Harry Potter and the Slytherin Conundrum by SiriSnape394
Summary: Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts for his fourth year after a miserable summer at the Dursleys. When Draco finds out what is really happening at his relative's house, he opens Pandora's box into a decade-old secret changing the lives of Harry and several Slytherins forever. Add to it a new defense teacher, two overprotective godfathers, and a deadly tournament, Harry's fourth year at Hogwarts will be the most chaotic yet.
Categories: Healer Snape, Parental Snape > Biological Father Snape Main Characters: .Snape and Harry (required), Draco, Hermione, Remus, Sirius, Tonks
Snape Flavour: Out of Character Snape, Overly-protective Snape, Snape Comforts, Snape is Kind, Snape is Loving, Snape is Stern
Genres: Angst, Drama, Family, Hurt/Comfort
Media Type: None
Tags: Abuse Recovery, Injured!Harry, Snape-meets-Dursleys
Takes Place: 4th Year
Warnings: Abusive Dursleys, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Profanity, Romance/Het, Torture, Violence
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 12 Completed: No Word count: 46802 Read: 16900 Published: 14 Aug 2023 Updated: 07 Mar 2024
Story Notes:
I am aging Tonks up. This is a Snape/Tonks pairing because I love the grump/sunshine trope and I think it would be creepy if he were her teacher. I also strongly dislike age gaps, so for the sake of this story she was four years behind him in school and he started teaching the year after she left (I hope I did that math correctly).

1. Chapter 1 by SiriSnape394

2. Chapter 2 by SiriSnape394

3. Chapter 3 by SiriSnape394

4. Chapter 4 by SiriSnape394

5. Chapter 5 by SiriSnape394

6. Chapter 6 by SiriSnape394

7. Chapter 7 by SiriSnape394

8. Chapter 8 by SiriSnape394

9. Chapter 9 by SiriSnape394

10. Chapter 10 by SiriSnape394

11. Chapter 11 by SiriSnape394

12. Chapter 12 by SiriSnape394

Chapter 1 by SiriSnape394
Harry stared in the mirror at his Uncle’s parting gift- a well wish and reminder for the school year to keep his mouth shut about his relatives. Now just to cover it up, he thought, as he riffled through the concealer Aunt Petunia had been oh so generous to supply. As Harry gently dabbed the concealer to his black eye he thought back to how well the summer had been going, comparatively at least, up until the World Cup.

When Sirius’s name had been cleared thanks to Snape’s testimony of his innocence, Harry still couldn’t believe the greasy git didn’t just lie to the Aurors, he’d hoped he would be able to live with Sirius. Unfortunately, Dumbledore had other plans.

“I’m sorry my dear boy,” he said gazing down his half-moon spectacles at Harry as he sat in his office next to his godfather and Professor Lupin. “There are protections at your Aunt’s house that Sirius cannot provide you.”

Harry scowled, not replying to Dumbledore’s cryptic answer. It was this way every year he asked to stay at Hogwarts. You’d think by now Dumbledore, in all of his infinite wisdom, would have picked up that there were reasons Harry didn’t want to return to Privet Drive and no it wasn’t because he was an ungrateful spoiled brat as Snape thought. That description applied only to his cousin Dudley.

“I would love more than anything to have you stay with me Harry, but, Moony bought up a good point,” Sirius turned in his chair facing Harry pleading with him to understand, as Harry avoided his gaze and rubbed his trainer back and forth on the floor trying to wear a hole into it to escape this conversation. “Azkaban takes a toll,” Sirius said with a sigh, “And as much as I hate to admit it Remy is right, I’m not in a good place to take care of you. So, I’m going to St. Mungo’s and I’m going to get some help so hopefully you can stay with me next summer.” At his final sentence, Dumbledore started to interrupt, but sharp glares from Remus and Sirius deadly enough to petrify a basilisk silenced him.

Harry finally lifted his eyes from the floor to look at his Godfather. As he took in Sirius’s sunken cheekbones, matted hair, and the dark circles under his eyes from years of torment by Dementors he understood. Averting his gaze back to his trainers, he slowly nodded. Remus met Sirius’s eyes over Harry’s head, both of them knowing that was all the acceptance they’d get.

And that was how Harry found himself back at Privet Drive for the summer, despite the few days of blissful daydreams where he was off adventuring with Sirius and Professor Lupin. Those daydreams comforted him in the long hours his Uncle kept him locked in the cupboard under the stairs. At first, the summer wasn’t so bad. Sirius and Remus were waiting for him when the Hogwarts Express pulled into Kings Cross and escorted him to his dreaded relatives. Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia greeted him with their ever so charming courtesy, a sharp “come boy, we’ve wasted good time picking you up from that freakish school” when they were stopped by an immobulus charm Professor Lupin muttered under his breath to avoid muggle detection.

“What the bloody hell do you think you’re doing?” Uncle Vernon began to shout, his face turning purple and attracting curious glances from nosy travelers waiting for their train. Sirius stepped up to him, nose to nose, arms crossed, the tattoos he acquired in Azkaban blatantly on display. “Listen here you wanker. I spent twelve years in prison for murdering thirteen people before I managed to escape. If you mistreat my godson in any way, I won’t hesitate to make it fourteen, but not before I have some fun first,” he growled with a menacing smile.

Turning towards Harry, he placed his hands on Harry’s shoulders and leaned down so they were at eye level. “Send me an owl the minute that bastard does something and I will be over before you can say Bertie Botts Every Flavoured Beans to get you out, okay?” Harry nodded, all the while knowing he would never actually be able to say anything. Not when he knew Dumbledore would make him go back every summer until he turned seventeen. Telling Sirius would only make things worse next summer. He gave Sirius and Professor Lupin tight hugs goodbye before dutifully following the Dursleys back to Number 4 Privet Drive.

Luckily for Harry, the threat of Sirius kept the Dursleys off his back for most of the summer. Yes, he still had chores while Dudley lazed about and bullied the rest of the neighborhood while pinning everything on Harry. No, he wasn’t fed nearly as much as he should’ve been given he was a growing teenage boy. But, he did get his Aunt’s leftovers from either lunch or dinner every day, so he couldn’t complain-it was more food than he’d ever received growing up. The beatings from his Uncle were far less frequent too, only a few shoves and kicks here and there, but nothing compared to previous summers. Yes, this summer was all sunshine and daisies until the world cup that is.

Harry couldn’t really blame Fred and George for it. They knew his relatives didn’t like him, but they didn’t know the full extent, no one did except for Dumbledore. It was the perfect agglutination of circumstances: Fred and George’s new practical joke items, Aunt Petunia’s diet, and Dudley’s predictable behavior that led to Dudley eating that stupid toffee. None of it would have mattered anyway, if not for the World Cup fiasco. When Dumbledore got word that Death Eaters made an appearance, it sealed Harry’s fate. Of course, the burrow was no longer safe from Voldemort’s followers who may wish to kill him, so Harry dutifully returned to Number 4 Privet Drive. If only this mythical protection also protected him from the forces within the house that wanted to kill him, or at the very least seriously maim him.

From the moment Dumbledore dropped Harry off at his relatives he knew he was in trouble. His Uncle’s beefy fist met his eye and he remembered nothing else, only waking up in a pile of his own blood laying on the floor of his cramped cupboard. The sharp pain with deep inhalation told him that several ribs were broken and from the fire shooting down his back he knew his Uncle used his favorite punishment-the belt. What made everything worse though, was the fact that the summer had been going so well. It had been his best one yet, all thanks to Sirius and Remus, as Professor Lupin insisted he called him since he was technically no longer a professor. For one brief moment, he thought of sending Hedwig to Sirius telling him of what actually happened behind the perfectly manicured hedges of Privet Drive, then he remembered Dumbledore’s expression every time Harry begged to stay at Hogwarts. It was that memory that reminded Harry that sending Hedwig to Sirius would be fruitless and would only get Sirius in trouble because if he knew, he would undoubtedly kill Uncle Vernon.

This was how Harry found himself staring at the mottled bruises on his arms and torso in the early hours of September first. He threw on his baggy long-sleeved sweater that was his cousin's to cover the aged bruises so Ron and Hermione wouldn’t ask questions on the train. He skillfully applied concealer to cover the dark blue-purple bruise on his left eye and tried to muster up some energy to greet his best friends. They knew he wasn’t fed enough by his relatives, so they always expected him to be tired on the ride to school and gracefully allowed him to nap on the train. What they didn’t know is that the only food he’d eaten for the past three weeks was one piece of stale bread a day, that his Uncle beat him every day for not finishing his chores on time, and he had to run from his cousin as he and his friends played Harry Hunting. Ron and Hermione didn’t need to know any of that, because it would undoubtedly make them worry and there was nothing they could do anyways, not when Dumbledore had the final say. So, Harry took one last glance at his reflection, ensuring that the concealer thoroughly covered the truth of Privet Drive, mustered a fake smile, and stepped out the door to return to Hogwarts.

To be continued...
Chapter 2 by SiriSnape394
A firm hand on his shoulder jolted him awake. Harry looked up to see the concerned gazes of his best friends as he stifled a yawn. “You alright mate?” Ron asked as he lifted his and Hermione's trunks into the overhead rack to join Harry’s.

Harry nodded and gave a half grin, “Yeah, you know how the Dursleys are, tried to cram an entire eight months of chores into one week before I left for school.” Harry leaned away as Hermione sat down next to him and peered closer. Now that he was on the express near other witches and wizards he was able to cast a glamour without triggering the trace, but he wouldn’t put it past Hermione to be able to see through it. She was the smartest witch of their year for a reason after all.

“I really wish you would tell Professor Dumbledore or Professor McGonagall about how they treat you,” Hermione stated worry evident in her voice, as her orange cat Crookshanks curled up in her lap. “Now that you have Sirius you won’t need to go back there next summer, right? How is he by the way?”

Harry shrugged half-heartedly, not wanting to get into the conversation he, Sirius, and Remus had in Dumbledore’s office at the end of last year. “He’s good,” Harry replied, quickly latching onto the change in conversation. “He should be getting out of St. Mungo’s tomorrow actually. He tried to convince them to let him out today so he could be here to say goodbye, but apparently, they need to monitor him for a new potion he started. Remus wanted to be here, but he’s dealing with his furry problem.” Ron and Hermione nodded, knowing that Harry was referring to the full moon last night. In truth, Harry was grateful that neither of them had been there to see him off- it would’ve made it much harder to hide his injuries. “How was the rest of your summer?”

“It wsmph fibe,” Ron said through a mouthful of chocolate frogs.

Hermione rolled her eyes in disgust at his manners, “It was nice. Mrs. Weasley was anxious about all of us, but that is to be expected given what happened at the World Cup. Fred and George created mischief as always.”

As if summoned with an Accio, the red-headed twins appeared in the doorway of their compartment, “What was that?” Fred asked.

“We heard”

“Our names and decided”

“To see what you three were up to,” George said, the two of them finishing each other's sentences as always. Fred started regaling them with tales of the pranks they played on Percy this summer. Even though Ron had been there for most of them, the stories were just as funny the second time around. Slowly, Harry began to drift asleep to the sound of his friend's laughter.
The next time Harry awoke it was to Hermione calling his name. He blinked his eyes open, looked out the window, and saw that the sun was setting. “Harry, we’ll be there soon, you should get changed,” Hermione told him her own robes in her hands as she left the carriage to go to the restroom. Harry knew he wouldn’t be able to change there, he was too exhausted to trust his glamour to cover all his bruises, so after he got his robes out of his trunk he followed Hermione out the door.

“Where are you going, mate?” Ron asked as he pulled on his robes, it was only him and Neville in the carriage now, Fred and George must have left to go find Lee Jordan.

“Have to use the loo, so I’ll just change there,” he replied as he slid the door closed behind him, not giving them a chance to question his actions.

Harry kept his head down as he made his way back to their carriage, fiddling with the cuff of his robes. He tried to ignore the stares from the new first years as he walked by, but he would never be able to get used to everyone staring and pointing at him. He was so lost in his thoughts that he didn’t see when Draco harshly bumped into him, flanked by his usual goons, Crabbe and Goyle.

“Watch where you’re going Potter,” he muttered. Harry tried to ignore him and keep walking when he felt a stinging hex hit his back. Letting out a low hiss as it hit one of the parting gifts his uncle left him, he squared his shoulders and turned around, wand raised.

“What do you want Malfoy?” he gritted his teeth, his wand level with Malfoy's chest, as he stared into his stormy grey eyes.

“How’d you like the visit from my father this summer?” Harry’s brow furrowed as he tried to make out what Malfoy meant when he realized he was talking about the Death Eaters at the World Cup. “I’d be careful if I were you, you never know when they might reappear, and next time there might not be as many muggles around to distract them.” With that final threat, Draco whirled around and Harry watched his blonde hair disappear down the corridor before he finally headed back to Ron and Neville.

Hermione was back by the time he returned, slamming the door as he dwelled on his interaction with Malfoy. “What’s wrong Harry,” Neville asked, looking at his friend with concern.

“Malfoy,” Harry clenched his teeth as he sat back down, earning a hiss from Crockshanks as he almost sat on him.

“Harry,” Hermione scolded as she picked up Crookshanks and placed him into her lap, Harry only glared at her in return.

“Sorry,” he let out a breath and looked away from her hurt expression. He was only taking it out on her because he was still tired from his relatives and the wound on his back was now bleeding again from where Malfoy hexed him.

“Whoa, I hate him too, but no need to bite her head off mate,” Ron interjected glancing between the two of them as he shoved another licorice wand into his mouth. “What happened?”

“He’s up to something.” Hermione let out a long sigh at Harry’s statement and rolled her eyes.

“What?” he asked angrily, “He threatened me, told me to watch my back because the Death Eaters may be back. I’m telling you something is going on and he’s in on it.”

“Harry,” she began timidly and Harry knew he was in for it. “You always think Malfoy is up to something, the number of hours you spend watching him, in the great hall, during class, at Quidditch, one might think,” she slowly trailed off.

“One might think what?” Harry asked, his voice sharp and menacing, daring her to finish her statement.

She didn’t back down though and lifted her chin high as she met his eyes. “One might think that you have a crush on him.” The three boys exploded at that statement, Ron spit out the rest of his licorice wand, Neville started laughing nervously, and Harry sputtered completely lost for words, flabbergasted at what she just said.

After a good minute just staring at her Harry was finally able to reply, “What the actual fuck?” He practically yelled. “What component, exactly, of the times he bullied us over the past three years would make you think I actually like him? As if I could ever even tolerate a basic conversation with that pompous prick?”

“I’m with Harry on this one ‘Mione,” Ron interjected, “I think you’ve read one too many muggle romances to think there would ever be anything going on with those two aside from hatred.”
Hermione merely raised her eyebrows, thinking that Harry’s defensiveness actually proved her point. She was about to say that when the Hogwarts Express jolted to a halt indicating that they were back at school and she decided it would be wiser to bite her tongue.

***

Harry was still angry with Hermione the following morning at breakfast but knew that would only prove her point if he kept making a big deal of it, so he gave her a half smile and apologised for exploding the previous night. Hermione only nodded her head in response, eyeing him warily, and glanced down at his plate as he only put a plain piece of toast on it.

“You need to eat more Harry, I’m sure you didn’t get enough this summer and you hardly ate anything last night.” He grunted and was about to reply when she continued, “I don’t want to pick a fight, I’m only worried, Ron and I both are.” At the mention of his name Ron’s head shot up and he glared at Hermione, silently asking why she dragged him into it.

Harry tuned out their impending argument as he watched Malfoy over at the Slytherin table. He was clearly up to something nefarious, leaning in and whispering with Theo Nott and Harry was determined to figure out what. He couldn’t believe what Hermione said last night on the train, as if Harry would ever have a crush on that tosser. As Harry watched the platinum blonde conspire with Nott, his thoughts betrayed him as he thought of running his fingers through silky hair and brushing his lips against Malfoy’s soft pale skin. Disturbed by the direction his thoughts had taken, he shook his head and figured that his Uncle must’ve hit him one too many times in the head if he’d actually been thinking of making out with Malfoy.

Harry came out to his friends last year after learning that Ron’s brother, Charlie, was in a relationship with a male dragon trainer he worked with. Apparently, being gay wasn’t a big deal in the Wizarding world like it was in the muggle world, and to no one’s surprise Hermione was of course very accepting and considered herself an ally. It took some time to be honest with them, Uncle Vernon was extremely homophobic, blaming all the “fags” for everything going wrong in the UK and the only person Dudley liked to beat up as much as Harry was a boy in the neighborhood who was obviously queer. After he told them though, Harry was relieved, it was one aspect of his personal life he no longer had to hide from his two best friends. He could now focus on hiding all of his injuries instead.

Harry was startled out of his musings by Ron shoving his arm. He winced in pain as it was the arm that Dudley had dislocated three weeks ago right after Harry returned “home”, as if that house could ever be his home. Luckily, Ron didn’t notice Harry’s grimace, he was too focused on breakfast and handed him their schedule for the year. Harry bit back a groan as he glanced down and saw that they started their Monday with History of Magic and ended the day with double Potions with the Slytherins, it was going to be a long day.

***

Harry had a pounding headache and could hardly keep his eyes open as they walked down to the dungeons. Hermione kept sending him not-so-furtive glances. She knew he was in pain. Hopefully, he could just chalk it up to a headache and blame it on Voldemort. Suddenly, he lost his feet as Parkinson sent a tripping jinx his way and his left side crashed into the stone wall. He let out a slow hiss as he grabbed his already sore ribs and turned around to see the Slytherins cackling in laughter. For some reason, Malfoy was on the edge of the group and wasn’t laughing along. For a second Harry thought he looked almost concerned, but knew that would be impossible, it must’ve been his migraine messing with him. He pulled out his wand to jinx them back when Snape chose that moment to open the door to his classroom.

“Dueling already Potter,” the Potion’s professor drawled. “It hasn’t even been a full day and you’re already breaking rules, I don’t know why I would ever expect any different. After all, the rules don’t apply to Prince Potter. Detention. For a week.” The Slytherins broke into another fit of laughter at that but quickly stopped when Snape sent a glare their way, before he turned on one heel and stalked into his classroom, black robes billowing behind him.

Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Neville sat at a table towards the back and pulled out their textbooks and parchment. Hermione started to lean over and ask Harry if he was ok, but the dungeon bat took 10 points from Gryffindor for talking and started his lecture. Harry placed his head on his hand, his eyes fluttering shut, and slowly dozed off.

He jumped as he heard a textbook crash to the ground and looked up to see the greasy git looming over him. “Do you find my lecture boring Potter? Certainly, it is not as thrilling as bulling the neighborhood children and being waited on hand and foot by your relatives, as you undoubtedly were this summer.”

At the mention of his relatives, Harry’s control finally snapped, “The only bully here, sir, is you. I’m sure you were bored out of your mind this summer without Gryffindors to torment.” Harry held his ground as Snape glared at him, knowing he had gone too far but unwilling to back down.

“Detention, Potter, for a month. Now, get. Out. Of. My. Classroom.” Harry shoved his supplies into his bag, not meeting Ron or Hermione's eyes. He didn’t want to see the reproach in Hermione's gaze or sympathy in Ron’s. Without a glance back, he stomped out of the classroom slamming the heavy oak door behind him with a thud. The moment he was outside though, he was overcome with dizziness and the urge to vomit. Running down the corridor, he made a left to the nearest restroom and rushed to a stall. He dry heaved into the toilet several times, he didn’t have enough in his stomach to actually vomit. After he was done, he slowly stood up and went over to the sink to splash cold water onto his face. It was too hot and he was sweating as his hands fumbled to undo the tie around his neck so he could breathe. Suddenly, the world started to tilt and the last thing he remembered was a thud as his head hit the cool floor and the world went black.
To be continued...
Chapter 3 by SiriSnape394
Draco had a terrible summer, and it was all thanks to the blasted World Cup. Normally, he looked forward to summer. He and his mother usually took a trip to their chateau in France to escape his father, but they weren’t allowed to go this year. This year he had to entertain the children of other Death Eaters at the manor while his father plotted to terrorize everyone at the World Cup, demonstrating that the Death Eaters still existed, and were not to be trifled with. This meant he had to ignore Parkinson’s conspicuous flirtations and tolerate Crabbe and Goyle following him around like lost puppies. Summer was usually the one time he could escape his dreaded housemates and he didn’t have to pretend to agree with his father's beliefs. This year though, he was forced to play mini death eater.

