"No want!" Harry argued.
"You need to take your medicine, Potter, now drink it!"
"NO NAPE! Nooo!" Harry wailed, squirming on the lap.
"Harry," Snape's voice was forcedly calm. "You will have your potion or there will be no dessert tonight. Nor will you play with your toys. The decision is yours," He folded his arms.
Harry did the same. But then his lip trembled and he said, "'Kay,"
He obligingly had his potion and then got off the lap and crawled away.
Snape followed him, remembering what the Healer had said about keeping in close contact with Harry 24/7. Not that he was enjoying it.
Who knew Harry was so boring? All he did was have mini-wars between two stuffed toys who bashed each other savagely.
"Why don't you play something more sensible and less savage?" Snape suggested.
Harry looked uncomfortably at the man. Why was Nape following him?
"I mean play something else," Snape prompted, in a voice which he hoped was 'gentle'.
Harry wordlessly put down the stuffed toys and got out his Lego set, the one which Minerva had sent him. It was a smaller one, just suitable for Harry to play with.
Harry began to build shapeless structures and put Lego people here and there on the platform. Snape raised an eyebrow and just watched.
After Harry finished his creation, he grinned but didn't show it to Snape. He just clapped his hands at it by himself, declaring, "Wow!"
Snape flushed slightly. He was just doing this to cure Harry...He slowly raised his own hands and said "Wow," too.
Feeling kind of humiliated, he glanced at Harry who was looking at him with a rather bewildered expression.
"Like fis?" The little two-year old pointed at his building and asked confusedly.
"Yes, I do," Snape said.
Snape recollected that he had never played with Harry because playing was fun, but because Harry had literally begged him to. He hadn't wanted to refuse those pleas. But now, Harry wasn't calling him and Snape was, inside his heart, in a way, begging Harry to play with him. Anything to make things back to the way they were.
Harry looked at Snape bemusedly for a few more seconds and then took out something else. This time it was the little plastic cauldron Snape had given him. Harry knew very well that it was Snape's favorite thing from the toy chest.
Harry stared at the toy, reminded of all the fun times he had had with Snape, playing with it. Tears welled up in his eyes and he began sniffling. He tried his best to wipe away the sudden tears, but his hands were too clumsy. Snape wiped the tears away for him, slightly subdued.
"Do you want to play with the cauldron again, Harry?" Snape asked in a kind voice. He was horrified that he was calling Potter by his first name these days. But it felt strangely good to call him "Harry". Not Potter...Harry. Someone different from his awful father.
Harry stared at him, eyes a little red. He didn't nod.
"It's your choice," Snape said, downcast.
Harry picked up the cauldron again and put it back into the chest. He just curled up on the mat and stared at the floor. "Nape no love me no mo'?" he asked after a while, in a very, very tiny voice.
"Of course I...love you," Snape said uncertainly, just trying to fix things.
Harry didn't reply. He just squeezed his eyes shut. He was indeed feeling very conflicted and sad.
Snape recalled why he had ever really taken in Harry. He had done it for Lily, because he had felt remorseful-because he had not wanted her sacrifice to be in vain and her only child to suffer.
He hadn't really meant to bother with Harry at all, but, with the child's playful attitude, he was literally allured into spending time with him. And this new diagnosed and miserable Harry was making his heart break a little more everyday.
For days, Severus fed Harry the potion, spent time with him, slept close to him, tried to talk to him...When he had first laid down the boy for a nap on his own bed, Harry had been very confused and had squirmed.
"Why why?" Harry had whined, fidgeting on the bed.
Snape had not replied and had gone to the other side of the bed and had fallen down, exhausted. Harry had been very uncomfortable sleeping so close to Snape, but he finally fell asleep too.
But now, several days had passed-days of coldness and misery-and Snape couldn't take it any longer.
He snatched Harry off the mat where the boy was playing, and forced him to sit on his lap and talk once and for all.
"What's wrong with you, Harry?" Snape demanded. "Why are you behaving like this?"
"No love Nape!" Harry frowned. "Nape MEAN!"
Snape flinched. It hurt more than it should have.
"Don't you give me any of that," Snape said, coldly. "I've been giving up all my free-time to take care of you-is this how you repay me?"
Harry glared at Snape. "You no love me no mo'!" And then he burst into tears.
Snape realized that he had a lapful of crying child.
"Yes, I do," Snape insisted. "Professor Snape loves you very much, Harry," He cradled the baby, trying his hardest to quieten him down. "There, there, Potter, there is no need to carry on so."
Harry cried even harder. After a while he managed to choke something out.
"Nape love Hawwy?" Harry asked, rubbing at his tears clumsily.
"Yes," Snape forced himself to say, while flushing slightly.
Harry didn't answer. He was still very stiff, like a board, but after a while he relaxed, still crying a bit. He buried his head into Snape's shoulder and mumbled something.
What he said, however, Snape couldn't quite hear.
But when Snape put Harry down to sleep, later on, Harry went as far away as he could from the man and slept on the other side. Snape sighed heavily and closed his eyes.
Meanwhile, Harry pondered on how Nape had said that he loved him. He didn't really believe him. But then he hesitated.
In the morning, when Snape woke up, he found Harry sleeping unusually close to him, even holding his sleeve.
The next morning Harry improved a tiny bit. He was still stiff, but much lesser. He even called Snape to come play with him.
"Come play!" he cried when he saw Snape.
Snape was very relieved.
The man continued to feed Harry the potion, spend time with him, sleep close to him. And Harry really seemed to improve.
In fact, the biggest improvement came when Harry accidentally bumped his head onto the floor and began whining.
Snape had picked him up and had consoled him and rubbed at the spot. Suddenly Harry had relaxed in his arms, smiling brightly, and had hugged Snape.
"Love Nape," he had mumbled.
It was the first time Snape had heard that in a looong while and it was a pleasant surprise. Snape had to muster all of his self-control to prevent himself from smiling.
He patted Harry's back, hoping things would go back to normal soon.
They gradually did.
After several days, Snape decided to take Harry back to the park. It had been Dumbledore's suggestion.
Dumbledore and Minerva had visited him a few days ago. They had been extremely worried when they had found out that Harry had Attachment Disorder, but Snape had hurriedly assured them that the boy was getting better.
Now, as soon as Harry saw the park, he shrieked, "Ooo!" and looked at Snape. He pointed at the slides, "Play! Play!"
Harry had lots and lots of fun. By the time they had to go home, Harry was so excited and cheerful that Snape had to put him down for a nap. "Wow, oooo," Harry giggled as they departed from the park (Snape had sulked on a bench the whole time). He gave Snape a big hug.
The boy was back to normal. He began to play with Snape again and relax in his hold. He finally ate properly once more.
He got so much better that Snape began to make him sleep in his own bedroom again.
"Ni' wiv you," Harry insisted tearfully, one night. He wanted to sleep with Snape now that he had forgiven the man.
"That was temporary, Harry," Snape said. "I bet you want to go back to your own room now."
Harry was still very sad at the reversion and wouldn't go to sleep. Snape had to charm his cot to rock by itself. Finally, several minutes later, Harry dropped off.
Things were finally back to the way they were.