those bones was not. As was explaining a basilisk bite and phoenix tears. Or a dementor attack. Or fighting a dark wizard.

“I am afraid I don’t know much more than what he has told me,” Severus said, skirting around the question as best he could. “I know he has had multiple broken bones from … sports… and has been bitten by a snake once, but I don’t know much more than that.”

“Has he ever had a seizure before? That you know of?” Morgan continued to press.

“Not that I know of. He was involved in the … car crash… that killed his mother and her husband when he was 15 months old, but I haven’t heard of him having any seizures related to this…” Severus said, his mind racing. Had the Falsum Paternis prevented him from having seizures? There were no other documented cases of people having survived the killing curse, so who knew what kind of damage it had done which had been masked by the potion.

“Oh my!” Morgan exclaimed. “That would explain why we couldn’t get in contact with his mother.”

“Yes, that certainly would,” Severus said through his teeth.

“Does he live with you, sir?” Morgan asked, flipping through the chart a bit.

“No, he most certainly does not,” Severus said. “He has been raised by his maternal aunt and uncle.”

“Ah…” Morgan paused. “Are… are you aware of his treatment there?”

Severus frowned. He was certain Potter was spoiled by his relatives. Why wouldn’t he be? His mother and father were well loved heroes. He was the perfect Golden Boy of the wizarding world. He was the one the prophecy said would kill Voldemort, the most evil wizard in the world. Why wouldn’t they spoil him rotten? Yet there was something in the way the nurse had asked that question that sent shivers down his spine. What had Petunia done?

“I don’t know to what you are referring,” Severus said diplomatically.

“Sir, do you have legal custody of him?” Morgan asked.

“No.”

“Is there any way I could get you to come in and speak with one of our social workers? Some very serious concerns were brought to light about his treatment at his home.”

Severus frowned. The idea of Potter the Pampered Prince was slowly starting to break down. His family had obviously not taken him to the hospital as they were nowhere to be found. Something obviously had been said to raise suspicions of their treatment of the boy to the point a random parent was contacted and proceedings were going to begin to attempt to remove the boy from their care. As painful as it was to believe he was not the spoiled brat Severus believed he was, it was equally painful to think of the potential outcome of poor treatment at the hands of his relatives.

“I will be there in half an hour,” Severus said, hanging up the phone without waiting for a reply.
To be continued...


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