He was relieved to be back at Hogwarts where he could escape his father’s cane and spend time with his godfather Severus. Lucius knew better than to include Severus in their plan; as a spy, he couldn’t risk getting caught. This meant that Draco was unable to even rely on tea with his godfather as an escape. Now that he was back at Hogwarts though, he would be able to seek solace in Severus’s parlor.

The only thing driving him insane about being back at Hogwarts was Potter, but there was nothing new about that either. Potter always drove him completely mental, ever since he snubbed him before the sorting. This year though, it was different, something about Potter was off. When he purposefully bumped into him on the train, Potter seemed tired and didn’t put up as much of a fight as he expected. And when Crabbe sent that stinging hex at him, his back stiffened ever so slightly, as if he were in pain.

Thoughts of Potter preoccupied Draco as he packed up his stuff at the end of class. He made his way up the corridor next to Nott, Crabbe, and Goyle lagging behind him like the loyal lap dogs they were when he realized he left his quill behind. “I’ll catch up with you later, I left my quill in class,” he told his housemates as he was turning back, not even bothering to see if they heard him at all. Luckily, Crabbe and Goyle continued with the rest of their year.

He hurried back to the Potions classroom, hoping to catch his godfather, the quill was merely an excuse to talk to him about his father's plans. “Professor Snape, I trust you had a relaxing summer,” he said as he reentered the classroom. Relaxing was the keyword they had developed that indicated they needed to speak alone.

“I did, Mr. Malfoy, shouldn’t you be on your way to dinner?” Severus asked, not looking up from where he was grading their summer assignments.

“Yes sir, forgot my quill is all,” Draco walked over to his desk and picked up the quill he had purposely left lying there.

“Do try to be more mindful in the future, Mr. Malfoy,” Snape drawled still grading papers at his desk. “I expected more from your summer homework than this pathetic attempt. Your essay is hardly worth the parchment you wrote it on. It is what I would expect from Goyle or Potter,” Snape spat the last word with vehemence as if a curse, but it was the invitation Draco was looking for nonetheless, a veiled opportunity to speak with his godfather alone, away from prying ears.

“Yes sir, my apologies. I’ll strive to meet your standards in the future.”

“I expect you to, Mr. Malfoy, you are dismissed,” and with those words Draco made his way out of the classroom, looking forward to the conversation they would have later that night. Before meeting up with the others, he made his way to the bathroom. He was preoccupied as he opened the door, running through everything he needed to tell Severus in his head, so he didn’t notice the person lying on the floor until he tripped over his legs.

“What the bloody hell are you do-,” The words died on his lips as he looked down and saw the prone form of Harry Potter lying lifeless on the floor. Draco felt himself grow pale as he gazed down at Potter. He couldn’t move for a full minute, trying to process the image in front of him, it was as if time had halted. Then, all of a sudden it surged toward him, blood rushing in his ears as he knelt next to Potter. There was no way this was the same person he had seen merely an hour ago; he looked as if he had lost at least thirty pounds, his cheeks were hollow and sunken and his lips cracked as if he hadn’t had water all day. What was scarier though were the bruises marring his face, all different shades from yellow to deep purple indicating that they occurred weeks ago. This meant that they must have happened over the summer when Harry was home for holiday. Draco gulped as he tore his gaze down to Harry’s chest to see if he was still breathing and Draco felt his breath catch in his throat. Spotted against the white of Harry’s button-down was bright red blood, but luckily Draco also saw his chest rise ever so faintly. Draco let out the breath he was holding and rushed to his feet, leaving his bag on the ground next to Harry.

Running as fast as he could, he burst into the Potion’s classroom. “Severus, come quick. It’s Potter, something has happened,” he practically yelled in one breath before turning around and running to the bathroom, not even checking to see if Snape was following him. He burst back into the bathroom, Snape on his heels, and leaned down next to Potter, Snape doing the same on the opposite side.

“Fuck,” he heard his godfather swear as he reached for Potter’s wrist and he cast a diagnostic charm; that was when Draco knew it was bad. His godfather never swore.

Snape tore his gaze up to meet Draco’s. “Go inform Madame Pomphrey of what happened. I’m going to stabilize Potter and then I’ll bring him up to the infirmary.” Severus could hear the squeak of Draco’s trainers as he ran out of the restroom, before placing all of his focus on the student in front of him. He managed to find a radial pulse, it was thready and quick, but at least it was present meaning he was alive in the meantime. Quickly, Severus cast a basic diagnostic triage charm to assess what needed to be done to stabilize Potter before moving him to the infirmary. He didn’t take his eyes off the boy as parchment appeared next to him in midair, filling with all of the injuries in order of most deadly. Once he heard the scratch of the quill stop he tore his gaze from Harry to the parchment, keeping his fingers on Harry’s wrist the entire time to ensure he still had a pulse.

Severus took a sharp inhale as he glanced at the list and wondered how on earth the boy could amass that many injuries in the short time he’d been back to school. Unless…unless they occurred over the summer at his relatives. Snape threw up his occlumency shields, knowing that going down that line of thought would only bring up his past and do nothing to help the boy in front of him. No matter how aggravating he found Potter to be, how arrogant he was, and how irritating he found his blatant disdain for the rules, he was still a student. A student was gravely injured. Seeing that the biggest problem was the punctured lung, which explained the nasal flaring and quick respiratory rate, he quickly cast a charm to temporarily inflate the lung until more permanent action could be taken. He let out a sigh of relief as he saw Potter’s breaths even out.

The next pressing issue was the lacerated spleen causing internal bleeding. To remedy this, Snape quickly summoned a blood replenisher and spelled it into the boy’s stomach, knowing that was all he could do until he got him to the infirmary. After checking the list to ensure there were no spinal injuries that could cause paralysis he gathered Potter into his arms and rushed back to his office to floo to the infirmary.
To be continued...
Chapter 4 by SiriSnape394
Potter felt dangerously light in his arms as Severus stepped through the floo into the hospital wing. He saw Poppy next to Potter’s usual bed and rushed over to her. Gently, he placed the boy down on the bed and handed his diagnostic scroll over to Poppy. “He’s hypotensive with a pneumothorax and lacerated spleen causing internal bleeding. I cast thorektimia to reinflate the lung and gave him a blood replenisher before bringing him here.” Poppy nodded as she scanned the diagnostic Severus had run, her expression darkening the more she read. When she reached the end, she cast her own more extensive diagnostic charms.

“Thank you, Severus, the pneumothorax is stable so we’ll just monitor it. I’ll set to work on the spleen. He’s severely anemic and thrombocytopenic, can you get me a clotting potion and blood replenisher?” Severus nodded and headed to the supply closet. He had never been more grateful that he had to take basic medical courses at St. Mungo’s for his Potions Mastery. At the time he grumbled about it and hated working with patients. After 13 years of teaching, however, he understood that accidents were ubiquitous in a potions laboratory and required training to properly respond. He took the requested potions back to Poppy. The need for the clotting potion indicated how dire the situation was; it was regularly in short supply due to the rare ingredients and lengthy brewing time. Luckily, he restocked it earlier this week.

He placed the potions on the metal tray next to her and stayed close in case she needed his aid. “It seems he had a few broken ribs which can account for both the pneumothorax and the laceration. The breaks are old, but they must’ve shifted at some point hitting both his lung and spleen.” At her words he heard a gasp from behind his shoulder and turned around to see Draco standing there, his breathing quickening.

“Draco, what’s wrong?” Severus asked, placing his hand on Draco’s shoulder and leaning down to look at him. “Do you know something about this?”

Draco gulped, his wide eyes on Harry. Severus stepped in front of him blocking his view and waved his wand to close the curtain. Draco slowly nodded, “I th-think, I think I did this.” His voice wavered and fear leeched into his eyes as he looked up at his Godfather.

Severus took a deep breath to control his temper. “Why do you think that?”

“Yesterday on the Express, I bumped into him and then Crabbe sent a hex at his back.” Draco wouldn’t meet Severus’s eyes and he started breathing rapidly, working himself into a panic attack.

“Draco…Draco,” Severus shook him slightly trying to get his attention, he needed to help Poppy and a hyperventilating teenager who thought he was to blame was the last thing he needed. “These injuries only happened about an hour ago, it wasn’t your fault.”

Draco looked up at those words, “Parkinson. It was Parkinson, she tripped him in the hallway, that’s why he had his wand out.”

Severus closed his eyes, knowing that he would need to deal with Parkinson later. “Thank you for telling me. Can you go inform Professor McGonagall of what has conspired and tell her that her presence is requested in the infirmary?” Draco nodded once before running off, letting the heavy double doors of the Hospital Wing slam shut behind him. Severus turned around and opened the curtains to check on Poppy. She had an intense look of concentration on her face entirely focused on the boy in front of her as she waved her wand in complex motions, lowly muttering a string of Latin.

“Bloody hell,” she cursed as her arm stilled. She looked up at Snape, dread marring her features as she wiped the sweat from her brow. “I tried resealing the splenic capsule and parenchyma, but it didn’t work, we’ll have to remove it.”

“Fuck,” Snape cursed. “Can we transfer him to St. Mungo’s?” Removal of an organ wasn’t as massive a procedure in the wizarding world as it was in the muggle, but it still required an incision in a sterile environment and at least two healers. Snape was the only other person at the school with any form of medical training, but he’d never done anything this skilled before.

Madam Pomfrey shook her head, “He’s not stable enough; another floo trip could be disastrous.”

“Very well. Tell me what you need me to do.”

She quickly set to work, wasting no time in clearing the area around Potter’s bed. “Can you summon my sterile equipment bag from my office while I sanitize the area?” Snape nodded and did so as the doors burst open and he heard the click of Minerva’s heels as she made her way across the room to them.

“Mr. Malfoy has informed me that there has been an incident involving…Oh my,” she gasped as she finally reached them, her eyes filling with tears as she took in Harry’s state. “What happened?”

“We’ll discuss that later,” Snape replied as drapes began unfolding themselves at Poppy’s direction and tools flew out of her bag to arrange themselves on a metal tray. “Can you inform the mutt?”

“Tell the Headmaster. Severus I’m all set, go scrub your hands and put a gown and gloves on.”

He nodded while still looking at Minerva, “Do not tell Albus.”

“Severus,” Poppy started, “I must insist..”

“No,” Snape cut her off with a snarl. “He cannot know, we need time to come up with a plan.” His voice left no room for debate and Minerva nodded along.

“I agree, Poppy,” she stated at the nurse’s bewildered expression. “I’m assuming his relatives did this?” Her colleagues both nodded, having come to that assumption even though they did not have confirmation from Harry as of yet. “Albus is the reason he was there. I tried to warn him that they were the worst sort of muggles, but did he listen to me? Luckily, he is in London meeting with Fudge about the tournament, so we have some time to form a plan on how to get Potter out from under his control. I’ll go inform Sirius and ask Mr. Weasley and Miss Granger if they noticed anything.”

Severus and Poppy didn’t wait to see her leave to get to work. “What do you need me to do Poppy?” Severus asked, feeling very out of his depth, but refusing to show any anxiety.

“I’m going to make a seven-centimeter midline anterior incision. What I’m going to need you to do is retract the stomach for me while I cauterize the splenic artery and vein and free the ligaments. It’s going to be quite bloody, so after I open his abdomen, prepare a suction charm. I’ll need a clean visual field to work.” Snape nodded and watched as she took a blade and made the first incision, following her instructions he rapidly fired a suction charm to help remove the free blood. “Now I’m going to position the retractor, pull the stomach back so I don’t accidentally slice it while removing the ligaments surrounding the spleen. The last thing we need is a gastric leak.” Snape did as she said and pulled back on the retractor, pulling the stomach up toward the liver. After about ten minutes his arms started to ache; he was alarmed by the amount of force this task required. Thirty minutes later, Poppy was finally finished and pulled the spleen out after cauterizing the splenic artery. Snape cast one last suction charm to remove any lingering blood filling the abdominal cavity and Poppy enchanted a needle to suture the incision closed.

They both sat down for a moment, catching their breaths, while Poppy reassessed Potter’s vitals. “He’s stable. His hemoglobin is increasing, but he could still use another blood replenisher.” Snape spelled one into his stomach while Poppy reread the diagnostic, triaging what to fix next. “We’ll need to fix those ribs, so they don’t further aggravate any injuries and then we can get to work healing all his bruises and the lashes on his back.”

They both set to work, Poppy healing his ribs while Severus started to apply bruise paste to his arms. They’d only been working for about 10 minutes when the doors burst open yet again and Black ran in screaming Harry’s name.

“What the hell did you do to him, Snivellus? He hasn’t even been back to school a day and you’ve already almost killed him? God, Harry,” Black sobbed, kneeling next to the bed.

“What did I do? I just spent hours saving his life, mutt. You’re an even bigger fucking imbecile than I thought if you actually believe that I would do this. He may be a conceited brat with zero respect for the rules or authority like his father, but I would never lay hands on a student, no matter how aggravating they are.”

Sirius stood up, a retort on his lips when Poppy cast a silencing charm on both of them. “Enough! This is an infirmary and I have a very sick patient here who needs rest. Sirius, if it weren’t for Severus, you would be burying this child, so you’d better get on your knees and thank him for saving Harry’s life. If you are able to sit quietly and keep out of the way you’re welcome to stay. If not, leave.” Remus had entered halfway through her lecture and stood behind Sirius.

“Maybe we should let them work and take a walk around the lake, clear our minds,” he suggested, placing an arm around the animagus’s shoulder.

“I can’t-I-I can’t leave him. Remy, I..” Sirius’s voice clogged with unshed tears unable to speak anymore. He latched onto his mate, burying his face in Remus’s shoulder.

“Shhh,” Remus calmed him, “I know. He’s our pup, and we only just got him back, but he’s going to be fine. We’ll help him get through this.” Remus turned to Severus and Poppy, “Thank you so much for saving his life, we are indebted to you.” Severus gave a single nod of his head in acknowledgment as Remus ushered Sirius out the door.

“Thank you, Poppy,” Snape said quietly as he went back to work applying bruise paste to their patient.

“No need, Severus,” she replied, not looking up from her work. “I meant what I said, if it weren’t for you Harry would be dead, you saved his life. Now let’s get back to work. It’s going to be a long night.”

*********************

An hour later they finally finished up healing the last of the lashes on the boy's back when Minerva entered with Sirius and Remus at her heels. “How is he?”

“He’ll be fine,” Poppy answered, “Physically, at least. He’ll have no lasting injuries, only a few scars, but it would seem that he is used to that.” Black let out a sob at her words as he grasped Harry’s hand and carded his fingers through his unruly black curls.

“I ran a full historical diagnostic on him. I was just about to read through it if you would like to take a look as well.” Poppy headed in the direction of her office, Severus and Minerva following her to leave the couple a chance alone with their godson. With a flick of her wand, the nurse made two copies of the report and handed it to the two professors. As they read, they became increasingly distressed. Minerva and Poppy both started crying, reading all of the injuries he had amassed over the years, while Snape felt like he was going to vomit. It turned out Potter wasn’t a pampered prince, after all, just a broken abused boy in need of help. This history certainly explained his unwillingness to trust adults, Severus knew that feeling all too well. He had arrived at Hogwarts similar to Harry, with bruises from his father’s fists, and there was not a single professor he trusted enough to confide in during his seven years at Hogwarts. The only one who knew was Lily, but he swore her to secrecy and kept the extent of his father’s abuse even from her. His mind drifted to those bright green eyes, Lily’s eyes. They were filled with so much contempt and hatred earlier today as Severus goaded Potter, claiming his family waited on him hand and foot. His words could not be any further from reality.

Severus dropped his head in his hands unable to finish reading through the entire report. It painted a ghastly picture, a lifetime of starvation, burns, concussions, broken bones that went untreated, and whippings with a belt. And all this time, Severus mocked him and called him spoiled. He’d never felt more like a dungeon bat as the dunderheads called him than at that moment. Yes, part of his persona was for the role he had to play as a spy in Dumbledore’s war, but not when it came to Potter. He truly loathed Harry, seeing only his childhood bully in the child and none of his childhood friend. But, as it turned out, he was wrong. Harry was far more similar to himself than to James, and Snape had missed all the signs. He looked up from his hands and was about to read the rest of the report when he heard Poppy make a sound of confusion.

“What’s this? That hardly makes sense.” Snape looked down to figure out what she was referring to when he saw it at the very bottom of the list.

Age: 6 months. Altered appearance via a glamour spell

Minerva let out a gasp of shock, “But why on earth would anyone need to change his appearance, I would assume it was Lily and James, he was only 6 months after all.” Severus and Poppy only shook their heads in response just as confused.

Poppy let out a sigh, “I suppose that will be an issue for tomorrow, we have more pressing matters at hand: Albus Dumbledore.” Minerva’s lips thinned at the mention of his name and Snape’s expression turned sour. “From your reaction earlier, I stand to reason that Albus knew about the abuse the entire time?”

“I doubt he knew about the extent of it,” Snape looked petulant at Minerva’s words, clearly disagreeing with her assessment. “He did know, however, that Harry was mistreated. A squib, Arabella Fig, lived across the street from the Dursleys at Albus’s request and would watch Harry from time to time. She sent word that she was concerned about how Harry was and that he was always covered in bruises. I went to check on Harry in my animagus form and was shocked to see him working outside in the hot sun all day long doing yard work. He was a tiny little thing, eight at the time, but he looked no more than five. He was weeding the garden when his cousin came over and taunted him before kicking up the rose bush he had just planted. Harry said nothing, did nothing to get his cousin to stop, and just took the abuse even when his cousin started punching him. I finally stepped in and cast a stinging jinx at Dudley to make him stop. I-” she broke off with a sob. Severus handed her one of the handkerchiefs he always carried. She gave a murmur of thanks and took a moment to compose herself before continuing, “I should have done more, checked on him more often. I told Albus about what I saw, but he just brushed it off, saying that he had a high metabolism like his father and his mother's petite stature, or that's how cousins play ‘boys will be boys after all’.”

“By the time he arrived at Hogwarts, he was so happy to be here and captivated by the magic. He made friends and fit in easily,” at that she stealthily glanced at Severus, comparing the two abused boys. One was an athlete and popular and the other was the exact opposite, a misfit who was bullied. “I thought Albus was right. Clearly, I was wrong, that’ll be the last time I doubt my own instincts in favor of that meddling old fool.” Her words were stepped with wrath and for a moment Severus pitied Albus for getting on her wrong side. Then he remembered exactly why she was mad and any empathy for the Headmaster vanished.

“We all missed it,” Poppy comforted her. “I should’ve run a full diagnostic from day one, I should do it on all students. But, it’s been done, we can only learn from our mistakes going forward, so how will we fix this? Clearly, we can’t inform Albus.”

“No,” Snape stated firmly. “We cannot tell Albus. He’ll insist that the blood wards are needed for Potter’s protection. No, instead we’ll go straight to the Aurors. Once a complaint has been made and we’ve shown them the evidence even Albus can’t dissuade them from pursuing an investigation.”

“Any particular Aurors you had in mind?” Poppy asked, clearly Severus had already used his Slytherin cunning to develop a plan.

“Kingsley Steele,” Severus knew him from the order and knew that he would be able to stand up to Dumbledore. “I can contact him.”

“Thank you, Severus. Tell him I can provide him with more medical information.” Poppy gave him a small smile in appreciation. The three lapsed into silence, sitting with the weight of what they had learned that evening.

Minerva was the first to speak, “As I see it there’s only one more major thing to handle.” Her colleagues looked at her curiously, “Who wants to inform Sirius that his godson was horribly abused?”

