"Welcome to Potions class," Snape said in his usual drawl, his eyes scanning over all the students. They seemed intimidated which was an excellent sign and Snape went on, feeling elated, "As you all very well know, I am Professor Snape and I will be taking your potion classes from now on."
He was just about to launch into a memorised speech about how students usually fooled about in potions class and how he was not going to tolerate anything likewise in his class and how he expected perfection, when a very rude boy suddenly called out: "But Sir! What happened to Professor Slughorn?"
Snape fixed his eyes at him coldly. "Your name?"
"Terry Parker, sir, but-"
"Well, Mr Parker, Professor Slughorn decided to resign last term because of his own personal issues. You will be dealing with me now, and I don't want you interrupting me. Is that understood?"
He hadn't been that cruel, and yet the stupid boy gave him a sad, mortified look as if he had slapped him. Snape resisted the urge to roll his eyes at how childish these students were.
"Anyway," he said, smoothly. "Potions are of delicate nature, as I'm sure you all know. A small mistake can lead to severe results. That is why I want you to pay utmost attention to whichever Potion assigned..." Snape went on a for a short while and saw that the students really were awed. Their eyes were widened and no one interrupted him or anything. Snape was feeling very satisfied by the end of his speech.
"Today we will be brewing-" Snape began, picking up his wand.
"Nape!" There was a sudden squeal.
Snape froze, horror mounting on him. He hoped Harry would shut up and say no more, but it came again: "Napeee!"
Snape was dying, literally dying. The students were exchanging slightly amused looks and raising their eyebrows. Snape wanted nothing more than to throttle Harry for ruining what had been a class which had been going very well. He quickly snapped out to the students, "I will be right back. I do not want you to talk." and went into his office.
Snape could see Harry holding a big teddy bear in his arms and pouting. When he saw Snape, his face widened into an irritating smile. He grinned and said softly, "Wello Napey!"
Snape glowered at him however, and suddenly Harry realized that the man was not happy to see him. He began to pout until tears crept down his cheeks and Snape had to pick him up and rock him.
However, when Snape advanced towards him, Harry gasped and hid his face. Snape felt instantly guilty for appearing so frightening to the small child.
"I won't hit you." Snape said soothingly. "Calm down,"
Harry sniffled into his robes.
He wouldn't let go, however, when Snape tried to put him back down. Time was ticking away, he had to do something.
Snape felt panicky. After contemplating his choices, he made a risky decision and went into the classroom...with Harry.
The whole class gasped when they saw the baby in his arms, and there was a loud murmuring of interest.
"Who's that?" Asked a girl.
"Is he your son, Professor!"
Snape cleared his throat and spoke in a dignified manner, "This is my assignment from Professor Dumbledore. He is not to be a distraction. You will all continue with your work."
Snape put Harry down on the desk. He cast a wandless charm so that the boy would not fall off, and hoped that everything would go smoothly.
The baby squealed and cried out "Wow!", as he saw all the children. He pointed at them with fascination.
Snape set the students to work on an Invigoration Drought. They were many gasps of "Already?" and "What?", but he quelled them with a single look. Harry, thankfully, did not fuss further. He sat on Snape's desk, smiling at the students who smiled back. He didn't even protest to be in Snape's arms and watched with interest as Snape made the students do work and as the fumes and smokes filled the room.
Snape tried to carry on as if nothing had happened, but his eyes kept glancing back at Harry anxiously.
Harry wanted to make a 'shun' too but Snape sternly made him stay right where he was, on the desk. How mean!
When the class was over, Snape cleared the board and picked Harry up. Harry waved to the last of the students, who were still going out. They cheerfully waved back.
"Buh bye!" Harry chirped happily, as the last student disappeared. Snape sighed heavily.
"You are undoubtedly going to be the death of me," Snape scolded him, as he walked into his office and put the boy down inside the playpen. "I cannot keep bringing you in front of the class. Why must you be so much trouble?"
"Love Nape," Harry giggled, as he sat watching the man speak. "Play wiv me."
