Snape drained his glass and looked around the room in a very satisfied manner.
It had not taken more than ten minutes but he had finally organized his quarters. The first time he had entered the room, it had been a strange, bright place with decorations unfitting to his tastes.
After renovating the wall's colour to a more subtle and proper hue, and after fixing up a nursery for Harry, Snape was finally satisfied with the place.
His room had taken a lot of effort. He had wanted the walls to be green, as that was the official Slytherin colour. He had fashioned some serpents in the kitchen too, and even on the handles of his cupboards.
Then he had made a room for Harry. A spacious, blue room with the baby's cot and toys and the leather chair. He had had to shrink many of the items and put them in his suitcase while packing. The un-shrinking process had been especially interesting as Harry had been very enthusiastic.
After all the work, Snape had given Harry a bottle of milk and then put him to sleep, and here he was now, relaxing.
"I really am a responsible teacher," Snape mused, as he flipped through a Potions book. He had decided upon a simple potion for the first-years and extremely difficult potions for the older classes, and was now trying to find difficult questions to ask Gryffindors so that he could easily take away points.
No, he wasn't abusing his authority. He was merely being...strict and firm. Yes, that was it. He didn't want to be mistaken for a loving guardian after all.
There was a knock at the door and Snape groaned. Who could it be at this time of the night? Snape walked to the door and opened it cautiously.
If it was Dumbledore, he was slamming the door on his face, and if it was Trelawney, he was definitely cursing her. Unidentifiable hatred flowed through him at the thought of her. If she hadn't made that stupid prophecy Lily would still be alive.
Snape tried not to think about it. A lot of things would have been different if he hadn't chosen to eavesdrop that day, and he really didn't want to dwell on them. Not now anyway.
Snape looked outside and saw Minerva standing there, looking haughty and impatient.
"Ah, finally Severus! Can I come in?" She asked.
Snape raised an eyebrow at this strange visit, so late at night.
"Yes, come in, Minerva," he said politely, opening the door further back.
Minerva nodded at him curtly and went inside. She looked down her nose at the green and darker green hues and the Slyherin atmosphere and all the toys strewn on the carpet.
"Well...I suppose you've done a good job decorating around here." Minerva said, when Snape sat her down on the sofa.
"Why have you come at this hour, Minerva? It must be something important," Snape said, as he tried not to feel too proud.
"Well, yes, it is. Severus, where do you suppose Harry will be when you are teaching classes?"
Snape was startled. "I...well, that didn't really cross my mind. Can't some of the staff take care of him while I am teaching, and then-"
"The schedules say otherwise." Minerva said. "I do hope you figure something out. Professor Dumbledore requested me to give you this timetable, and yes-here is a list of all the students. I wish you luck in the classes. It will be a change from Horace, you know, and you need to make sure that you don't change too many things in the classroom."
During the feast it had been announced that he would be the new Potions Master. Many of the students had been wary of him, but had still clapped politely.
Snape had tried to acknowledge the applause, but Harry had been very boisterous, and had tried pulling at his hair, so he had settled for nodding at everyone. Before he had died of embarrassment, Dumbledore had changed the topic.
From that moment on, Snape had known that tending Harry and teaching at the same time would definitely not be easy. Snape had no idea where the boy would go during classes.
After brainstorming for a good twenty minutes, Snape finally came up with a solution. He would leave Harry occupied in his office, and from there, go teach in the classroom. He would know that Harry was just in the next room, a little further away from his desk, and he could then teach easily. No one would be bothered and everyone would be happy.
Snape went into Harry's room to check on the boy. Harry was fast asleep, his cheeks bright red and his fist in his mouth. Snape re-adjusted the blankets over him, just so he didn't have to deal with colds. His hand rested on the red cheek for a moment, mixed feelings coursing through him, and then he left.
The morning started by the ringing cry of "Nape!", followed by many more.
Snape didn't have a memory of Harry waking up so early, ever. Nonetheless, he groaned and went into the child's room, where Harry was standing up in the crib, holding the bars tightly. The minute the boy saw him, his mouth widened into a big toothy smile and he chirped. "Napey!"
Snape picked the boy up. "Why up so early, Harry? We don't wake until at least half an hour."
Harry snuggled against Snape and buried his head into his shoulder. "Nape!" He said again.
Snape dressed Harry up and combed back his hair. Then he went into his office and put Harry on the floor. He transfigured a book into a playpen and put Harry inside, along with lots of toys, the stuffed cat and a bottle of milk. Harry whined and reached out his hands, trying to convince Snape to hold him again, but Snape shook his head.
"You are going to stay here while I teach classes, Potter. I am going to be just nearby. I want you to amuse yourself here until I am back." Snape instructed.
Harry made a sound like a sob and raised his hands again. "Nape!" He protested.
Snape shook his head, trying to look stern. Was this really a good idea? Harry seemed to be drooping already. The man picked up the milk bottle and tried to occupy Harry with it, but the boy didn't listen.
A single tear tracked down and Harry cried, "Nape, no Nape, pwease!"
Snape sighed. "You have to listen to me, Harry-you really don't have a choice in the matter,"
But Harry kept fussing and Snape had to pick him up and try to calm him down. Snape thought about making Harry nap throughout teaching hours and waking him up later, but he wasn't sure that was possible now since the boy had just awoken.
As Harry cried softly into his shoulder, Snape suddenly got an idea. He put Harry down and told him, "Why don't you make a few towers, Harry?" He picked up a brick to show what he meant.
Harry's eyes lit up as he loved building and he suddenly began to make something. "Oo, lookie Nape," Harry exclaimed, in the middle of construction.
Snape wanted to avoid going for meals in the Great Hall. He really did not enjoy the conversation with the teachers, and besides, what was the use? He had decided to eat in his quarters, as the house elves would bring up platters of food anyway. He conjured up some coffee now and sipped it in the office, while looking at Harry, who was still playing. He had a class the first thing this morning and Snape wanted to be refreshed. He quickly showered and changed into his robes and went to the classroom. The direct access between his office and the classroom was proving very handy. As he quickly tried to rehearse his starting speech and make sure everything was perfect, he heard students outside the door, talking.
Snape took a deep breath. There was nothing to worry about, he was going to ace this. His first class were fourth-year Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws. As Snape walked to the doors to open them, he heard a plaintive cry and realised in horror that Harry was fussing AGAIN, and all the students would probably hear.
Snape quickly rushed to his office and saw Harry bad-temperedly destroying his building with a doll. "No!" He frowned deeply and shouted at the building. He picked up a brick and it seemed like he was going to throw it across the room, when he caught sight of the man.
"Nape!" He declared, trying to crawl towards him.
"No, no, Harry, there is no way I am going to-" but time was ticking away. Snape cast a silencing charm on his office and then said to Harry, very sternly, "You dare make a single noise and I will give you a time-out for ten minutes. Play or break-I don't want you to attempt to disrupt my class in any way-or I will be very, very cross and I will not play with you in the evening."
Harry's face fell and his eyes watered at how meanly Snape was behaving. But before he could sob his heart out, Snape was already gone.
The man opened the door of the dungeons, hoping he wasn't too late. He was so nervous he thought he might as well back out. There was a sudden hush, the talking subsiding. A huge wave of satisfaction coursed through Snape.
"Inside." Snape said, not knowing what else to say. All the students exchanged tentative looks and obeyed.
Things were going well thus far. Now all he wanted was for Harry to behave and these students to cooperate.