To be continued...
Chapter 5 by SiriSnape394
Author's Notes:
Hi All! I forgot to mention in the last chapter that I'm changing Kingsley Shacklebolt's last name to Steele because Shacklebolt is super racist and I don't want to write it.
Severus poured himself another glass of the fire whiskey he kept on one of his bookshelves before going to sit on his worn but comfortable leather sofa. He still couldn’t believe the report he’d read; Potter was abused. He let out a long sigh and leaned back, resting his head against the back of the couch. He should’ve seen the signs, he was always the first among the staff to notice abuse, but Potter looked so much like his damn father. That was no excuse though, he was Lily’s child too.

“Lily” he breathed out her name reverently. She would be appalled to find out what happened to Harry. He let out a soft chuckle thinking about how she would’ve gone off on Tuney, no one was ever a match for her infamous temper, not even him. God, she was a vision when she was angry though. He still remembered one time she went off on him during sixth year. He’d snuck a baldness potion into Black’s special curl conditioner. However, that night the mutt lent it to Marlene McKinnon. Severus had made the potion himself, so of course it worked perfectly, and when McKinnon woke up in the morning her head was as shinny as a cue ball. Lily, of course, knew instantly that he was responsible and came marching up to the Slytherin table, red hair blazing behind her, and spelled his hair Gryffindor colors in retaliation before adding a bat bogey hex for good measure.

He jerked forward when he heard a knock on his door. Running a hand through his long hair, he set his drink on the coffee table and went to answer it. “Mr. Malfoy,” he stated when he opened the portrait leading to his private chambers. He supposed he shouldn’t be surprised given the events of the day and stood aside to let Draco in. “Would you like some tea?” He asked, leading him to the living room.

“Sure,” Draco whispered, looking off to the side and wringing his hands.

Severus’s brow furrowed as he went to prepare the tea; he wasn’t used to seeing his godson anxious like this. The persona Draco put on for the school was a front and around Severus, he was far more comfortable to be himself. After the war ended, Narcissa approached him. She had suspected for some time that Severus was perhaps not as in agreement with the Dark Lord’s beliefs as he portrayed to the other Death Eaters. She had long resented her husband, whom her parents forced her to marry, and was worried Draco would follow in his father's footsteps. So, she sought out Severus and asked him to provide Draco with a refuge he could turn to away from Lucius and at the same time guide him ever so subtly away from the viewpoints of the Dark Lord. Between his and Narcissa’s encouragement, they were happy to say that he thoroughly disagreed with his father’s beliefs. Draco still had a natural confidence though, so Severus was surprised to see him unsure of himself.

“Are you going to tell me what is troubling you?” Severus asked, setting the tea down. Draco made no reply, just looked at his hands. “Is it Potter? I told you it wasn’t your fault.”

“Is-is he okay?” the young Slytherin asked, looking up from his hands, his face pinched with worry.

Severus was shocked by Draco’s concern. While he knew that the bullying was an act, he thought Draco genuinely hated Potter. “His injuries are healed, and he will be fine with time. I must admit I am surprised that you care so much.”

“I don’t,” he replied petulantly, crossing his arms across his chest. Severus said nothing, simply raised a single eyebrow, and pointed a directed stare in his direction.

“What?” he asked defensively. “I don’t. I just wanted to make sure he wasn’t dead is all. Hogwarts would be boring without having Potter around to mock.” Severus said nothing in reply, merely nodded his head once and let the subject drop, but it would take far better acting than that to fool him. He had been the Slytherin head of house for thirteen years, after all; he knew when students were lying to him.

“Then what brings you here past curfew?”

“I need to tell you about my father’s plans.”

This caught Severus’s attention and his dark eyes narrowed. “Ah, so Lucius has more absurd plans in mind. I haven’t the slightest idea what he was hoping to achieve with that World Cup fiasco,” Snape said with a sneer. “Aside from making himself look like an imbecile.”

Draco chuckled at that statement before he grew serious again. “I don’t know all of it, I only heard a few plans here and there. They mentioned something about an ancient book in Father’s vault, something about a potion, and I heard Potter’s name a few times. I think he’s a part of their plans but I was unable to find out how. I’m sorry I didn’t learn more.” Draco trailed off apologetically. When he had bumped into Potter on the train, he had been trying to warn him, not threaten him. He wasn’t surprised though that Potter thought his intentions were the latter.

“You have nothing to apologize for, this information will be extremely helpful.” Severus stared at him for a few moments before asking a question he was scared to know the answer to. “Draco, how was it with Lucius this summer? I know he can be…exacting,” he continued after searching for the correct term.

“It was fine,” the blonde replied with a nonchalant shrug. “He was cold and harsh as usual, but he only used his cane once.” Severus winced at the last statement, spoken so casually as if it was every day fathers caned their children.

“I’m sorry Draco, I wish there were something I could do.” Draco nodded in response. Severus would want nothing more than to help his godson, but Lucius had too much power in the Ministry to ever face abuse allegations. He tried to convince Narcissa to just leave and take Draco with her. But, they would be destitute as all of her money was placed into the Malfoy vault when they married.

Finally, long after their tea had gone cold Severus saw Draco to the door before returning to sit before the fireplace and think over all the troubling information he learned that evening. How was it that it was only the first day of school?

************************

Harry groaned and rolled over, not wanting to wake up. It was the most rested he’d felt since before he left Hogwarts last year and for once the wounds on his back weren’t aching. That thought made him pause and take note of his surroundings. A ball of dread settled in his stomach as he realized he was in the Hospital Wing. Prying one eye open, he realized that he was, of course, in his usual bed. He didn’t know why he would expect anything different, it wouldn’t be a year at Hogwarts without at least one trip to the infirmary. Dumbledore probably shouldn’t mention that to prospective parents he thought dryly. Now, he just needed to figure out exactly how he wound up here and make sure that Madam Pomfrey didn’t find out about his relatives. He was running through the previous day in his head when it finally sunk in that his back didn’t hurt.

Fuck, he thought, his mind spiraling down through the consequences of what that meant as his breathing grew rapid. If his back didn’t hurt then that meant that someone had healed it, which meant that Madam Pomfrey probably saw the lashes, which meant that she probably saw the old scars, which meant that she would want to know how that happened. Although she wasn’t exactly an idiot, he’d been at his relatives all summer, so therefore she would assume that they did it. She would probably tell him that he would never go back there, but Harry knew better. Dumbledore would make him go back, and now Vernon would just be even angrier because someone had found out. Except wait, the World Cup! He’d gone to the World Cup, maybe he could blame it on the Death Eaters. But Ron and Hermione had been there and they knew nothing like that happened, so he would have to talk to them first, get them to corroborate his story. But then they would have questions and how would he answer those? On and on his thoughts went descending further and further into an abyss from which he saw no end in sight.

**************

Sirius was sitting in the chair next to Harry’s bed, letting his head rest on his hand, hair falling in his eyes as he contemplated everything he had learned that day. He was startled when Harry suddenly jolted up in bed, eyes staring off into the distance. Harry’s breathing intensified and came in short bursts as he grabbed his knees and hugged them to his chest. Sirius and Remus stared at each other, completely lost as to how to help their godson.

They had been up the majority of the night, unable to sleep after what they had learned. An hour or so after they had entered Madam Pomfrey’s office, Snape stormed out, letting the large oak doors to the infirmary shut behind him. “Well, I guess Severus won’t be informing him then,” Sirius’s canine hearing picked up on McGonagall’s brusque Scottish accent. He returned his attention to his Harry, not paying one more second of attention to that greasy git.

“Sirius, Remus,” Minerva walked over to them and cleared her voice, her usually stern face looking even more severe. Both she and Pomfrey took a seat in the two other empty chairs beside the bed. Pomfrey had a stack of papers in her hand and McGonagall looked as if she wanted to be anywhere else.

“It would appear,” the cat animagus paused and Sirius felt dread settle in his stomach, he knew something bad was coming.“It would appear that Harry has been abused since he was dropped off at the Dursleys as a baby.” The nurse handed them copies of the diagnostic she’d run and gave them a moment to read it.

Out of the corner of his eye, Sirius saw Remus grow pale as he read what happened to Harry and dashed off to the bathroom where he promptly heard retching. Sirius stayed surprisingly calm until he reached the end, then he exploded. He went off into a tirade, hardly knowing what he was saying, only that every other word consisted of “fuck” or “Dursley”. The lights overhead flickered dangerously as one of the windows cracked from his uncontrolled magic before Poppy finally stood up and muzzled him with a Silencio. “Sit down and act like an adult,” she told him sternly, “or I will kick you out of here again and you will not be allowed back in for as long as Harry stays here.”

That threat caught Sirius’s attention and he sat down looking adequately contrite. Remus had rejoined them at that point and sat down next to Sirius taking his hand. No one said anything. Finally, Remus cleared his throat, “He can’t go back there.”

“Hell no!” Sirius started yelling, “Go back? Dumbledore can go…” He stopped just as suddenly when he saw Pomfrey’s thunderous expression. He knew from his school days that she wouldn’t hesitate a moment to stay true to her threat. He cleared his throat and spoke in a voice five times softer, but still just as furious, “I only meant that he will never go back to the Dursleys. He’ll stay with us.” The last sentence was directed toward his mate and he lifted their entwined hands to his lips.

They discussed Severus’s plans to involve the Aurors, and Sirius was surprisingly agreeable, despite who had devised the strategy. Eventually, Madam Pomfrey and Professor McGonagall turned in for the night, but the only two remaining marauders stayed up late into the early hours of the morning, knowing any sleep they got would be plagued by nightmares.

Now, they stared as Harry curled into himself further, hugging his knees to his chest and muttering a string of words spoken too fast and low for them to make out. “Shhhhh Harry, it's okay,” Sirius tried to calm him, running his hand over his back soothingly. His heart ached for his pup and it physically pained him to see Harry like this. He met Remus’s eyes and nodded in the direction of Pomfrey’s office. Remus had just stood up to go get the nurse when she came bustling out.

“Oh dear,” she stated. “Poor thing’s worked himself into a panic attack. No doubt he figured out that we know about the abuse.” She shook her head and spelled a calming potion into his stomach, knowing that they’d never get him to calm enough to swallow it on his own. Slowly, after a couple of minutes, his breathing slowed until he eventually fell asleep. Sirius and Remus sat there, each holding one of his hands, and met each other's eyes over his bed. They had no idea how to help their pup, but they knew one thing: he would never go back to the Dursleys again.
To be continued...
Chapter 6 by SiriSnape394
The next time Harry opened his eyes, he saw the ceiling of the Hospital Wing and let out a soft groan. So it wasn’t a dream, he thought, I am in the Hospital Wing. “Harry?” he heard a soft voice on his left and felt someone squeeze his hand. He fumbled for his glasses, but they were gently placed on the bridge of his nose. Looking up, he saw Sirius. He looked so much better than when he’d last seen him at the end of last year. It was obvious he’d gained quite a bit of weight; his cheeks were no longer sunken and pale and he no longer had dark circles under his eyes. His hair was groomed into wild but tamed curls, and he was dressed in expensive muggle clothes that made him look like he belonged to a rock band from the 70s. Harry was pleased to note that he no longer looked like a madman, but a put-together member of society.

“Sirius?” Harry questioned, shocked. “What are you doing here?”

His godfather let out a small chuckle, but his eyes remained sad. “We’re here for you,” Harry looked over and saw Remus sitting on the other side of the bed. “Professor McGonagall told us you were here, so we came over right away. You’ve had us worried, pup.” He gave Harry’s messy curls a ruffle before grasping his hand again.

“How are you feeling Harry?” his former professor asked. Remus looked better too. He looked tired like he normally did the first few days after a full moon, but he was no longer in his worn, threadbare jacket. Instead, he was dressed smartly in a nice button-down with the sleeves rolled up to his forearms.

“Fine,” Harry replied automatically. Both of his just godfathers stared at him. “What? I really feel fin-“ he didn’t even finish his sentence, there was no point. “My stomach is sore,” he mumbled quietly, looking down at the white blanket covering his lap.

“Well that’s to be expected, Mr. Potter,” Madam Pomfrey said as came bustling over to check on her patient. “I did have to remove your spleen, but I have a pain potion for you. How’s your breathing?” She asked as she uncorked the potion vial and handed it over to him.

Harry took a deep breath in, “Fine, loads better than yesterday.” His answer was truthful this time, he knew better than to lie to the stern nurse. Madam Pomfrey gave a hum of agreement as she waved her wand to assess her patient. “Well Mr. Potter,” she said, “you’re doing far better than yesterday. You had a fractured rib that became dislodged and punctured your lung and your spleen. Luckily, I was able to repair your lung, but had to remove your spleen. You’ll have to stay here for the rest of the week for observation.”

“Don’t look at me like that,” she told him. Despite the fact that she was still staring at the diagnostic, she was still able to tell that he was frowning sullenly, Harry supposed it was a mediwitch’s intuition. She looked up at him and said, “Mr. Potter, you were gravely ill when you came in. If it weren’t for Mr. Malfoy and Professor Snape, you likely would’ve died.” Her tone was kind, but firm.

Harry, however, was unable to fully grasp the levity of the situation, only focusing on the fact that Malfoy and Snape, the two people who detested him the most at Hogwarts, saved his life. “Malfoy? Snape?” he spat, “As if I’d believe that prat or greasy git would ever do anything to help me.”

He took a deep breath to continue on his tirade against them when Remus placed a comforting hand on his shoulder, “They did save you Harry, and we will forever be in their debt. We could’ve lost you.” Both his and Sirius’s eyes filled with tears as they thought of what could’ve happened.

“Harry,” Sirius began, bracing himself for what he knew would be an unpleasant, but necessary conversation. “Why did you not tell us,pup? If you had sent a letter to either of us we would’ve been there in a heartbeat, you know that.” Harry just stared at his hands. Sensing that he wouldn’t say anything, Sirius continued, “Well, you’ll be living with Remus and me from now on, there will be no going back to the Dursleys.” Harry said nothing. He knew there was no point arguing, Dumbledore would find out and put his foot down, so next summer he’d wind up at number four again. Only this time it’d be so much worse because someone had found out the truth.

Panic filled his mind at the thought of what Uncle Vernon would do to him. He knew for a fact that the only time he would see the outside of his cupboard would be to do chores or for his punishments. This past summer would look like a breeze compared to what he would face. Suddenly he felt his vision blur as his head spun. He felt a bottle being held to his lips and drank upon hearing the insistent order. A few moments later he felt the world slow down and his breathing ease.

“There, there Mr. Potter,” he heard Madam Pomfrey’s voice, softer than he was used to. “Now, there’s no need to worry yourself out, it will all be taken care of.” His mind wanted to rebel against that idea, he knew it wouldn’t be taken care of, but at that moment he found himself unable to worry.

After giving him a few moments to calm down, he finally looked up at her. “Sorry,” he stated as he tucked his head in embarrassment.

“There is nothing to be sorry for, Mr. Potter,” she informed him as he looked back up into the concerned eyes of his godfathers. He gave a slight nod but was still slightly embarrassed. “We do have one more matter to discuss. When we ran your diagnostic report, we discovered that someone placed a glamour on you shortly after you were born.” Harry made no reply, only glanced at her in confusion, not understanding what she was saying. “A glamour, Mr. Potter, is a wide-ranging spell that can be used to alter appearance. It can be as minor as covering a pimple or an unfortunate tattoo,” she told him, with a side glance towards Sirius. “Or it can entirely alter someone’s appearance, much like the Polyjuice potion, but can last far longer than an hour. In fact, if the caster is powerful enough, it can last indefinitely.”

“So, someone did this to me? When I was just a baby?” he asked, still not understanding. “But why, why would anyone do that?”

“We don’t know, Harry,” Remus told him. “Your parents never mentioned anything of the sort to either of us.”

“With your permission, Mr. Potter, I’d like to remove the glamour,” Madam Pomfrey said.

“What will happen when you do?”

“We’re not sure, pup,” Sirius grasped his hand. “The report didn’t say what the glamour did, just that one had been cast, and none of us were even aware of it, so there's really no telling.” Harry searched his godfather’s eyes looking for guidance. Seeing nothing but support, no matter what his decision, he nodded and Madame Pomfrey lifted her wand to undo the glamour. Nothing could’ve prepared them for what was to come.


HPSSHPSSHPSSHPSSHPSS

Severus was having a miserable morning. After he finally managed to drift off last night, he was awoken not two hours later with a nightmare of Lily’s tear-streaked face asking how he could let her son be abused. That was around three AM and he didn’t even bother trying to get more sleep afterwards. So, he simply poured himself two large cups of black coffee at breakfast and prepared himself for the day to come.

His first period had been uneventful, it was a 7th-year NEWT class, so the students knew what they were doing and actually wanted to be there. His second class of the day was an entirely different story, however. It was a combined Gryffindor Slytherin fifth-year class. Why Dumbledore always insisted on placing those two houses in Potions together he would never understand. Because what else do volatile potions and complete dunderheads need, oh yes house rivalries.

He set his mouth into a deep scowl as he surveyed the room, a warning to any students who dared to step even a toe out of line. He walked around the room, making sure that no one was adding ingredients that would lead to explosions. “What do you think this is supposed to be Ms. Harris?” he asked, looming behind the fifth-year Gryffindor.

“A-a strengthening solution,” she squeaked out, grasping the lacewing flies she was supposed to add.

“And what will happen if you add that ingredient before it turns the correct shade of blue?” She made no reply, terrified to look up at her dreaded professor. “Well?” he asked impatiently. When he saw that she would not reply, he addressed the rest of the class, “Would anyone with half a brain cell care to inform Ms. Harris what will happen if she adds the lacewing flies?” He nodded at a Slytherin to answer.

“It will explode, Professor,” Mr. Hughes answered.

“Five points to Slytherin. As Mr. Hughes so kindly informed you, it will explode,” he hissed at the girl. “Evanesco. Since you clearly did not come to class prepared, you will get a zero. Now get out of my classroom.” She scampered to put her books away and leave, not wanting to anger him further.

Severus continued to prowl around the class, subtly and quietly correcting the Slytherins where necessary, and mocking the Gryffindors when the door burst open and a voice shouted, “Stupefy.” Snape, having quick reflexes from his time in the war, ducked out of the way before turning around and seeing Black standing at the entrance to his classroom.

“What do you think you’re doing?” He roared, darting out of the way of another hex the mutt fired his way.

“What did you do to my godson?” Sirius blocked the Expelliarmus levied at him. “You’ll set him to rights this instant Snivellous.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about, Black. Why would I harm Potter after going to great lengths to save him last night?” Severus fired a Reducto at him which crashed against his potion's ingredients as Sirius ducked to avoid it.

“You’ve always had it out for him, all because of his father James,” Sirius replied, sending an Expulso towards his rival. Snape made no answer, knowing that it was fruitless to argue with the mutt when he was this worked up. Sometime in the previous minute they had been dueling, the students had cleared out of the room. As he dove behind a classroom table, he was pleased to note that one of them had vanished all of the potions before they left.

His nostrils flared at the scent of burning wood and he jumped up to see Sirius igniting the table on fire. He quickly cast an Aguamenti before the rest of the classroom caught flame, “I see you lost what little insanity you possessed in Azkaban, Black.” Sirius only growled in reply and cast another curse at him.

The two continued to battle like that for the next five minutes, throwing spells back and forth and destroying even more of Snape's classroom. They were both startled when they heard a voice shout “Expelliarmus,” and found themselves both disarmed. “What is going on here?” the voice asked a threat underlying the gentle tone.

Neither man glanced away from where they were glaring at each other. “Ask the mutt,” Snape spat. “I was teaching my class when he came barging into my classroom and started attacking me.”

“He cursed Harry, I had to.” Severus scoffed and crossed his arms, knowing full well he did no such thing.

“And where is Mr. Potter?” Albus asked. Neither man replied to that, not wanting the Headmaster to become involved and insist that Harry go back to the Dursleys. “Well?”