Snape gave him a stern look, but, much to his horror, he found himself sitting down and reaching inside the pen to help Harry take out his crayons.
"Bilebwelebeleb." Harry proudly announced to Snape during dinner. They were sitting in the Great Hall (Dumbledore had told Snape he had to spend at least the first week here). It had been a hard, long day of teaching classes, most of which had Harry sitting behind the desk or on it. Snape had had to endure ridiculous first-years who kept melting cauldrons or making fails. He had kept a strict, firm and cold posture throughout and had awarded points very miserly. In fact, he hadn't given a single Gryffindor a point. Not that that was something bad.
Snape didn't answer Harry. He blew carefully on a hot spoonful of food and tried to get the boy to swallow it.
Harry opened his mouth happily and then chewed.
"Mmmm." He said for the tenth time. He seemed to be saying it at every mouthful. He clapped his hands.
Snape was just about to scoop up another spoonful, when a voice remarked, "You're good with children."
Snape turned to see Charity watching him with interest.
"Well. Not exactly. I still can't get this brat to listen to me most of the time." Snape mused, as Harry fumbled with Snape's cloak, ignoring the hovering spoon.
"As good as someone with no experience in the matter can be." She smiled. "How is it like-being the new Head of Slytherin house?"
"A new experience," Snape amended.
Harry suddenly let out an 'oooooh!' pointing at something under the table.
"I don't want him to be seen much," Snape complained. "I still have a reputation to withhold,"
Charity rolled her eyes, still smiling. She paused, blushed, then said, "I'd like you to come with me to Hogsmeade some weekend. If it's no problem."
"Oh," Snape's cheeks pinkened slightly. "There's no problem. I'll try my best,"
Harry seemed to be wriggling off his lap. The baby reached for under the table again, apparently trying to grab his stuffed cat, which had fallen down.
"Unnhh," he struggled. "Want cat!"
"Bad boy, stop it," Snape frowned.
"No bad!" Harry cried at once, straightening and grabbing the front of Snape's robes. He leaned in close to him, his voice shaky. "Hawwy good!"
Snape had to keep reminding himself how unstable Harry was. He had obviously been neglected enough at the Dursleys, told he was a 'freak' and unwanted. Snape scolded himself mentally for his lack of tact. The boy was vulnerable to these things, and had just gone through Attachment Disorder. "Then eat up." Snape said firmly.
Harry looked close to tears at being accused of being bad. He meekly swallowed his spoonful, his eyes still darting mournfully at his stuffed cat, which was still under the table.
When Harry was fully fed, with a proper diet of vegetables and only chunks of meat (a diet plan Snape had sternly made up to ensure in Harry's health. The boy was still painfully thin, especially at the waist, though improving quickly), Snape let the boy sit under the table, playing with his toy cat.
He had his own dinner and then decided to go back to his quarters.
"See you later, then." Charity said, as she waved him off. Snape, who was usually ignored by people when he was younger, felt a little good at the attention.
He quickly disappeared with Harry, the boy hanging onto him while looking ecstatically at all the different things in the castle. When Snape reached his quarters, he wanted to sleep at once. It had been a very tiring day. But Harry was very difficult.
"PLAY!" Harry announced. He toddled about the room, falling and getting up, enjoying himself. Snape sighed as he watched Harry bump into a sofa and then try climbing on it.
"No, Harry, I am tired, and you are tired. We are both going to rest," Snape complained. He tried to pick Harry up, but evidently Harry was in one of his 'mischievous' moods, because he crawled off as fast as he could and disappeared down a small corridor.
When Snape, scowling, followed him, he found him hiding in his bedroom.
"You are being very naughty, Harry. Desist immediately or you'll be getting a time-out."
Harry did not reply. Snape saw his comforter shaking. He saw a pair of vibrant green eyes peeping out at him nervously.
"I see you. Come out." Snape barely refrained from rolling his eyes.
Harry was shocked that Nape could see him. How smart he was! He gave a squeal and disappeared deeper inside. A bulge could be seen moving left and right under the comforter. Snape quickly scooped him up, wrenched the comforter off and tried to control Harry's struggles.