Seeing that Sirius would make no reply and Dumbledore wouldn’t give up, Severus finally replied, “He’s in the infirmary.”

“No thanks to you,” Sirius muttered.

“You’re right, without me, he’d be in a casket,” Snape glared at him, his lip curling.

Albus’s expression grew concerned, “What happened to Mr. Potter?” Finally, seeing that neither man would answer, he suggested that they head up to the infirmary, being sure to stay between the both of them on the way there.

HPSSHPSSHPSSHPSS

Snape had no idea what Black was raging on about when he burst into his classroom. He knew the man was delusional and assumed that Sirius undoubtedly got some crazy plot in his head that involved him and the Potter brat. Child, he corrected himself. After learning what he did he would need to stop referring to him as a spoiled brat. However, he was unprepared for the scene that awaited him as the trio entered the Hospital Wing.

Potter was sitting on the bed with his face buried in his hands as Lupin tried to comfort him. Meanwhile, Minerva and Poppy were talking to Kingsley and the young witch with bright pink hair next to him whom Severus assumed with Nymphadora Tonks. It seemed that she kept the same proclivity for colorful hair as she had when they were at school together.

“Kingsley, Nymphadora” Albus said, sounding surprised. “What brings you to Hogwarts today?”

“It’s Tonks, Headmaster. Wotcher Severus, Sirius,” the animagus interrupted before Kingsley could reply. Snape scowled in response to her grin. Clearly, she was still as obnoxiously cheery as she had been sixteen years ago.

“It’s good to see you, Headmaster,” Kingsley’s deep voice greeted. “Severus asked us to come today, apparently there’s an issue regarding Mr. Potter’s home life that needs to be addressed.”

Albus glanced at Severus, his eyes lacking their usual twinkle. In fact, the spy could’ve sworn he detected a hint of fury in his gaze for a moment before it was replaced with its usual grandfatherly expression. “Ah Severus my boy, I’m surprised you took an interest in Harry’s home life. If you had cause for concern, why did you not come to me first?”

“Really Albus, you’re the one that sent him back to that house to be abused.” Potter let out a strangled cry at his godfather's livid, but true, words and looked up from his hands and Severus felt all the blood drain from his face. Harry no longer looked like Potter Senior, instead, he looked like Snape. Well, not completely identical, but instead a perfect combination of him and Lily. His hair straightened which caused it to lengthen out and lay neater. His face had elongated and he had Lily’s nose and mouth, but the hateful glare he was sending towards Snape right now was purely Severus.

“Set him right, Snape,” he heard Sirius growl next to him. He could make no answer though. His gaze was locked on Harry’s and he felt as if he had seen a ghost.

The longer he looked at him though, the angrier Snape grew. How dare Potter, he thought. What kind of trick did the brat think he was playing at. “Is this some kind of joke, Potter?” he said, stalking over towards the boy. “Think it's funny, do you? Dress up as the hated potions professor and mock my relationship with your mother.” He looked down to see him cowering behind Remus. Severus gulped and took a step back realizing that he’d let his temper get the better of him. He hadn’t meant to scare the boy, he just wanted answers, and with that thought he turned around and directed his most menacing glare at the wizard in bright purple robes.

“Tell me you had nothing to do with this Albus.” The headmaster made no reply and couldn’t meet his gaze. In reality, Severus didn’t need an answer. In his bones, he already knew. This was no prank the marauders were playing on him, the boy was his son, his and Lily’s. He gulped, too terrified to let the implications of that truth sink in and drew his wand on Albus, his arm shaking. “Tell me what you did.” The old man still did not answer, “Tell me now Albus, or I swear I will tear apart every inch of this castle looking for the truth, and you may not like what secrets come to light.”

“Professor Dumbledore,” Harry’s voice shook as he quietly spoke up. “What’s going on? Do you-do you know why I look like-” he gulped, unable to finish his sentence. “Why I look like-“ but he was still unable to finish, clearly too traumatized to even say the words aloud Snape thought.

“Yes Albus, why does he look like me?” Snape menaced, his wand still pointed at the headmaster who was now looking a little wary of his spymaster.

“Harry, Professor Snape is your father. He and your mother, Lily, were married in secret and had you. Not long after you were born, he became a spy for me, so to protect you and your mother from Voldemort we altered his memories and James pretended to be your father instead.” Severus closed his eyes, letting Albus’s words sink in as everyone around him erupted in disbelief. The mutt let out a string of profanity as Remus tried to calm him, Minerva and Poppy spoke hurriedly to each other in low voices, and Kingsley and Tonks stared at each other in disbelief. Severus however, was oblivious to all of it. The moment he saw Potter-no, Harry, he reminded himself-he had suspected, but to hear those words spoken aloud was an entirely different matter. Lily was his. She was his wife and they had a son together. He needed time to process, and he would not be able to do that here.

“Where are they, Albus? Where are my memories?” Dumbledore finally met his gaze, for the first time since they’d seen Harry. He saw regret there, but it was mixed with pride and determination and Severus knew that the leader of the light would make the same decisions again. With a flick of his wand, Albus summoned the shimmering vial of memories and handed them over to Severus along with a letter. Snape snatched both out of his hand, fixed him with one last glare, and stormed out of the hospital wing, his robes billowing behind him.
To be continued...
Chapter 7 by SiriSnape394
Author's Notes:
Author Note: Hi all! Hope you're doing well. Today's my birthday, so I thought I would post a new chapter for it! I forgot to mention in the last chapter that I am aging Tonks up. This is a Snape/Tonks pairing because I love the grump/sunshine trope and I think it would be creepy if he were her teacher. I also strongly dislike age gaps, so for the sake of this story she was four years behind him in school and he started teaching the year after she left (I hope I did that math correctly). And Cho is not a first name, so I changed her name to Eloise. And I’m aware that Tonks is a metamorphmagus. I write late at night when I’m tired and it was a typo I didn’t catch in time.

On the second day of the term, Hogwarts was abuzz with gossip. First, the fifth-year Gryffindor and Slytherin classes couldn’t stop discussing the duel that interrupted potions. At lunch in the Great Hall, Katie Bell told the entire Gryffindor Quidditch team about how the formerly deranged Azkaban escapee barged into the class and Cassiopeia Prewitt moved from her usual spot at the Slytherin table to tell Eloise Chang all about Professor Snape’s quick reflexes. By the end of lunch, the Weasley twins were reenacting the duel on top of the Hufflepuff table until they were scolded and given a week's worth of detention by their Head of House.

However, that was not the end of the day's events. Shortly after lunch, Snape was seen strutting out of the hospital wing, more furious than the students had ever seen him. Ernie McMillan got a glimpse inside of the infirmary as he was leaving and could’ve sworn that he saw all of the Professors in there and a strange woman with bright pink hair. As Snape made his way through Hogwarts, he took points from two Slytherin seventh years for snogging in the hallway, Neville Longbottom for dropping his books, and a poor first year who accidentally stepped out in front of the professor. The Ravenclaw was so startled that he promptly burst into tears. By the end of Snape’s walk from the hospital wing to his classroom, all of the house hourglasses were back to zero points.

That was still not the strangest thing that happened that day, however. When the third years showed up after lunch for their class, Professor Snape never appeared. They stood outside the classroom for a good twenty minutes before a muggle-born piped in, “My sister in Uni says that if the professor doesn’t show after fifteen minutes class is canceled.” Everyone looked around, thinking that it sounded like a great idea and hoping that was the case, but was too terrified of the dungeon bat to actually leave. Eventually, they found themselves sitting on the floor until it was time to go to the next class. When the professor's seventh-year NEWT students showed up, however, he still wasn’t there. They all looked at each other in shock. For the entirety of their time at Hogwarts, not a single one of them could remember an instance where Snape didn’t come to class. In fact, he was the only Professor who never missed a class in his entire tenure. Much to the dismay of all the students, he never got sick, never took a vacation, never had to go check on family. This of course only further propagated the rumors that he was a vampire.

The student body was convinced that there was something going on at Hogwarts. A few of the cleverer students deduced that Harry Potter was absent at dinner last night and from his classes and meals all day; therefore, he must be involved somehow. However, even the brightest of them all never would’ve guessed the truth. Rowena Ravenclaw herself couldn’t have figured it out. One thing was for certain though, it was not going to be a quiet year at Hogwarts.

HPSSHPSSHPSSHPSS

Snape threw open the door to his chambers and slammed it shut with a solid thud behind him. He leaned against the door, letting his head fall back against it before slowly sliding to the floor, the vial of memories clutched in his hand. “Lily,” he breathed reverently. His eyes flooded with unshed tears as he thought back to one of the conversations he had with her during their final year at school, at least of those that he could currently remember.

“Severus,” Lily said, looking up at him from where she rested her head in his lap. It was autumn in Scotland and they wanted to take advantage of the weather before it got colder, so they decided to study outside. Fall was always his favorite time of year, it meant he could go back to Hogwarts and escape his father’s house and it reminded him of Lily. Her auburn hair perfectly matched the falling leaves and emphasized her wide green eyes. Not to mention, he could use the cold as an excuse to sit closer to her, not that he needed one these days.

“What Lils?” he asked, staring down at her, a half-smile gracing his lips.

“Do you want kids someday?” she asked, her expression serious. He knew that she did. She always talked about having children and a big family. He knew she wanted multiple so that they would never feel alone like how she felt. She took Tuney’s hatred of her harshly; they had been close growing up and she looked up to her big sister, but that all changed when she was accepted to Hogwarts. Petunia couldn’t handle her jealousy and let it fester into a deep resentment that Lily never got over.

“I don’t know,” he answered hesitantly with a gulp. “I don’t think I would know how to be a father,” his voice was so quiet, he was shocked she could hear his statement over the rustling of the leaves.

“You’d be a great father,” she replied, her eyes bright. “We’d be great parents.”

It was the only time she was wrong; he wasn’t a great father. He couldn’t even remember being married to her, let alone having a child with her. A child that he’d abandoned to grow up abused, worse than he ever was. At least he had his mother for sanctuary. Pott- no Harry, he corrected had no one. To make matters worse, he mocked, bullied, and belittled the boy from the moment he stepped foot inside the castle. Fuck, he thought to himself. He was no better than Potter senior. In fact, he was worse than James; he was an adult, a professor who took a boyhood grudge out on an innocent child.

He allowed his tears to finally fall, crying for the first time since October, 31st 1981 when Albus informed him that she was dead. They had a child together. Yet he couldn’t remember any of it. All thanks to Albus fucking Dumbledore. He sat up suddenly and stalked to his bookshelf, anger replacing the regret he had felt just moments before. He took one of the glass tumblers he stored there and threw it against the stone wall where it shattered into a million pieces. It did nothing to assuage his grief and fury, he only felt even more irate, at Dumbledore, the mutt, the Dursleys, and most of all himself. With a cry of anguish, he threw glass after glass until none were left. He then took the bottle of fire whiskey he had sitting there and was about to throw it when his hand stalled. Taking one look at the bottle, he decided that there was a better use for the 50-year-old whiskey and took a long drink straight from the bottle before proceeding to destroy every other breakable item within his reach.

Finally, twenty minutes later, the floor was covered in glass, and every fragile item in his apartment was shattered. He clutched the now half-empty bottle of Fire Whiskey and drunkenly stumbled over to the couch, a worn photo album in his hands. Sometime in his drunken rage, he had discovered it hidden away in his bookshelf, behind his old history of magic textbooks he never read. Locks of black hair falling in his face, he looked down at his lap as he flipped open the first page and saw the picture there. The one he had avoided for thirteen years. It was a muggle photograph, faded into sepia colors the way all photos from the 70s were. Through the muted color though, he could still see her flame-red hair and vivid green eyes as if it were yesterday. The picture was taken not long after they had met, they must have been about ten at the time. He was never happier than when he was with her. For the first time, there was someone in his neighborhood who wasn’t scared of him and his sullenness. Even in that muggle neighborhood, there were rumors that he was a vampire with his pale skin and dark hair. Lily was different though, she didn’t see him as a peculiar loner, she saw him as a friend.

He choked on a strangled noise that was half sob, half laugh as he thought of their friendship and subsequent romance. In his mind that conversation in the autumn of their seventh year was one of the last they’d had. They broke up not long after; it was too dangerous for him, a Slytherin, to be dating a muggle-born. One day, a hex from one of his classmates went wrong and she landed in the infirmary taking skelegro to repair a broken leg, so he ended things for her protection. He grasped the vial of memories in his hand as he flipped through their years at Hogwarts, finally making it up to their graduation when a letter slipped out.

On it was his name in Lily's handwriting. The S and v were formed with elegant cursive loops he never thought he’d see again. What was more shocking though was the picture behind the letter. He was in black dress robes and she wore a simple, but elegant white dress with cap sleeves and lace detail around the neckline. He’d never seen himself look so happy.

Hello love,

I hope you find this letter sooner rather than later, if not I fear the implications. We both agreed to a rather asinine plot cooked up by our former Headmaster and I worry that it may not go according to plan. In a move more befitting of a Gryffindor than a Slytherin, you consented to serve as a spy for the Order. Dumbledore thinks that having inside knowledge of Voldemort's plans will bring the war to an end within the year, but I have my doubts-it sounds too easy to be true. You were the only one with the capabilities and opportunity to play that role because of your skill in Occlumency and acquaintance with Lucius. However, to protect our family we both had our memories of each other removed and James is going to pretend to be Harry’s father and my husband.

I know, I know, you need not tell me that you do not trust James as far as you could throw him (and given your poor athletic abilities, that's not very far. Sorry, but you know I’m right). He loves me though and would do anything to protect me and Harry, so he’s the best shot we have. I’m writing this letter because while you do not trust James, I do not trust Albus. He will be in possession of our memories. You’ll probably tell me that I have nothing to worry about, but I can’t shake the feeling that something is going to go wrong. So if you discover this letter, you must find Albus and force him to restore your memories. If you’re reading this, then I am most likely dead, in which case you must take care of Harry. Under no circumstances can he be sent to my sister. You know how Tuney is, when I started Hogwarts she turned vindictive and mean. I can only imagine how she would treat our son.

Hopefully, this will all come to naught and we’ll stumble upon this letter while Harry is at school and have a good laugh at it. I’m watching him sleep as I write this. He really is perfect Sev, and you both have made me so unfathomably happy. It has been such an honor to watch you become a father, I always knew you’d be a good one. If for some reason this is my last letter to you, please know that you have brought immeasurable joy to my life, and I could not imagine walking through this world without you. Wiser men have written far prettier words than I, so to paraphrase Shakespeare, my love for you and Harry is as boundless and deep as the sea, and so in return is the love I receive.

I truly hope my fears will be nothing more than irrational worry, but if that is not the case, know that you have made my life complete. I know you will take good care of our son. Show him every day how dearly loved he is.

All my love,

Lily

Severus read and reread the letter until he could no longer see past the tears that blurred his vision. She’d put it in their album, a place that she knew Severus only looked at when he was in deep turmoil. It was always a place where he sought her guidance. But after she died, he just couldn’t bring himself to look at it. He mourned for the life that he, Lily, and Harry would never have. She should’ve been there to see him off on the Hogwarts Express, meet his friends (she would’ve loved Granger), and talk to him about his first crush. But, she never would. If only he opened that cursed album earlier, then he could’ve at least gotten Harry away from the Dursleys.

He took another swig of Fire Whiskey as he thought of how all of this could’ve been avoided. What was he thinking, agreeing to spy? Lily would still be alive and Harry wouldn't have gone to the Dursleys. He finished off the rest of the Whiskey before throwing the bottle against the mantle. This was all his fault. Now it was up to him to make it right and there was only one way to do that. He took the vial of memories delicately from his pocket. He uncorked it, lifted the wand and let the translucent strands flow to his temple. He felt a headache start as the memories merged in his hippocampus, so he flopped onto the couch and fell into an uneasy sleep.

Severus woke with a groan from where he was lying face down on the couch. The pounding in his head was accentuated by someone banging at his door. He blinked his dry eyes open, trying to remember why exactly he fell asleep in such an uncomfortable position and darted upright as the memories of the past few days and old memories of years prior flooded through him. His headache only worsened as he heard someone calling his name. He definitely regretted finishing that bottle of Fire Whiskey last night. Staggering to his feet, he pushed his long hair out of his face as he went to answer the door.

“What?” he demanded, throwing the door open with a crash, his scowl deepening when he saw the wolf was the one waking him up.

“Its Harry,” Lupin told him frantically. It was then that Severus noticed his appearance. He looked as bad as Severus felt; his clothes were disheveled and eyes panicked. His next words, though, caused Severus' heart to fall into the pit of his stomach, “He’s missing.”

To be continued...
Chapter 8 by SiriSnape394
r03;r03;Chapter 8

As he walked through the empty halls, Harry had longed for his invisibility cloak. It was early in the morning, so it was unlikely that he would run into other students, however, it wasn’t impossible. He knew certain students, particularly Ravenclaws, liked to study early in the morning. Merlin, he missed Ron and Hermione. Normally seeing them was what he looked forward to most at the start of the school year. Well, that and leaving the Dursleys. Ron and Hermione were more than just friends; they were his family. Yet, it was three days into term and he had hardly seen them. And right now, he couldn’t bear the thought of seeing them. He couldn’t stand the thought of seeing anyone, which is why he kept to the shadows in the dimly lit corridors.

He heard a sound and quickly ducked behind a pillar. Luckily, the Slytherin was too busy with his nose stuck in a book to notice anyone else. That was a close call, Harry needed to find somewhere to hide where he wouldn’t run into anyone. He couldn’t risk anyone finding out that he was - no he couldn’t even think those words. Fred and George were pulling a prank on him and they managed to get all the professors in on it. There was no way he was actually - he gulped and ducked into the nearest classroom he could find.

Slamming the door shut, he released a long sigh and let his head fall back against the door. “Leave,” a voice behind Harry said, causing him to jump. “This room is occupied.” Wide green eyes stared at the platinum-blonde sitting on one of the desks. Harry turned around and tried to open the door with shaking hands, but found the door knob was jammed.

“Are you really that daft that you can’t open a bloody door?” Malfoy’s voice was suddenly much closer to him. Harry turned around and saw that his nemesis was standing right over his shoulder.

“Who are you? Are you related to Severus?” the Slytherin cursed. Gray eyes then darted to Harry’s forehead, “Fuck, Potter?” Harry felt all of the breath leave his lungs as he scrambled away as fast as he could from the blonde. He felt a sharp stab of pain in his side before realizing that he’d fallen to the floor. He felt his breath come in short gasps as the world spun around him and a deep sense of dread settled in the pit of his stomach. This can’t be happening, he thought to himself, heart racing and palms sweating. Out of everyone to find him it couldn’t be Malfoy, the one person absolutely guaranteed to spread this news all over the school.

He then heard a muffled voice talking to him as if talking to him underwater. “Potter, breathe,” the voice said. “List five things that you can see.” This last statement was spoken with such authority that Harry felt he had to obey.

“A-a desk,” he stuttered, his voice raspy from hyperventilating. “A stack of books, shoes, my hands, some chairs.”

“Good, now tell me four things you can touch?”
“My robes,” Harry replied, burrowing deeper into the warmth of his Hogwarts cloak. “the floor, a desk against my back, my glasses.”

“What are three things you can hear?”

“You, som-some students, myself.”

“Two things you can smell?”

“Sweat and your cologne,” Harry replied, blushing slightly as he mentioned Malfoy’s cologne.

“And one thing you can taste?”

“Blood,” Harry only just realized that he’d bitten the inside of his cheek. He told the blonde as much when he saw Malfoy’s brow furrow. Oddly enough, he felt calmer now. The panic he had felt at Malfoy knowing his secret faded and while it still felt like a problem, it didn’t feel like the world was crashing around him.

“Thanks,” Harry said, eyes askance. He couldn’t believe he was thanking Malfoy. Actually, he couldn’t believe that Malfoy had bothered to help him instead of running and telling all of the Slytherins his secret. “Where’d you learn to do that?”

Malfoy paused for a few seconds as if debating whether to answer. “My mom did it for me,” he finally said. “I used to have panic attacks when I was younger and that would help. Something about grounding you.” Harry’s eyes darted up in surprise. Not only was he shocked that Malfoy had panic attacks, but he couldn’t believe that his school bully told him that. The two sat in awkward silence for a few moments, each processing the information they’d both learned that morning.

Malfoy was the first to break it, “So why do you look like Snape?”

Harry scowled deeply, which only increased his resemblance to a certain potions professor. He heard Malfoy chuckling lightly and he sent a glare in the blonde's direction, “Fred and George are playing a joke.” Malfoy's eyes narrowed at his statement, and he could tell that he didn’t believe Harry’s fib, but he couldn’t bring himself to care at the moment, he had bigger things to deal with. Luckily, the blonde let it drop and they slipped into a more comfortable silence. Harry was the one to break it this time, “What are you doing here anyway? It’s dead early, would’ve thought the prince of Slytherin is used to sleeping in till the last minute.”

Malfoy was about to reply when suddenly the door burst open to reveal Snape standing in the doorway, breathless as if he’d run all over the classroom. If Harry wasn’t mistaken, he would’ve said that he saw concern in Snape’s features for a moment before it was replaced by fury. The professor started to stalk towards him, robes billowing. Harry quickly scrambled backward trying to get out of the path of ire when he let out a harsh gasp, his hand moving to his previously healed ribs. They must’ve become injured again when he fell, and in his panicked state, he didn’t realize it. All of a sudden, Snape was kneeling before him, and Harry realized how awful he looked. His hair was greasier than usual, his eyes were bloodshot, and he looked as if he only got an hour of sleep. However, now that he was closer, Harry was sure that was concern he saw in the man's eyes.

“What’s wrong?” the man asked and Harry was unable to deny the worry he heard in his voice.

“He fell against the table and hit his side,” Draco replied when Harry made no answer.

Anger marred Snape’s face, “And why exactly are you falling against tables, Mr.” His voice trailed off, before he finally concluded, “Harry? I never took you for being clumsy. Were you two dueling?” Harry was shocked to see him shoot an accusatory glare towards Malfoy.

Although Harry hated the git, he had to admit he did help him, and he couldn’t let Snape punish him for something he didn’t do. “No,” he spoke up. “I fell and he helped me.” Snape lifted one eyebrow, clearly, he knew Harry was leaving out an important detail.

Malfoy then spoke up, “He had a panic attack and fell against the table, I used the senses technique to get him out of it.” Harry scowled, of course, Malfoy couldn’t wait to tell someone about his panic attack, even after Harry saved him from Snape's wrath.

The feared professor pursed his lips, his gaze darting back and forth between the two boys as if he could sense the truth just by looking at them. Finally, it seemed he decided that they were being honest. “Very well,” he said. “Five points to Slytherin for helping a fellow classmate. And twenty from Gryffindor for being out of bed after you nearly died.” Harry felt the rage bubble up within him like one of Neville’s potions about to explode. He couldn’t believe it, Malfoy gets points for doing basically nothing and he loses points when it’s not even curfew.

Snape somehow knew his exact thoughts, “You know you’re not supposed to leave the Hospital Wing. Madame Pomfrey woke up to you gone. Now your idiot godfathers and half the professors are out searching for you. Do you have any idea of the trouble you’ve caused all of us?”

Of course, Harry thought, Snape wasn’t concerned, he was merely peeved about having to look for him so early in the morning. After all, that’s all Harry was to anyone, an inconvenience. “Not to mention,” Snape continued, his expression softening. “We were all extremely concerned about your welfare. For all we know, Death Eaters could’ve broken in and kidnapped you. The important thing is that you’re safe, although reinjured.” That’s it, Harry was now entirely convinced that Snape could read minds. How else was the man able to know exactly what he was thinking? After years of practice covering for the Dursleys, Harry knew that he could control his expressions so he didn’t give away much. Snape definitely had to be able to read minds, that was the only logical conclusion.

While Harry was mulling this over, not sure how to make sense of Snape’s concern, he didn’t notice the man cast a diagnostic charm over him. He did notice, however, when Snape let out an exasperated sigh. “It looks like you’ve broken your rib again,” he said. “Come. We must get you back to Pomfrey. Draco I trust you’ll be able to stay out of trouble until your first class?” Malfoy nodded in response as Harry sullenly stood up and followed Snape out the door.

*********************


Harry was extremely grateful to be safely ensconced within the walls of the hospital wing, away from prying eyes. There were far more students out for his walk back and walking with Snape didn’t exactly make him inconspicuous, so he kept his head down and prayed no one would realize that he, Harry Potter, now resembled their abhorred professor, Severus Snape, more than the beloved war hero, James Potter. He did notice several inquisitive stares, but no shocks of exclamation, so he assumed that his secret was safe for the meantime.

“Sit,” Snape ordered, pointing at the bed he had vacated early this morning. Harry gulped, knowing from his tone that he was in big trouble. “I’m going to go get Madam Pomfrey and send word to the others that you are here. If I find that you have moved one centimeter by the time I return, you will regret it. Do. You. Understand?” Harry merely nodded in response, knowing better than to cross Snape when he was this angry.

Five minutes later, Snape emerged with Madam Pomfrey who was shaking her head. “Well, Mr. Potter-sorry, Harry- two injuries in two days, it’s a new record even for you. Let’s see that rib of yours shall we,” she gently lifted up his shirt and palpated his side before casting a healing charm. He let out a hiss of pain as he felt his rib mend itself. “I do not want to see you here again with this injury.” She waited for his nod of agreement, before busying herself with the potions on his side table.

“Does that mean I’m allowed out of here?” Harry asked, hopeful.

The nurse shot a glance at Snape, who had taken a seat next to Harry’s bed, from the corner of her eye. “We’ll discuss that once everyone else arrives. Here take these,” She handed Harry several potion bottles and he dutifully took them, feeling relieved when his pain disappeared.

“What on Earth could have possessed you to leave this morning?” Snape demanded after he finished taking his potions. His arms were crossed and he shot a lethal glare at Harry.

“I couldn’t sleep,” Harry mumbled. “It’s not like it was curfew or anything, plenty of other students were out, even your precious Malfoy.”

“None of the other students, Mr. Malfoy included, spent the night in the hospital wing after nearly dying,” Snape jeered his face inches from Harry’s. “Now tell me, what made you leave?”

Harry stared back at him, arms crossed, refusing to reply. In all honesty, Harry didn’t have a good reason why he left, and while he’d never admit it, he knew it was a bad idea. All he knew was that he spent all night tossing and turning before falling into a fitful sleep and when he woke up, he felt as if he couldn’t breathe. The walls of the hospital wing were closing in around him and he was suffocating, so he left. It wasn’t his finest moment, but it certainly wasn’t his worst, and he would probably do it again. He needed space, away from Madam Pomfrey’s watchful gaze and Sirius’s constant hovering. Last night, after he’d practically forced his godfathers to leave, he hoped he would feel better, but it didn’t help. His mind just ran in circles, trying to make sense of the past few days. Luckily, Harry was saved from having to tell Snape all of this, by the arrival of the Headmaster.

“Ah Harry my boy,” Professor Dumbledore greeted him. “Good to see you’ve returned. You had us all quite worried.”

As if to prove his point, Sirius came bounding in through the double doors and rushed to Harry’s side. “Harry! Bloody hell, thank God you’re alright. Never scare us like that again,” Sirius enveloped Harry in a firm hug, which normally Harry would’ve appreciated, but right now was overwhelming.

“Stop smothering my son, Black,” Snape hissed to Harry’s shock. Snape just referred to him as his son.

What. The. Actual. Hell. He was about to scream that he wasn’t his son, but Sirius beat him to it, “How dare you call him that Snivellus? You damn well know he’s not your son. As if Lily could ever stand to talk to you, let alone touch you.”

Snape stood, fury etched over his face. Harry didn’t think he’d ever seen him so mad, not even after he accused Harry of stealing ingredients from his storage cupboard in his second year. Snape didn’t even bother with a reply, simply lifted his wand and nonverbally sent a curse at Sirius, whose only saving grace was Dumbledore’s quick reflexes as he cast a protego. “That is enough,” the elderly wizard said, voice stern and eyes livid. “Sirius, Severus is Harry’s father, you will simply have to accept it. And Severus, Sirius is an important person in Harry’s life. Whether you like it or not, you will have to find a way to get along.”

Harry’s mind was spinning, he couldn’t sit here quietly any longer. He was the son of Lily and James Potter. Potter, not Snape. He was going to tell them all that yet again, or scream, or release uncontrolled magic, or something, he didn’t want to just sit here and let them all talk about him, but he was too tired. Tired from his panic attack that morning, the Dursleys, the events of the past three days, Snape and Sirius’s incessant hovering and bickering, just everything. Harry knew that no amount of screaming or pleading would make anyone listen to him, so he decided to just stop trying. They were all going to do whatever they thought was best for him anyway, because apparently fourteen isn’t old enough to make your own decisions. Just old enough to deal with the consequences of others, like say, Voldemort. But no, in their eyes, he was just a child, so his thoughts didn’t matter.

“Albus is right Sirius,” Remus came up behind Sirius, arms crossed as he glared at the man. Harry suspected that they’d had a long discussion about this last night. “Harry, pup. We’re so relieved to see that you’re ok. Never scare us like that again.” Harry nodded, eyes staring at his lap, not appreciating the return of the attention towards himself.

“Now, if everyone can agree to be civil,” Dumbledore added, with pointed stares at Sirius and Severus. “Let’s take a seat, we have some things to discuss about young Harry here.”

“Harry,” Dumbledore began. “I know the last few days have been rough for you.” Harry snorted, they’d been rough, to say the least. He looked over and saw Snape and Sirius both glaring at Dumbledore as if they were thinking the same thing. He laughed softly at the thought of those two in agreement over something.

Dumbledore continued, seemingly oblivious to the internal thoughts of those around him, “I have no doubt that you wish to leave the hospital wing. Unfortunately, you are not yet cleared to return to class so I have a solution; you can stay with Severus until next week when you return to classes, it will give you two a chance to bond as father and son.”

Harry stared at him in shock, feeling his anger bubble to the surface. This couldn’t be happening, Snape loathed him, he couldn’t live with the most hated professor in all of Hogwarts history. And he doubted that the greasy git wanted him there, “No way,” he started to bellow.

Sirius interjected, “Professor, you can’t be serious. The bastard will kill Harry before tomorrow. Harry can come stay with us.”

“Like hell, he won’t, you’re not fit to take care of a dog, Black,” Snape said, voice raised.

Madam Pomfrey added, “Absolutely not! Severus has medical training unlike the two of you and Harry is far from healthy.”

“Now, now,” Professor Dumbledore hushed the adults around him while Harry glowered at him, willing him to understand just how furious this decision made him. “Harry will stay with Severus, he is the child’s father, and aside from Poppy has the most medical training out of everyone at this school. I can guarantee that he will be safe in his father's care.”

“I’m so glad that you’ve finally come to that conclusion Albus. It would’ve been nice to have your trust thirteen years ago and then maybe Harry wouldn’t have been abused in the first place.” If looks could kill, Albus would’ve been dead twenty times over from the lethal stare Snape was sending him. Harry was shocked that Snape was acting so protective of him, the man had to be up to something.

“If it’s all right with everyone, I’d rather not stay with Snape and I highly doubt he wants me staying with him anyway. So I’ll just stay here until I can return to class.” Even if no one was willing to listen, Harry was determined to make his opinion known.

“You’re welcome to Mr. Potter-sorry Snape,” Madame Pomfrey had a sympathetic expression that did not waver in response to the daggers Harry shot her after being called Snape. “However, I must inform you that I will have students in and out of here for the rest of the week getting their vaccines and checkups, so I cannot guarantee your privacy.” Harry paled, fully understanding what she was implying. Everyone would find out that he looked like Snape.

“But surely you can recast the glamour on me. I mean my mum did it once, someone must be able to do it again. What about Professor Dumbledore?” Harry implored, hoping with every fiber of his being that he could go back to the way things were.

No one said anything for a few moments. Finally, Snape spoke up, “I’m very sorry Harry.” To Harry’s surprise, the man sounded genuinely sorry. Harry supposed he didn’t want a Gryffindor looking anything like him, especially Harry. “Your mother was naturally gifted at charms; however, it was also made easier by the fact that you were a baby at the time. Your own magical signature wasn’t as developed as it is now, making it more malleable and willing to accept a long-term glamour cast by someone else. Even if you were able to recast the charm, it would hardly be permanent and it would be quite draining on your core.”

Harry gulped and stared at his professor, feeling the burn of tears sting his eyes. This couldn’t be happening, there was no way he could be stuck like this. Someone had to be capable of something, “What about Professor Flitwick?” Harry asked desperately.

Remus took his hand, “I’m sorry cub, but there's nothing that can be done. It will be best if you stay with Severus for now. At least until you’re healed and the school can be notified of the change in your appearance.”

Harry glanced towards Sirius, there was no way he agreed with this decision. For a second it looked like he might protest, but Remus squeezed his hand, causing Sirius to nod his head in agreement. “Pup, you know if it were up to me, you’d come home with us in a heartbeat.”

“Thank Circe it’s not,” Snape muttered under his breath, but Harry ignored him, focusing on Sirius.

“We’ll visit you every day though, so it’ll be ok.” Harry highly doubted Snape would be okay with that, but to his surprise, the man nodded his head in confirmation. It was slight, barely visible, but it was an agreement.

“I guess there's no other option,” Harry mumbled petulantly, cursing his luck. It was only three days into the school year and he was being forced to stay with the dungeon bat who despised him. For once, he would just like a quiet year at Hogwarts.
To be continued...
Chapter 9 by SiriSnape394
Severus stepped out of the fireplace into his quarters. He walked off to the side to wait for his son who tripped through the fireplace a few moments later.

“Harry,” he said with a cough, the cloud of ash making his eyes water. Just before Harry fell, Snape managed to grab him by the arms.

Jerkily pulling out of his hold as if his touch burned, Harry mumbled, “Damn floo.” Snape’s lips curved into a slight smile, Lily was always a klutz when it came to flooing too, and flying. Aside from apparition she usually preferred muggle means of travel.

His smile grew as he watched the teenager survey the room with wide eyes, clearly shocked by how mundane his quarters were. “Surprised there are no coffins?”

Harry jumped as if he had forgotten Severus was behind him. If it was possible, his bright green eyes grew even wider. “Did-did you just make a joke, sir?”

Snape smirked; clearly his son had a lot to learn. “I have been known to have a decent sense of humor on occasion. Your mother quite appreciated my wit actually.” Harry scowled deeply at the mention of his and Lily’s relationship; Snape had his work cut out for him.

Ignoring his son's sour mood, he guided him around his quarters. “This is the living room, feel free to help yourself to any of the books on the shelves,” he said gesturing to the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves filled with hundreds of books. He nodded towards the wall adjacent to them, “Over there is the portrait that leads to the dungeons. It’s a portrait of Salazar Slytherin, I’ll show you the entrance sometime soon. The password is asphodel.”

“This way,” he said, walking in the opposite direction. “Is the kitchen. I occasionally cook, but if you ever need food feel free to call for a house elf and they’ll bring you anything you want. My only request is that it have some semblance of nutrition. I usually call on Mipsy, she’s the elf appointed to the quarters and is quite diligent. If you do cook, please just clean up after yourself.” Harry gave a soft snort at his words, causing Snape to narrow his gaze. He was inclined to ask about it, but now wasn’t the time; the boy was overwhelmed enough as is.

Severus headed down a corridor between the kitchen and living room, pointing out the dining room table as they passed. “On the left is my room, you are welcome in, just please knock first. I will give you the same courtesy.” Harry rolled his eyes at that statement and Snape had to bite his tongue. They would get nowhere if they dissolved into an argument. “To the right is my personal potions lab. It is locked and you are not allowed in without supervision. I tend to keep dangerous potions brewing in there.” He watched the boy glance at the door and moved on only when he was confident Harry wouldn’t try to enter. Given the child’s aptitude for potions, it would undoubtedly be a disastrous combination.

“And here is your room,” he said, opening the last door straight ahead of them.

The room was nothing spectacular. The castle walls were unadorned with decoration. A deep blue quilt covered the bed on the far wall, and a large oak dresser sat up against the wall to their left. “It was my guest room,” he told the boy next to him who looked around the room with an uninterested expression. “It is yours now, later this week we can go out and get some things to decorate it however you would like.” Harry made no answer, just gave a small nod. Undoubtedly, this week had been even more draining for his son than it was for him.

“The ensuite is to your right,” he said, nodding toward the closed door. “I have no doubt you’re tired, I’m sure you didn’t get much sleep with your early morning stroll, so I’ll let you get some rest. Let me know if you need anything.” Snape closed the door, with a glance back at the child as he did. The raven-haired teen was simply standing there, looking around despondently. With a sigh, he stepped out of the room and let the door shut behind him.

Severus closed his eyes and let his head fall against the door. “Lily,” he breathed reverently. “I wish you were here.” She was always so much better at emotions than he was and always knew what to do. He let out a soft chuckle, the emotional range of a teaspoon is how she referred to his feelings. But then again if she was here then this wouldn’t be happening in the first place. He would have an actual relationship with his son and wouldn’t only be the arse who bullied an abused child for three years.

“Help me Lils,” he whispered- he needed all the help he could get if he had any hope of gaining his son's trust.

*****************


Harry blinked his eyes open for several seconds trying to piece together where he was. He had taken one of those naps where you fall asleep for hours and wake up not knowing what day it is. Looking around the unfamiliar room, he finally pieced together that he was in Snape’s guest room. Snape. The professor he loathed the most. That first day of class, he had actually been looking forward to learning potions but then the man had to go and mock him and continued to do so unrelentingly for the next three years.

Harry groaned as he sat up, still trying to wake his mind from the fog sleep had cast over him. Stretching, he slowly got out of bed and was about to snoop around the room when he heard voices coming from the living room.

“Don’t you think you’ve done enough, Albus?” Harry heard Snape say as he gently pried open the door, taking care to make sure it didn’t squeak.

“You have every right to be angry with me, Severus.,” That was Dumbledore's voice, Harry noted as he crept closer, making sure to stay hidden in the shadows. No, Snape’s quarters didn’t look as dungeon-y as he expected, but he was thankful that the torches cast long shadows down the hallway.

“Angry? You think I’m angry? Angry doesn’t even begin to describe what I am feeling right now.” Harry had to admit, Snape did sound livid. He could almost picture the glare he was giving the headmaster and was thankful he wasn’t on the receiving end of it. “I am beyond furious. How dare you keep my son from me? And leave him in the care of Tuney to be abused. God, Albus, did you even think it through for one second? Or was that your plan all along? It was, wasn’t it? You’ve always turned a blind eye when it came to abused boys; children with happy upbringings aren’t as thrilled to die in your wars now are they? You knew what was happening with my father and you still sent me back there every summer, just as you sent Harry back to his relatives. It ends now, Albus, Harry is not a sacrificial lamb you can lead to the slaughter.”

Harry didn’t know what to make of that speech or the emotion he could hear in Snape’s voice. It was too much to try and reconcile this man with the dour professor he’d grown accustomed to over the years. For a brief moment, Harry could almost believe that the man cared about him. He shook his head, no there was no way that was true. Undoubtedly this was just an act in the chess game Snape and Dumbledore were playing, and Harry was nothing more than an unwilling pawn.

“Please Severus, you must know, I had no idea it was as bad as it was. If I had known,” Dumbledore said, and Harry could almost hear remorse in the elderly wizard's voice. Almost. “Believe me, Severus, if I had known the extent, I never would’ve sent him back. I knew that they didn’t care for him as they should and that he probably wasn’t fed properly, but I never could have imagined. I thought that Petunia would be eager to take in Lily’s child, to make amends for their tumultuous relationship. I will regret how wrong I was every day for the rest of my life.”