"N-no..." Harry insisted, sniffling. "Pwease Nape," He didn't understand how Nape could catch him so fast.
Snape took him out of the room and scolded: "You do not run from me and you do not creep about my room. Have some manners. I do not know how many times I have to teach you..."
Harry whined. He suddenly bit down on Snape's hand. There was a short yelp of surprise and Snape accidentally dropped Harry to the ground. The poor baby fell to the floor and had a terrible bump. Harry began crying. Luckily, the floor was carpeted in that area, but Harry was only a little boy.
Snape was terrified. He knelt down and picked Harry up, feeling for bumps. "I'm so sorry, there there," Snape insisted. He pressed Harry close to his chest and the baby cried into his robes, hiccuping and trembling.
However, Harry regained control in a little while. Snape was still extremely guilty. He hadn't meant it! He remembered when his father had pushed him around on purpose. Snape had gotten many bumps in his childhood.
"Are you alright, did I hurt you too bad?" Snape asked now, rather desperately.
Harry, now fully calm, looked at him confusedly and then sniffed, "Play."
Snape's eyebrows disappeared behind his dark hair. What was this? Crying almost hysterically one minute and asking to play the next?
"No, there's been more than enough activity. And you bit me. I'm not having that," Snape firmly took Harry to his nursery. Harry struggled once again in the man's arms. Snape put Harry down in the crib, gestured to his bitten hand and said very sternly, "You will not bite me. That is very rude."
Harry looked repentant and close to tears again. "Soh-wwy!" He cried. He reached out his hands, hoping he could comfort Nape.
But the man said "goodnight" pointedly and went out the door, closing the lights. Harry felt very bad for biting his guardian. Nape was probably very 'set. He felt very miserable lying down in the crib, and reached for his stuffed cat for comfort.
He'd be a good boy tomorrow. Harry fell asleep contemplating about how tall Nape was and how he liked him like that, because he could climb up on him...Then his eyes closed and he began sleeping.
Harry, unfortunately, had a nightmare that night. It was odd and scary. He kept having the same nightmare again and again. A white-faced man was walking through the door, looking very frightening.
And his mama was standing in front of his cot. He was trying to climb out of his cot, but he couldn't. She was screaming something and Harry didn't like it. Then the white person laughed and his mother fell down and didn't get up. And then the man leaned over him...and there was a bright flash of green light...
Harry screamed and began sobbing desperately.
Back in the bedroom, Snape's eyes fluttered, but he didn't get up. He wasn't sure if he should go or not. He waited for a few seconds, and then sighed when the screams continued. He got up wearily. Babies! He couldn't get a moment's rest.
Harry was crying loudly when Snape reached the nursery.
"Potter..." Snape began tiredly.
Snape sighed and picked him up. "Have you had a bad dream?"
"Waaaa mama mama!" Harry sobbed into Snape's robes, shaking badly. Snape sat down on the leather chair and tried to comfort the boy.
"There, there, Harry, calm down," Snape said.
Harry did NOT calm down. He cried and cried, and Snape began to speak quietly to him:
"I know it's hard. But you've got me, alright Harry? I'm not going to abandon you, ever," Snape said, firmly.
"No Nape, go 'way!" Harry protested. He didn't want Nape. He wanted his mama.
The man looked hurt when Harry peered up at him furiously. "Do you want to go back to sleep?" Snape suggested. "Do you want to sleep with me?"
Harry shook his head, still crying. He pulled away from Snape and stared out of the window. He wanted to go back home.
Snape felt left out. He gingerly put the boy back in his crib and left. Harry didn't look back at him, indifferent.
He's just upset. Snape thought, before closing the door. He'll feel better in the morning.
"Goodnight." The man tried, as the door closed.
But Harry didn't give him another glance. He missed his mama and his dada so much at the moment that it was eating him up inside. He always felt like this at this auntie's and uncle's. Silent tears dribbled down his cheeks. He'd normally have wanted someone to hold him close, but now he just wanted to be alone. He wanted to be back home, where his parents laughed and he was special.