“As you should,” Snape hissed back. “He could have had a perfectly happy childhood with me. You are done, Albus. I am staying because I know that taking Harry away from his friends would be more than he could handle.” Harry made a face, he did not appreciate being treated as if he were a child about to burst into tears and he certainly did not appreciate decisions being made without him.

“But know this, Albus, your relationship with him is over. You are not to speak to him unless I am present, you are not to give him points rewarding his rash behavior, you are not even to look in his direction unless you have my permission. Those are the only terms on which I will stay at Hogwarts.” Harry heard no reply and assumed that Dumbledore must have nodded his head in agreement because Snape put up no further fight.

“I will be taking the rest of the week off,” Snape continued. “I need time to help Harry adjust to the revelations uncovered in the past few days.”

“Of course, Severus, you and Harry can take as much time as you need. I will be off then, please know how truly sorry I am, for everything.”

Snape didn’t say anything, and the only thing Harry heard was the sound of the portrait closing behind the headmaster. “You can come out, Harry.”

Harry jumped, hearing his professor call to him. Fuck, he thought. Snape had caught him eavesdropping. He was in for it now. Stepping out from the shadows he was ensconced in, Harry walked towards Snape with his head held high. He had faced Vernon while he was on a drunken tirade and stood against Voldemort several times. He would not cower before Snape.

That was easier said than done, however, when he saw the livid expression on the man's face. Snape must’ve noticed him flinch backward because he quickly softened and said, “I am not mad at you, Harry. While I consider eavesdropping exceedingly rude and would normally not tolerate it, I will let it slide in this instance. You are in an unfamiliar surrounding and as the conversation was about you, you have a right to hear it.”

Harry was shocked at that statement, everyone always spoke about him, not to him, and they certainly never acknowledged that he had the right to know what was going on in his own life. He would rather kiss Malfoy than express gratitude towards Snape though, so he said nothing. Luckily, Snape didn’t seem to need an answer.

“I’m assuming you are hungry. Dinner will be commencing shortly in the Great Hall, so I figured we could just have the elves serve us what they’ve already prepared.” Harry nodded; he wasn’t picky when it came to food. That’s what happened after being starved for ten years.

“After dinner, I invited Mr. Weasley and Ms. Granger to my office so that way you could talk to them and explain what is going on. Minerva said that they have been worried about you, understandably so.” Harry looked up aghast at his professor. First, he was shocked at how thoughtful it was to let him talk to Ron and Hermione, but that being said, he was nowhere near ready to face them. Hermione would take the news well. Her hyper-logical brain would prevent her from freaking out, so that wouldn’t be an issue. Ron on the other hand, was an entirely different matter. He would undoubtedly freak out and see it as a betrayal, as if Harry had any decision in the matter to make Snape his fath-no, he couldn’t even think those words.

“That’s all-right sir,” he said quickly, shaking his head. “It’s really not necessary to talk to them. I can just write to them and explain I have the flu or something. They know the Dursleys don’t feed me well and always make me do a bunch of chores, so they won't be surprised that I’m sick.”

Harry deflated as Snape’s narrowed eyes assessed him. Snape didn’t buy a word of what he said. It was the truth, though. The stress of living with his relatives over the summer usually compromised his immune system, so he was often ill at the beginning of the year.

“Be that as it may, it is important you talk to them,” Snape said after several moments of silence. “Not to mention, they have been pestering McGonagall and every other professor all hours of the day about your well-being. For the sake of the staff’s sanity, I must insist that you talk to them.” Harry opened his mouth, about to protest, but one look at Snape’s face told him it would be futile so he just glumly nodded in reply.

“Very well, let us sit down for dinner.” Snape led the way to the small round table with four chairs adjacent to the kitchen. Harry took a seat and right after he did, a plate appeared in front of him with all his favorite foods. Merlin, he loved magic.

Snape sat in the chair across from him and covered his lap with his napkin before digging into his own plate of food. “Please take this potion prior to eating,” Snape said, handing him a vial filled with a clear liquid. “It contains vitamins that will help with your malnutrition. If you even want to consider playing quidditch next year you need to gain some weight.”

“What?!” Harry exploded, standing up and knocking his goblet of pumpkin juice over as he did so. This could not be happening. “You can’t take Quidditch away from me, it’s the one place I can get away from everything. What right do you have to do that?”

“Sit down,” Snape replied, his voice quiet, but with an underlaid threat Harry knew he didn’t want to face. Quickly he complied, but he was still fuming, and the glare he pointed in Snape's direction indicated as much.

“I do not want to take Quidditch away from you.” Harry scoffed, of course, Snape wanted to take Quidditch away, without Harry playing seeker it was the only chance Slytherin had of beating Gryffindor.

It was as if Snape could read his mind, “Contrary to popular belief, I do not care if Gryffindor wins. I do care however if you fall off your broom after collapsing due to exhaustion from lack of calories or a strong burst of wind knocks you clear off as you barely weigh a hundred pounds. Therefore, you will be taking this potion until you gain proper weight for a boy your age. Luckily, Quidditch is canceled for the year, so you will have plenty of time to do so.”

Harry opened his mouth to argue, but one glare from Snape made him reconsider, so he simply took the potion's vial and swallowed its contents. He was surprised that it didn’t taste as disgusting as most potions. Instead, it tasted faintly of strawberries. Content that he got his way, Snape started eating his meal and Harry followed suit.

It was the most awkward dinner either of them ever had. Neither was willing to make small talk, so they ate in silence, the only noise was the clinking of silverware on dinner plates. Without conversation to distract them, dinner was over quickly.

All too soon, dinner ended and Snape told him it was time to go meet Ron and Hermione. With all the enthusiasm of a man going to greet Dementors for the kiss, Harry got up from his bed and followed the professor. They stepped out of the portrait that led to Snape's quarters and directly into his office. Harry took a seat, facing away from the door, trying to delay the inevitable as much as he could.

Snape sat at his desk opposite Harry and pulled out some papers to grade as they waited. All too soon, there was a knock at the door. “Enter,” Snape said, looking up from the undoubtedly terrible essays he was forced to read.

“You wanted to see us, Professor Snape?” Harry heard Hermione's voice but didn’t turn around, trying to delay the inevitable as long as possible.

“I did, there are some things we need to discuss about Harry.”

Harry sank lower in his chair as he heard Ron yell, “What about Harry? What did you do to him, Snape?”

“Ron,” Hermione hissed at him and Harry chuckled slightly at the thought of her elbowing him to get him to shut up.

Snape raised one eyebrow and directed a pointed glare at Ron. “I would ask you to show me some respect before we continue,” he said harshly.

Ron mumbled an apology. Normally, Snape would never accept such a response but Harry watched as he swallowed his anger and moved on. Harry couldn’t figure Snape out. He was clearly making an effort to get along with him all day and now he was essentially ignoring Ron’s disrespect. Maybe the man was trying to change.

“Would you like to proceed, or shall I?” Snape asked, fixing Harry with a penetrating stare.

Harry gulped and closed his eyes. He knew that it would be better if he broke the news and there was no point delaying it any longer. Taking a deep breath, he turned around and faced his two best friends, “Hey Ron, Hermione.”

He paused at their gasp as they took in his appearance and his obvious resemblance to Snape. “So…. some things have happened,” he continued lamely, not sure how to explain the events of the past two days.

“Is this some kind of prank mate? Why the bloody hell do you look like Snape?” Ron stared at him with wide eyes.

“So, it turns out that Professor Snape is my...” he trailed off, unable to force the words out.
“TherewasaglamourplacedonmeasachildandSnapeismyfather,” he said in a rush of words that were nearly indecipherable. Luckily, Hermione was clever enough to put two and two together to figure out what was going on and he and Ron had been friends for long enough that Ron understood what he said.

Both of his friends simply stared at him for a few moments, taking in the news. All of a sudden, Ron erupted, “NO WAY IS SNAPE YOUR DAD. This can’t be real; the dungeon bat is not your father. He hates you and all Gryffindors, it’s not possible.”

“Mr. Weasley,” Snape interrupted his tirade. “If I hear one more disrespectful slur pointed towards me it will be detention for a week. With Filch. Understood?” Ron nodded, properly chastised.

Luckily, this shut him up for a few moments so Hermione could logically piece through this. “Harry,” she began. “How exactly is the Professor your father? James Potter was married to Lily. Are you saying that was a ruse and Professor Snape was married to your mother all along?”

Harry stared awestruck at Hermione. He would never understand how her brain operated so quickly to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Dumbly, he just nodded in reply, but that seemed to be enough for her.

Unfortunately, it was not for Ron. “Oh, come off it Hermione,” he practically yelled. “There’s no way Harry is the son of a Slytherin, he’d practically be a traitor to all of Gryffindor. And not only that but he's the son of…” Ron trailed off, obviously not wanting to antagonize Snape any further.

“Whatever,” he continued. “You all can live in your delusion; I personally don’t associate with traitors.” Harry’s best friend of three years sent a venomous glare in his direction before storming out of the office.

“Ronald,” Hermione began to chastise him, but he was already gone.

Harry stared numbly at the closed door, unsure of how to process all of this. He knew that Ron would react badly, but he never expected this. It was clear that Ron hated him. His first and best friend hated him and viewed him as a traitor. He felt tears prick his eyes, so he sniffed and pulled at his hair, desperately trying to keep them at bay.

“Oh Harry,” Hermione began, but Harry wasn’t in the mood for her sympathy or platitudes. “You know Ron, he doesn’t react well to change and this is a lot to process. He’ll come around, he always does.”

Suddenly, Harry couldn’t take it. He was mad at everything, Ron, Dumbledore, Snape, the Dursleys. He could no longer contain his anger. Standing up so aggressively that the chair toppled over, he yelled, “Oh really? Like he forgave you last year about Scabbers and didn’t ignore you for four fucking months because of a fucking raty6 that wasn’t even a rat?” Harry laughed hysterically. Because this was his life, one giant catastrophe and plot twist after another.

“Harry,” Snape chastised his language.

At the same moment Hermione attempted to calm him, “I know Harry. Ron holds grudges, very stupid grudges. But he’s still your friend. I’ll talk to him I promise.”

Suddenly, the fight left Harry’s body, and he picked up the chair before collapsing in it. “How are you doing?” Hermione asked, looking worried. “You disappeared so suddenly, and you were just at your relatives. We were all worried sick.”

“I’m fine Hermione, you know the Dursleys,” Harry said. Snape scoffed but said nothing. Hermione of course noticed, but let it slide for now.

With a sigh she said, “All right Harry. You look tired so you should get some rest. I’ll talk to Ron, I promise I’ll make him see reason.” Harry nodded, unable to meet her gaze. She, however, would not accept that. She pulled him to his feet and looked at Harry for a few moments, determined to make sure he was truly okay.

All of a sudden, she pulled him into a tight hug, tears in her eyes. “I love you,” she said softly, so only Harry could hear. “You know that right? No matter what, I’m here for you.” Harry nodded, not trusting himself to say anything without breaking down, and hugged her tighter.

After a few minutes, she let go and took one last long look at him before walking out the door with a determined look on her face. Harry let out a small chuckle. Ron was in for it tonight. The rapid silence descended on Snape and Harry as if it were an impermeable fog. They both just sat there, taking in the events of the past thirty minutes. If this was how two people reacted to the news, Harry could only imagine how the whole school and wizarding world would take it.
To be continued...
Chapter 10 by SiriSnape394
Author's Notes:
Hi all! Sorry I've been gone so long. I don't have a good excuse, aside from life and a bit of writer's block. This chapter is a bit longer so I hope you like it and it makes up for the delay.
Chapter 10

“My Lord,” the blonde-haired man said as he knelt before him, head bowed low.

“Rise Lucius,” his voice came out thin and raspy, still unused to having a human voice after all these years. Lucius rose and stared straight at him, unable to entirely disguise his fear.

“I trust you have bought what I asked for?”

The normally proud wizard gulped and appeared chastised, “I am sorry my Lord. It appears my grandfather hid it better than I anticipated. I will need more time.”

“Time?” his voice called out in a soft hiss. “You need time? Our plan is already set in motion and the spy is in place. Our success relies on you finding it.” The blonde wizard flinched back as he bit out the last words.

“I-I am sorry, my Lord, I will find it.”

“Wormtail?” the voice called sharply.

“Y-yes, my Lord?” a trembling man stepped forward from his inconspicuous place in the room's shadows.

“Do you find Lucius’s answer to be acceptable?”

“No m-my Lord,” the short man squeaked as he hunched over more, making him appear even shorter than usual.

“Give him a reminder, so he can gain some incentive to search harder.”

He felt a thrill of satisfaction as the mousy man yelled, “Crucio,” and the blonde fell to the floor with a hard thud, body contorting in pain, jaw clamped shut to stop from shrieking.

“Pathetic, Wormtail. Must I do everything myself?” he asked, disappointed that the man wasn’t screaming yet. “Crucio!” His voice boomed, imbued with power as the man's back arched and his wails resounded through the dungeon.


HPSSHPSSHPSSHPSSHPSSHPSS


“Harry, Harry!” He heard someone calling his name, but it was drowned out by loud screaming. His body felt like it was on fire and hot swords were being driven into every one of his muscles. Abruptly, the pain ended, and he could only feel remnants of lightning-like tremors coursing through his body every few seconds.

“Harry!” He was startled by a voice directly to his right and looked to see his potions professor leaning over his bed in worry, a hand pushing back his black hair that was matted to his forehead with sweat. Harry abruptly flinched away from the cool hand before leaning over the side of the bed and vomiting.

“Evanesco,” Snape said quietly, vanishing the mess with a wave of his wand. Harry pushed himself up, grateful as Snape handed him the glass of water sitting on the nightstand. He took long gulps, clearing the acrid taste from his mouth, but jolted when his hands trembled and spilt the water.

“Shit,” he cursed, water soaking into his already sweat-dampened pajamas.

Snape cast a drying charm before looking at him with concern, “Will you tell me what had your screams rattling the walls at four in the morning?”

Harry took a deep breath before whispering, “Voldemort.”

Snape let out a long sigh, “It makes sense you would have nightmares about him. No student should ever have to go through what you’ve been through.”

“No,” Harry pleaded forcefully, his eyes panicked. “You don’t understand. It wasn’t a bad dream or memory. It was real.” Harry’s voice caught on the last word and Snape’s brow furrowed, as Harry proceeded to recount the dream. He wasn't sure why he was telling Snape. No, he didn’t trust the man, but Snape also hadn’t mocked him yet or even yelled at him for vomiting on his slippers. Harry couldn’t get Lucius Malfoy’s screams out of his head or the searing pain he felt and knew he needed to tell someone.

When Harry concluded the dream, Snape stared at him aghast. Horror, surprise, and sympathy all crossed his face, but never once did it seem like Snape doubted him. “Let me get this straight,” Snape started after sitting in silence for several minutes processing everything Harry told him. “Is this the first dream you’ve had like this?”

Harry shuddered, and told Snape about the dream he’d had earlier that summer with the giant snake and the old man who was killed. Snape's mouth thinned as he processed this information. “When he cast the Cruciatus curse did you feel it? Could you feel what Lucius felt?”

Harry shook his head in confusion, “Sorry, what’s the Cruciatus curse?”

“It’s the torture spell- an unforgivable.” Snape took a deep breath before continuing, “The unforgivable curses are the three most sinister curses in the Wizarding World. Use of any of them on a person will land you a life sentence in Azkaban. The Cruciatus curse causes immense pain. It feels as if hot knives are piercing your skin and that your head is about to burst from the pain and pressure. It also leaves the victim with residual tremors that can be quite severe,” Snape broke off and looked at Harry’s hands that shook uncontrollably every few seconds.

“Fuck,” Snape cursed under his breath before summoning a potion.

“Drink,” he said, thrusting the blue iridescent potion at Harry. Snape looked absolutely livid, so Harry did what he said, knowing better than to cross him at this moment. Luckily, the potion did not taste vile like so many of the ones he was accustomed to and he was relieved when the tremors that continued to rack his body slowly stopped.

Snape must’ve noticed his questioning glance because he told him, “It’s an anti-cruciatus potion. I invented it myself.” His expression darkened as if he was recounting terrible memories.

“Here,” he said, thrusting another potion bottle at Harry. “Drink this too. It’s dreamless sleep that will hopefully ward off anymore…” he paused, searching for the right word. “Visions,” he finally concluded.

Harry downed the bottle in two gulps, pleased to find that mere seconds later his eyelids were drooping. “Sleep, my child,” he thought he heard before darkness consumed him.

HPSSHPSSHPSSHPSSHPSSHPSS


Harry fought his way to consciousness as sleep tried to drag him back under, and pried open his eyes. It took him a moment to remember his surroundings as the events of the previous night settled in. He held his hand out in front of him and released a sigh of relief when he saw it wasn’t shaking. Sitting up in bed, he was startled to notice a hand resting lightly next to him on the bed. A hand that was attached to his professor.

What the hell is Snape doing here, Harry thought to himself, perplexed by the situation. The man looked extremely uncomfortable, sleeping in a desk chair that was positioned next to Harry’s bed. Did he stay here all night? Disturbed by that thought, and the implication that Snape might actually care about him, he quietly got out of bed and made his way to the restroom.

Luckily, when he came back to his room, Snape was gone. Relieved that he wouldn’t have to face the man yet, Harry got dressed in the clothes he noticed were folded neatly on the bed and went in search of breakfast.

Unfortunately, that is where his luck ended. Instead of going to class, Snape was sitting at the kitchen table drinking a cup of coffee. Letting out a long sigh, Harry headed into the kitchen and opened the fridge to rummage around for something to eat. He couldn’t say he was surprised to find that it was mainly empty, except for a jug of milk, some bread, and a few apples. Pulling out the bread, he cut himself a slice and lathered it with butter before going to sit at the table. The entire time, he felt dark eyes following him, which he did his best to ignore.

Snape however, was not content to ignore his presence. “How are you feeling this morning?”

“Better,” Harry replied with a yawn. The pain he felt last night was nothing more than a memory. Suddenly, a glass vial appeared next to his plate, containing the same nutrition potion he took last night. Knowing that he would never win an argument, he decided to just go ahead and swallow it before Snape even had to ask.

The two sat in awkward silence while Harry finished the rest of his breakfast. “Would you like anything more to eat?” Snape asked in a tone that wasn’t unfriendly. “I know I don’t have much here but you’re welcome to ask a House Elf for anything you would like.”

Harry shook his head no. In all honesty, this was the most he’d eaten for breakfast in several months and he didn’t think he could stomach any more. Snape sighed as if he could guess Harry’s thoughts, but didn’t push him. Harry was just about to rise from the table when Snape said, “I thought we could go to Diagon Alley today.”

Harry’s head whipped up to look at Snape. Was the man insane? Harry couldn’t go out looking like this, everyone would find out their secret. And besides, he’d already gotten his school things for the year so it wasn’t like he needed to go shopping.

“I thought you could use some new clothes,” Snape said, ignoring Harry’s look of revulsion at the idea of clothes shopping.

“It’s all right sir, I have plenty of clothes I can wear.” Snape's mouth thinned at Harry’s reply and Harry knew he was about to hear everything that was wrong with his wardrobe.

“Yes, I looked through your trunk last night and saw what you think passes for clothing. Do you really believe these garments to be acceptable?” Snape asked with the hint of a sneer. Snape then glanced down to Harry's school trousers and how they sat a full six inches above his ankle. “And not to mention, you’ve grown several inches, so you’ll be needing new school robes as well.”

The chair clattered to the floor as Harry stood up with fists clenched. “No one has ever had a problem with my clothes before. I don’t see why anyone should start caring now.”

“Sit down and hold your temper,” Snape said. His words were soft, but his voice held a threat of what would happen if Harry continued to be disrespectful. Harry however, didn’t care, so he simply crossed his arms and scowled at the man.

Snape closed his eyes and took a few deep breaths, before speaking, “This is not how I wanted this morning to go. Will you please sit down, Harry?” It was the sincerity in Snape's tone that finally made Harry pick up the fallen chair and calmly sit down in it. He figured the lethal glare he sent in Snape’s direction was enough to indicate his abhorrence of this conversation.

To Snape’s credit, he didn’t balk at the daggers Harry was staring at him, nor did he reprimand the young Gryffindor for it. “Judging from your reaction, I am going to assume that tattered, baggy clothes are not merely a fashion statement?” Harry said nothing, merely clenched his fists as he crossed his arms tightly across his chest.

Snape let out a long sigh and ran a hand through his black hair, “Have you ever owned new clothes aside from your school robes?” Harry still made no answer, which told Snape all he needed to know.

“I will kill the Dursleys,” he cursed under his breath. “There is no debate, we are going shopping today, no matter how much you may loathe the idea.” Harry decided that the best course of action would be to continue his vow of silence in regards to this topic. Letting out another sigh (Harry didn’t think he’d ever heard Snape sigh as much as he did these past few days) Snape got up and placed a hand on Harry’s shoulder.

“You deserve to have new things,” he told the teen. Seeing that silence was the only reaction he would get from Harry, he continued, “I will resize some of my clothes so they will fit you to wear today. I expect you to be dressed and ready to go in thirty minutes.”

Harry stormed out of the kitchen, arms still crossed. He knew it was silly to be so worked up over something as simple as clothing and shopping, but he couldn’t understand why Snape cared. Mrs. Weasley saw what he wore and never said anything about his casts off from Dudley. Neither did Hermione’s parents or anyone else at this god forsaken school when he walked around in muggle clothes on the weekend. So why did Snape care now?

Thirty-five minutes later, he emerged from his room dressed all in black. Of course it was all black., Harry scoffed at the thought of Snape owning anything with color. He was going to refuse to wear the clothes Snape left for him, but found that Snape removed all the clothes from his trunk, the bastard. So now, here he was standing in the living room in a pair of black trousers and t-shirt.

“I am assuming,” Snape drawled from where he sat on the couch reading The Daily Prophet. “That you do not want to inform the world yet about our…predicament.” Harry nodded, he didn’t want anyone to find out. Ever.

“Very well,” Snape continued. “We will say that you are the son of my cousin who is starting at Hogwarts this year. You’ve come from abroad and did not have the chance to get your school items. Do you have a name you would like to go by?”
“Er…” Harry paused, his mind blanking. Finally he said the first name he could think of, “Daniel.”

Snape nodded once, “Very well, Daniel, we’ll be flooring to the Leaky Cauldron. Would you like to go first?”

Harry stepped into the fireplace, grimacing to himself as he thought of the first time he floo’d to Diagon Alley. Hopefully he wouldn’t wind up in Knockturn Alley again. He didn’t think Snape would be as understanding as Mrs. Weasley. In a clear voice, he yelled, “Leaky Cauldron!”

He tripped out of the fireplace and was brushing soot off of himself when Snape stepped through a moment later. He scowled when he saw that the man's robes were as pristine as usual. “Let’s go to Madame Malkins first to get you new robes and then we can go into Muggle London to buy some more casual things. I do need to stop at the Apothecary before we head out, though. The Hospital Wing is running low on potions, so I need to make some more.”

Harry ran a hand through his hair in chagrin at the last comment. Undoubtedly, they were running low because of him. He was following behind Snape when it struck him, “Wait, Sir! We need to go to Gringotts first. I won’t have enough to pay for all of this.”

“Don’t be silly, child,” Snape said, not slowing down to wait for Harry. “I have plenty of money.”

“But I’ll still need to get some galleons to pay you back.”

Snape stopped abruptly and turned to look at Harry, “There’s no need to pay me back. Everything has been taken care of, we are family after all.”

Harry was about to open his mouth to reply that they weren’t, when a warning look from Snape stopped him. For today’s ruse they were family. Not just for the ruse, a voice in his head claimed. But no, Harry refused to believe that the man was his father. He couldn’t accept charity from Snape either, he had plenty of money to buy new clothes. He would simply owl Gringotts and tell them to add the money from his vault to Snape’s. Yeah, that would work.

An hour later, Harry was glad that they were finally leaving Madam Malkin’s. Ever since his run in with Malfoy before his first year it was never his favorite shop in Diagon Alley. And not to mention, he was bad at standing still, so he was often pricked with needles. He was pleased to note that he grew about four inches and Snape even ordered robes that could be extended because he expected Harry to grow even more. Finally, maybe he wouldn’t be the shortest in his year. He always loathed his height, he was even shorter than most of the girls in his class and some of the students in the years below him. He knew it was due to his diet at his relatives’ house, but there was never much he could do about that. Harry shook his head, determined to not think about the Dursleys. He was surprised that today was actually going well, and he and Snape had yet to get into any serious arguments. It was still early, though.

Harry bumped into Snape’s back, rousing him from his thoughts. “Try to watch where you’re going,” Snape told him, placing a steadying hand off his shoulder.

“Hey, lay off him Snivellous,” Harry heard a familiar booming voice exclaim and looked up to see the cause of Snape’s sudden stop. Sirius and Remus were grinning down at him.

“Moony, Padfoot!” Harry went to give them a hug, when he was stopped by Snape.

Leaning into his ear, he whispered, “Remember where you are Harry, no relative of mine wouldn’t be so friendly to my childhood nemeses.” Harry rolled his eyes. Who actually used the word nemeses in a sentence?

“Lupin, Mutt, may I please introduce my cousin, Daniel,” Snape emphasized the words cousin and Daniel, hoping that Remus and Sirius would catch on. Sirius opened his mouth, no doubt about to ask what was going on, when Remus elbowed him.

“It’s very nice to meet you, Daniel,” Moony said, holding out his hand and giving him a big smile. Harry shook it excitedly, thrilled to have run into the two. Maybe they could save him from Snape.

“Out doing some shopping?” Remus continued.

“Yes. My cousin here is starting at Hogwarts this term, and is in need of some school robes. I also found that none of his muggle clothes fit, so we’ll be heading into London to find some other things as well.”

“That’s wonderful, Ha-Daniel,” Remus said. He pitched his voice down lower so no one would hear them and leaned in to whisper, “Listen, we were actually going to owl you. We’ve missed you and were wondering if we could take you out to dinner.”

Harry’s eyes lit up. He would love to spend time with Sirius and Remus, and it’d be a bonus to get out of the dungeons as well. He was about to tell them as much, when he suddenly remembered his appearance. “I-I would love to but I can’t,” he said, looking down, not wanting to see the look of disappointment on their faces. That meant he was also unable to see the look of confusion that crossed Snape’s.

“That’s alright,” Remus said, “Maybe another time then?”

He was about to say yes, when Snape interrupted, “Why don’t you want to go?” Harry continued to look down, refusing to answer. “Is it because you don’t want anyone to see you?”

Harry’s eyes shot up to Snape’s as the older man continued, “Daniel is not quite ready to be seen where people may figure out the truth, so would you like to have dinner with him in my quarters? I, of course, will not be present, I have potions that need to be brewed.” Harry’s jaw dropped at the offer. He couldn’t believe that Snape would do such a thing, and why?

“Like hell-” Sirius started to say, however Remus interrupted him.

“We would love to. We will take any chance we can to spend time with you,” he said looking at Harry, before sending a pointed glare at Sirius.

Sirius tried to smile, but it came off as more of a grimace, “Yeah, of course we would pup.”

“Great! Can’t wait to see you guys tonight,” Harry couldn’t help his grin as he thought about spending more time with his Godfathers.

“We have multiple errands to run, so we must be on our way,” Snape said as he gave them a tight nod and led Harry away towards The Leaky Cauldron.

“Thank you so much, Sir! I can’t believe you did that.”

Snape turned to look at him and placed both hands on Harry’s shoulders. “Of course,” he said and Harry couldn’t help but believe his sincerity. “I care for you. I know that I treated you deplorably in the past. There is no excuse for my actions, not even losing my memories, and I will spend the rest of my life trying to make it up to you.”

Snape then proceeded to turn and walk ahead, leaving Harry staring at his back, stunned and confused. Snape welcomed the people he hated most in the world into his home for Harry. Snape cared for Harry. What had the universe come to?

HPSSHPSSHPSSHPSSHPSSHPSS


Several hours later, an exhausted Harry and Severus finally floo’d back into Snape's quarters at Hogwarts. Shopping in muggle London was far better than shopping at Madam Malkin’s. For starters there were no judgy witches who poked him with pins, but also he was able to find clothes he was more used to. Harry was shocked when Snape let him buy clothes that matched the current trends he always saw teens wearing on tv or at the mall. Of course, Snape didn’t let him buy anything too big or baggy as a lot of kids wore, but Harry was fine with that. He’d had enough oversized clothes to last him a lifetime. Snape had even bought him the latest trainers even though they were triple the amount Harry would have spent if it was his own money.

Now, back at Hogwarts, Snape went off into his private potions lab while Harry changed into his new clothes and waited around for Sirius and Remus to come. He had just started to read his Defense Against the Dark Arts book when the floo flared to life.

“Harry,” Sirius greeted him, stepping out of the floo gracefully with open arms. It seemed everyone could floo without tripping except for him, Harry thought as he gave Sirius a hug.

Harry gave Remus a hug too as Sirius stared around with wide eyes. “I can’t believe it,” he said, not bothering to quiet his voice. “It’s somewhat normal. No chains or coffins or heads of dead students.”

Remus rolled his eyes as Harry uncomfortably laughed. He had the same reaction when he first came here, but for some reason hearing it from Sirius made him feel chagrined and sorry for Snape.

“So how has it been going Harry?” Remus changed the subject as if sensing Harry’s unease. Unfortunately, Sirius didn’t get the memo.

“How do you think it’s been going, Remy? Obviously, it's been hell for our poor Harry here. That’s why we wanted to spring him from this place tonight,” Sirius said with a wink at Harry.

“Actually, it hasn’t been bad,” Harry confessed, sitting at the table where the House Elves had dinner ready for them. “Snape isn’t warm and cuddly, but he’s been decent. I grew because of the..changes, so none of my school clothes fit. He noticed that all my muggle clothes were too big because they were hand-me-downs from Dudley. That’s why he took me shopping today. He bought me new trainers and everything! He even got me a Walkman that he said he’ll try to fix so it can work even with all the magic at Hogwarts.”

Remus beamed at him, clearly happy that Harry had someone to look out for him for a change. Sirius, however, didn’t buy it, “Come on Harry. You can tell us the truth. I’m sure it’s been awful dealing with that dungeon bat. The more we know, the more ammunition we’ll have to get you away from him.”

“It actually hasn’t been bad, Sirius,” Harry protested, voice growing louder as he was getting angrier with his Godfather. He wasn’t sure why he was so defensive of Severus, but the man had been pretty decent to him these past few days, and Harry wasn’t about to let Sirius belittle that. “He’s really been pretty nice. He even helped me last night after I had a nightmare.”

This of course piqued the interest of both Sirius and Remus, so Harry went in depth explaining his dream, or vision, to them while they ate dinner. Naturally, they were both concerned, especially since they knew about the last dream Harry had, but he managed to fend off their worry and promised to let them know if he had another one.

Luckily, after that things moved into lighter topics. Sirius opened up the bottle of wine he bought as he and Remus regaled him with stories from when they were at Hogwarts. “And then,” Sirius continued with a laugh as he polished off the last of his second bottle of wine. “James dyed Mrs. Norris pink. Filch spent weeks trying to get the color off, he was covered in scratches.” He let out a burp as he delved into a fit of giggles.

Harry let out a chuckle, he could only imagine a pink Mrs. Norris, and Filch trying to chase after her. Snape chose that moment to leave his potions lab and come back into the kitchen. “Having fun I presume,” he said with a drawl that indicated he hoped they were having anything but fun.

“Yes, Severus,” Remus said, with a polite nod of his head. “Thank you so much for letting us come over.”

“Hey Snivellous,” Sirius looked up from where he’d laid his head down on the table. “Do you want to know why Herbology is your least favorite subject?” Severus made no answer, just stared with pursed lips as he leaned against the kitchen counter. “It’s cause you could never keep Lilies alive-get it, Lily.” Sirius delved into a fit of laughter, clearly oblivious that the temperature in the room had dropped by several degrees.

“Cause you killed Lily,” he continued, between hiccuping laughs.

“Sirius,” Remus hissed. “Stop. Now. Severus, I’m so–” he broke off at the look on Snape’s face. He’d gone completely pale, the same shade as Nearly Headless Nick, and his hand was flexed as if he were going to reach for his wand and curse Sirius. He didn’t though, instead he took several deep breaths, before merely exiting the room. Harry jumped as his bedroom door slammed shut with a bang.

“What the bloody hell, Sirius?” Harry yelled at him.

“What, what happened? Can Snapey not take a joke?” Sirius was clearly drunk and out of his mind. That did nothing to diminish Harry’s anger.

“A joke? Is that what you think this is? You think my mother dying to save me is a joke? God, just leave Sirius.” Harry pushed away from the table, unwilling to be near his Godfather for any longer.

“Wait, Harry,” Sirius pleaded as he grabbed Harry’s arm. Harry shook him off, but he wasn’t dissuaded. “It was just a joke, I loved Lily, you know that.”

Harry couldn’t answer because he didn’t know that, he hardly knew anything about his parents.

“I’m so sorry, Harry,” Remus apologized as he attempted to corral Sirius towards the foo. “I know it’s no excuse, but he’s drunk. We’ll leave now, please give Severus our apologies.”

“Like I would ever apologize to that bastard,” Sirius slurred as he stumbled towards the floo.

“I’m so sorry, Harry,” Remus apologized one last time, and with a flash of green flames they were gone. Harry spent a full minute staring at the fireplace. Today had been going so well and then Sirius had to ruin it. He shook his head to clear his mind, before walking towards his room. It was his intention to just go to bed, but somehow he found himself standing in front of Snape’s door. Without thinking he knocked. There was no answer, so he knocked again.

“Yes,” Snape snarled as he pulled open the door. Harry shrank backwards, thrown off by the malice gleaming in the older man's eyes. Seeing that it was just Harry, Snape’s expression softened. “I’m sorry, Harry, I thought it was the wolf coming to apologize.”

Harry shook his head, unsure what to say. They stood staring at each other in awkward silence, before Harry finally blurted out, “Mind if I come in?” Snape made no reply, merely opened his door before he walked back into the shadows of his room.
As Harry entered the room, he couldn’t help but stare in curiosity. He should no longer be surprised at how normal everything was, yet here he was marveling at the warm taupe colored walls and dark mahogany furniture. It actually didn’t look that different from his Aunt and Uncle’s bedroom. Snape sat on the floor, in a very un-Snape like manner and let his head fall back against the bed. Harry sat down on the floor opposite him, leaning against the dresser.

“I’m sorry about what Sirius said,” Harry said after a few moments of silence. Snape made no answer. “He was wrong you know,” Harry finally whispered. “You didn’t kill my mum.”

Snape let out a humorless chuckle at Harry’s words. “For once the mutt got something right, I did kill her.”

“No,” Harry replied vehemently. “Voldemort did, you had nothing to do with it.”

Snape shook his head, “You don’t understand Harry. If I hadn’t been a spy, I could’ve protected her, protected you both.”

“No!” Harry shouted, rising to his feet. “You would’ve died too. He would’ve killed you and then I would still be stuck with my Aunt and Uncle.” Snape stared at him for several moments until Harry felt uncomfortable under his gaze. Unsure what to do, but feeling awkward just standing there, Harry sat down again.

“You’re just like her, you know. Your mother,” Snape finally said. Harry looked up startled, he was sure the man wasn’t going to speak again. “I’m sorry for not seeing it before, but you have her kindness. It was my favorite trait in her.”

“Would you tell me about her, sometime?” Harry asked hesitantly. He’d always heard so much about James, but never anything about Lily, the woman who saved his life.

“Of course,” Snape said quietly. “Whatever you want to know.” Harry smiled and the two lapsed back into silence.

Before coming here, Harry was nervous. He knew it would be better than at the Dursleys’, but he never could’ve imagined Snape being nice to him. For once, it seemed like an adult cared about him, more than just his ability to win a quidditch game or defeat Voldemort, but cared for him and his well-being. Sitting in the dark, across from Snape, his once hated professor, Harry decided that he liked how that felt-being cared for.
To be continued...
End Notes:
Don't kill me. I promise Sirius is good in this fic, he's just having trouble adjusting to the news. But I love Sirius, my dog is named after him, so he'll have a redemption arc. Also, I have to clarify, I didn't come up with the joke, I saw it on a TikTok. Unfortunately, I don't remember the creator to give them credit, but as I wrote this I remembered it and knew I had to use it. Anyway, I promise I'll update sooner than this chapter took. Hope you all liked it!
Chapter 11 by SiriSnape394
Chapter 11




Harry stood with his hand on the doorknob. It seemed like his life had yet again turned upside down since the previous night and he didn’t know how to handle it. His relationship with Snape had changed. Not just in the “Harry, I am your father” manner, but deeply, fundamentally at its core. For the first time since this mess, it struck Harry that Snape actually could be a parent, his parent specifically and that he might just like it.

Then there was Sirius. Harry was disappointed, to say the least. His entire life, he’d been bullied by Dudley and his friends. Memories of Harry Hunting, being tripped and kicked, and taking the fall for all of their crimes left Harry with a bitter hatred of bullies. What Sirius had so blithely said last night reminded him of all the snide comments Aunt Petunia would make about his mother and how it was his fault she was dead.

“You were the worst thing that ever happened to your mother,” she told him, usually in the kitchen if he burned the bacon or dropped the milk. “You and your good-for-nothing father. If it weren’t for you, she would still be here.” At the time Harry didn’t understand. How was it his fault there was a car accident? Were they driving him to the doctor or to buy him some toys? Now he understood though, Aunt Petunia had been right all along, it was his fault they were dead.

That’s why he was so livid with Sirius now. It was his fault, Harry’s, that Lily and James were dead, not Snape’s. Snape had been decent to him these past few days. He took care of Harry after his nightmare, and took him shopping to buy new clothes. In his fantasies this summer it was how Harry envisioned Sirius would act when he came to save him from the Dursleys. But that never happened. Instead, Snape, who bullied him for the past two years was doing these things and Sirius became the schoolyard bully.

Harry groaned as he dropped his head into his hand and massaged his temples. His world was doing pirouettes and he had yet to learn how to spot the wall. He shook his head trying to clear his mind. He no longer knew how to act around Snape. Clearly, they no longer hated each other. But he also couldn’t view Snape as his father. Yes, he helped him these past few days, but he wasn’t a Dad. So where did that leave them? There was no use going around in circles, it would get him nowhere, so Harry took a deep breath, summoned all of his Gryffindor bravery, and opened the door.

As it turned out, all of his worrying was for naught, because Snape was nowhere to be seen in the quarters. Harry went about fixing himself a piece of toast and some pumpkin juice as he wondered where Snape was. He doubted the man was still in his room, he seemed like the type of person to rise at the crack of dawn, or more likely he didn’t need sleep at all. He wasn’t teaching- Dumbledore excused him from his classes for the week to “bond with Harry.” Harry rolled his eyes at the thought as if four days would make up for twelve years.

He must be in his personal potions lab, Harry finally concluded as he finished eating his breakfast. He was just placing his dishes in the sink and was about to scamper off to his room to hopefully avoid Snape when there was a knock at the portrait door. He was going to ignore it when the knocking became more persistent and there was muffled yelling. Harry rushed to the door, worrying that there was some kind of emergency, and threw it open to reveal Sirius.

Harry stood there, gaping at him stupidly. He looked awful and was clearly hungover. His eyes were bloodshot, his hair hung lankly over his face, and Harry recoiled as he smelled the stale alcohol that emanated from his godfather. As he stood there staring at Sirius, he felt his face grow hot with anger. How dare he show up in this condition after what he said last night. What the hell did Sirius think he was doing? Did he come to piss Snape off even more, because if so it would work and Harry did not want to deal with an irate dungeon bat this morning.

Unfortunately, Snape snuck up behind him before he had the chance to tell Sirius to bugger off. He could feel the loathing and hostility radiating from Snape and quickly ducked out of the way, not wanting to be in the firing path of his wrath.

“Get the fuck out of my flat, Black,” Snape ground out, the quietness of his voice making him sound all the more threatening.

Sirius stopped the door with his foot as Snape slammed it shut. “Wait,” he cried, a desperation in his voice that Harry hadn’t heard since the night Sirius confronted Pettigrew. “I’m sorry,” his words tumbled out. “What I said last night was despicable and none of it true. I was drunk out of my mind and didn’t know what I was saying.” Sirius looked down at his feet abashedly, hand clutching the door as if terrified Snape would slam it shut in his face again.

Snape stared at him saying nothing, measuring the sniveling wretch in front of him. “Drunk words make for honest thoughts,” was the only reply he gave before slamming the door shut in Sirius’s face.

Harry watched as his professor took a few deep breaths before turning around to face Harry. He examined Harry closely until he started to squirm under the intense gaze. “Undoubtedly, you think I was harsh. If you want to go speak to your dogfather, you, of course, may,” Snape said, now pointedly staring anywhere except for at Harry.

“You weren’t too harsh,” Harry finally said as Snape was walking away. “Sirius deserved that, what he said was deplorable. I would like to talk to him though,” he said nervously, fidgeting with the hem of his shirt. “He’s family. He’s the first person who showed he cared for me, so I don’t want to write him off completely.”

Harry stood still, not daring to breathe as he waited for Snape’s response. It was true, Sirius was family and Harry didn’t want to lose that relationship. At the same time, he didn’t want to destroy whatever it was that he was building with Snape. Harry stared at the ground, still chewing on his bottom lip, as Snape walked over to stand before him.

He placed one hand on Harry’s shoulder so Harry was forced to meet his eyes. “Harry, listen to me,” Snape started, his black eyes conveying trust and care. “Don’t let our schoolyard grudges stand in the way of your relationship with Sirius.” Harry’s eyes widened in shock; it was the first time he ever heard Snape refer to his godfather as Sirius.

“We have a long history, similar to you and Mr. Malfoy. There are wounds there that will not heal overnight. However, as you said, he is your family. He showed you love when no one else did, even those you should have been able to trust. For nearly your entire life you’ve had no one you can count on, no adult you can turn to. It’s undoubtedly the reason for all the dangerous stunts you’ve performed over the years. So, although I may loathe it, you need Sirius in your life. I know you don’t yet trust me.” Harry opened his mouth to interrupt but stopped when Snape raised a single eyebrow and pursed his lips. Harry knew better than to interject when Snape had this expression. “It’s alright, Harry. I’ve given you absolutely no reason to trust me these past three years. By all means you have every right to completely despise me. Sirius, however, has given you ample reasons to trust him. You need him, and I will not stand in the way of that.”

With those final words, Snape straightened and left the room before Harry could even form a reply. Harry wasn’t sure what to make of Snape’s speech, but the man was right about at least one thing. Harry did need Sirius. He didn’t want to destroy the relationship that they had built, so he stepped out of the portrait.

Sirius was slumped over on the floor, leaning against Snape’s desk. Somehow he looked even worse than he had when Harry first saw him this morning. Did Snape’s words affect him that much? Was he truly sorry for what he said?

Harry didn’t know what to make of anything but felt awkward standing there without Sirius noticing him, so he cleared his throat. Sirius’s head jerked up at the sound. It took a moment to register Harry’s presence, but as soon as he did, his eyes lit up as much as they could and a half grin graced his face.

“Harry,” he whispered. Harry was shocked, used to Sirius’s normal booming voice. Harry was used to Uncle Vernon’s hangovers and knew to be extra quiet the mornings after the man went out drinking. Those were always some of the worst days when Harry- sore from the beating a drunk Vernon had given him the night before- managed to irritate his Uncle into compounding his punishment.

Harry closed his eyes, not wanting to take a breath and smell the stale stench of alcohol that would transport him to some of his worst memories. You’re not there, he reminded himself. Sirius would never hurt you. When he finally felt calmer, he opened his eyes and gave Sirius a small smile before joining him on the floor.

“You look terrible.”

Sirius gave a small humorless chuckle, “Yeah, well I feel pretty terrible. I’m really sorry pup, you know that right? I didn’t mean what I said.”

Harry said nothing for a few moments, trying to figure out his own feelings in this mess. “I know you feel bad Sirius, but you did mean it. Snape- he’s been good to me these past few days. He’s helped me a lot,” Harry paused, not wanting to continue, but he knew he had to; Sirius needed to hear the following words. “He’s done more for me than you have.”

Sirius flinched back as if Harry had physically struck him, and Harry supposed that in a way he had. Although he’d only known Sirius a little while, he could tell from the very first night how much the man cared for him. So undoubtedly, hearing these words would hurt.

“I’ve failed you pup. Me and Remus both. We should’ve fought harder to get custody of you this summer. It’s our fault you nearly died,” he said, choking on final words. Harry watched as Sirius took a deep breath to gain his composure before continuing. “I promise, we’ll do better. I won’t pick on Sniv- sorry I mean Snape as much. I hate to admit it, but he’s done okay these past few days. Better than I have at least.”

Harry finally gave Sirius a full smile. The first one since returning to Hogwarts. Things weren’t perfect and there was still a lot to figure out, but it was a start.

HPSSHPSSHPSSHPSSHPSS


The rest of the morning was uneventful in comparison. Snape was lodged up in his potion’s lab, so Harry hung out in the living room. With nothing else to do, he figured that he might as well get a start on his homework. Hermione, of course, had been so gracious to drop it off before her potions class that morning along with copies of all the notes. Harry was slowly but surely making his way through McGonagall’s lecture on turning a porcupine into a pin cushion when Snape emerged from the depths of his laboratory.

“Would you like some lunch?” he asked Harry civilly. Having only eaten the toast that morning, Harry found that he was actually quite hungry so he nodded his head as he got up and walked over to the table.

Lunch was a quiet affair. Snape had a house elf deliver sandwiches that were served in the Great Hall and the two ate in comfortable silence. Harry still could not get over his shock at how decent the man was being. There were no snide remarks or jabs at Harry or his fath- no James Potter. In fact, Snape’s quarters were starting to feel safe, like a place where he could relax and not worry about what Ron was thinking, how the school and wizarding community would react to this new revelation, or what Voldemort was planning. It almost felt like the Gryffindor common room, albeit a much quieter version.

Harry noticed that Snape’s gaze had been on him for quite a while when he finally said, “Would you like to see some memories of your mother?”

Harry’s head shot up and he gulped. Hardly anyone ever offered him information about Lily, and here Snape was willing to share information. And what did he mean by seeing memories? Did wizards have some sort of magical video camera? Not trusting himself to form words, he simply nodded and followed Snape into the living room.

Harry looked around for a television. He hadn’t seen one earlier but maybe it was hidden with magic or something. He knew the TV at Mrs. Figg’s house was always hidden away in a cabinet unlike at the Dursleys. He was surprised, however, when instead Snape pulled out a large stone basin and placed it on the coffee table. Harry curiously stepped forward and saw an iridescent blue liquid shimmering within.

“This, Harry, is a Pensieve,” Snape told him. “It allows a person to view memories, similar to a muggle movie. However, with a Pensieve, you don’t need a device to record it; you simply think of the memory and place it inside.”

Harry was intrigued, would magic ever stop surprising him? He watched as Snape set his wand against his temple and saw the shimmering blue material flow from his forehead into the bowl. Snape repeated the process several more times until several minutes had passed and he finally opened his eyes to look at Harry.

“I’ve placed several memories inside. They are memories of your mother- how we met, our first day at school, when we got married, and having you. You’re welcome to take your time to watch them.” Snape turned and was about to walk away when Harry interrupted him.

“Wait, Sir,” he said. “How do I see them exactly?”

“Ah,” Snape said as a sad expression crossed his face. “I forget how much you don’t know about our world.”

“It’s not exactly my fault,” Harry mumbled as he looked away frowning.

“I know Harry. I only express regret that you grew up with Petunia and her husband when Lily and I should’ve raised you. You should’ve grown up surrounded by magic and all of this should be second nature to you. Unfortunately, redoing the past is frowned upon. To use the Pensieve, you simply touch the surface of the liquid. Once the memories finish you will be sent back here. Know that while you will be able to see and hear everything that occurs, no one will be able to see you.”

Harry reached his hand out as Snape left the room. The stone of the basin was cold and smooth to the touch, much like a cauldron before it’s been heated. Harry ran a hand over the surface of the liquid without touching it. It seemed to respond ever so slightly to his presence as if begging for him to touch it and view the contents. Gently Harry lowered his hand and was surprised to note that the cool liquid was thicker than he expected when he suddenly jerked forward and fell headfirst into the Pensieve.

He landed with a thud on what appeared to be a playground in a dreary town. The townhomes were all run down with dirty beige facades and red paint was peeling off the swingset. There was a faded yellow duck on a spring a few feet over that was missing an eye and one of the handles. Musical laughter caught his attention though and he looked over to see a young girl about nine or ten with vibrant red hair and green eyes. Eyes that looked exactly like his- it was his mother.

She made the surroundings come to life, what was drab and gray before now seemed to be a vivid technicolor. He couldn’t take his eyes off of her. Pictures did her injustice, she was absolutely beautiful. The only memory he had before was of her being murdered by Voldemort. Now, he knew what her laughter sounded like.

“Watch me Tuney,” she said before she jumped off the swing at its peak height. He startled and was about to go forward to catch her, afraid she would fall and hurt herself, but she simply floated down as if she was flying.

Heart pounding in his chest he breathed a sigh of relief. It was then that he heard someone next to him, “She’s a witch.” Harry looked over, startled that there was someone next to him. It wasn’t just someone, it was Severus Snape. The boy had the same lank black hair and long hook nose as the Professor. He was skinny and Harry looked down and saw that there was a bruise on his right arm in a shape that looked all too familiar to Harry. It was a handprint from being grabbed.

Harry watched as the young Snape watched the two girls for several moments. “You’re such a freak,” a horse-faced girl teased Lily. Aunt Petunia. Harry scowled and narrowed his eyes in her direction; of course, she was as miserable as a child as she was as an adult. Tears welled up in his mother’s eyes and Harry felt a pang of sympathy for her. He too had been on the receiving end of Petunia’s spite one too many times and knew how much it hurt.

Lily started to walk toward them, furiously wiping at her eyes. Snape lowered his sleeves over his arms and stood up to approach her. “She’s a miserable wretch, isn’t she?”

Lily spun around towards them, fury glinting in her eyes. “Hey!” she called out. “Don’t insult her, she's my sister.”

Snape's face went bright red and he stammered out an apology. “I-I’m sorry. I only meant that what you can do is special and she shouldn’t have teased you for it.”

Lily’s expression softened into curiosity and she took a step closer to them. “What do you mean what I can do?” she asked.

“You’re magic,” Snape told her simply.

Lily’s lips pursed in response, and for a brief second Harry was amused to find that there was a family resemblance between her and Petunia. “There’s no such thing as magic. No need to make fun of me.”

“No-no,” Snape quickly said, reaching out to gently grab her arm as she spun away from him. “I’m magical too, I’m a wizard and you’re a witch.” Harry sat down opposite Lily as the two sat on the playground talking about magic and Hogwarts. Harry paid very little attention to their actual conversation, instead just watching Lily and trying to memorize her expressions and mannerisms. He was overjoyed when he found that they made some of the same gestures and her nose also scrunched up when she was confused.

Suddenly the world fell out from under him and he found himself on the Hogwarts Express sitting next to Snape, Lily was across from him. “I really hope we’re both in Slytherin,” Snape was telling his mum when the door slid open revealing to boys. One was pale with long dark curly hair and high cheekbones and the other looked exactly like Harry, or at least how he used to look.

“Hey James,” the boy who was a young Sirius Black said. “Look at these nerds-they’re already in their school uniforms.”

Lily rolled her eyes as Snape told her to ignore them. Unfortunately, he said it with a sniffle and went to wipe his nose.

“Aw, what's wrong Snivellus?” James taunted. “Miss your mummy?”

“Oh shut up! You bloody idiot,” Lily stood up and slammed the door shut in their face.

The world spun again and Harry stood next to Snape in the Great Hall as he stared dejectedly at the redhead who was making her way over to the Gryffindor table. “Bye Lily,” he whispered.

The room spun and suddenly they were in the library as Snape sat next to Lily, both looking noticeably older. Harry guessed that they were probably in their sixth year. Snape was writing down notes as Lily was explaining a complicated charm for their upcoming exam when she suddenly stopped. Snape was so invested in his notes that it took him a few seconds to notice, but eventually looked up.

“What’s wrong Lils?” he asked.

Lily said nothing, just stared at him, her eyes searching his and then wandering down to his lips. All of a sudden she leaned forward and kissed him. Severus’s eyes widened in shock as they broke apart. “L-Lily,” he stammered.

Lily blushed as bright as her hair and looked looked down, clearly expecting a better reaction from him., “Sorry Sev, I shouldn’t ha-” she didn't get to finish her thought because Snape with a determined look on his face leaned forward and kissed her.

Harry was thankful when the room disappeared that time. While he was thrilled to be seeing memories of his mum, he did not want to see her make out with Snape. They were now back at the playground where they started except now it was a sunny spring day and the flowers were just starting to bloom. Snape and Lily were yet again older, Harry surmised that they had left Hogwarts at this point, but couldn’t be sure. He watched them for several minutes as they walked around the park and Snape pushed Lily on the swing set.

“Remember when we first met?” she asked him. “I was on this swing then too.”

“Lily,” Snape started as he grabbed the swing, stopping it from moving. Harry saw that his hands were shaking as he walked forward and stood in front of her before getting down on one knee.

“Severus,” Lily breathed as she drew a shaky hand up to her lips, tears filling her eyes.

“Lily, I have loved you since the moment I saw you nine years ago on this playground. You’re not only the love of my life, but my best friend. You are everything good and right and joyous in this world, far too good for the likes of me,” he said with a self-deprecating chuckle. “Lily, will you make me the happiest man alive and agree to be my wife?”

Lily said nothing, Harry thought it likely that she was unable to say anything because she was so overcome with emotions. Instead, she just nodded, threw herself into his arms, and started crying. Severus leaned back and took her face between his hands. “What’s wrong Lils?” he said, concern seeping into his voice. “What did I do?”

“Everything,” she replied. All the blood drained from Snape's face, so she rushed to add, “You’ve done everything right. These are happy tears. Yes Sev- yes I’ll marry you. I’m the luckiest girl on the planet, I-,” but she could continue no longer because she promptly burst into tears again.

“Lily,” Severus said laughing as he hugged her closely. “It’s alright.”

After a few moments, she finally looked up at him. “Now let me see that ring,” she said, wiping tears from her eyes. It was her hands shaking this time as Snape placed an emerald ring onto her hand.

His mum was now sitting in front of a Christmas tree with Snape. “I love this necklace you got me, Sev,” she said, fingering the golden lily at her throat. “Here, I have one last gift for you.”

She reached over and handed him the final present under the tree. It was a medium-sized gift wrapped in paper with bubbling cauldrons. She was worrying at her lip, the same way Harry does. She was nervous about giving him this present. Mother and son watched as Snape opened the gift slowly, slipping one finger underneath the tape before gently pulling the box out of the paper. He flipped over the gift and looked up at Lily with a confused expression on his face.

“Very funny Lils, you do realize that I’m going for potions mastery right? I think children's sets are a tad easy for me.” Harry peered over and saw that it was a potions set designed for toddlers. Lily said nothing, merely placed one hand over her stomach and the other over Severus’s. Harry watched as the understanding dawned on Snape and he looked at her with complete devotion and awe. “Are you serious? Are you really pregnant?”

Lily gave him a watery smile and nodded before throwing herself in his arms. The room changed again and this time they were in a hospital bed. Lily was exhausted with wet hair matted to her face. Despite this, Harry thought she had never looked more beautiful. She stared up at Snape as he came over and sat on her bed, a baby wrapped in a blue blanket in his arms. Harry felt tears prick his eyes as he watched himself with his mum and Snape, his parents, and thought that the three of them looked like a perfect family.

Suddenly, Harry found himself in the same living room they had been in before at Christmas, however, this time there were no decorations out and the trees outside the window sported pink and yellow flowers. “Severus Snape,” he heard his mum yell from behind him. “Come take your son this instant.” She handed over a squirming Harry whose face was as red as his mum's hair and looked as if he was ready to scream at any moment.

Snape took Harry from her arms and successfully calmed him down before any tears broke loose. “I swear,” Lily began. “This child takes exactly after you. I have him at his high chair at the counter while I’m trying to prepare dinner and turn my back for one moment to see him making a mess of all the ingredients as if he were making potions, combining them in a bowl and stirring clockwise three times. Watch him so I can go make dinner.”

Snape, who’d been doing his best to look trite during her spiel, now looked down at Harry with a soft grin on his face and held out a finger for Harry to latch on to. “That’s my boy, you’ll be a potions master one day, I know it,” he told Harry. The older Harry sat and watched them for a few moments, before he felt himself being jerked upwards and suddenly found himself back in Snape's living room.

Ungraceful as ever, he fell to the floor, where he sat in shock for a few moments, trying to process what he had just seen. Dimly, he heard Snape move behind him but made no notice of the man. It was all real, he thought to himself. Snape really was his father, and beyond that, he seemed to love him and Lily. And Lily. She was so beautiful and vibrant. He had never realized just how like her he actually was.

Harry was startled when he heard Snape clearing his voice. “Are you alright Harry?” he asked as he knelt in front of Harry. Harry opened his mouth to reply, but all that came out was a choked sob before he launched himself at Snape. He felt his father’s arms encircle him firmly before he broke into tears.
To be continued...
Chapter 12 by SiriSnape394
Author's Notes:
Hi all! Sorry, I didn't realize no mature fics were allowed I deleted the chapter and put up the pg-13 version. If you do want to read the smutty version its on AO3.
Chapter 12

Sirius stumbled into the flat that he and Remus shared in Edinburgh. Somehow, he’d managed to make it back from Hogwarts. He knew that with his migraine, apparating was probably a bad idea, so he begrudgingly took the Knight Bus and tried to not vomit the entire trip back.

Unfortunately, he was going to pay for it now; he rushed to the bathroom as he felt bile burn the back of his throat and proceeded to throw up the measly piece of toast and black coffee he’d managed to scarf down for breakfast.
Feeling slightly better, he rested his still-pounding head against the cool tile of the bathroom floor, relishing in the relief it bought him. Of course, Remus had hidden away all of the hangover potions, undoubtedly punishing him for his actions last night. Sirius couldn’t blame him, he deserved the hangover from hell. He also couldn’t blame Snivell- no, Snape, he corrected- for being mad at him this morning. Hell, if their roles were reversed and Snape blamed him for James’ death, Sirius would never forgive him. However, what he wasn’t expecting was Harry’s anger. That hurt much worse.

He still remembered playing with Harry when he was just a baby, teaching him how to fly in that toy broom he’d gotten him. God Harry loved that thing. It was why Sirius was so excited to buy him the Firebolt. It was a fitting gift, from the man that bought him his first broom. Even though he knew it was impossible, some small part of him hoped it would jog Harry’s memories of him.

Sirius sighed, if he was being honest, he couldn’t blame Harry for his anger this morning either. What he said about Snape and Lily was truly awful, and Lily was Harry’s mother. What Sirius was really upset about was how much Snape had wormed his way into Harry’s life in only three days. It should have been Sirius taking Harry shopping in Diagon Alley and comforting him after his nightmares. Instead, all of this was his fault. If it wasn’t for his rash behavior the night Lily and James died, Harry would have never been sent to the Dursley’s and been abused. He would’ve grown up loved and surrounded by magic with him and Remy. He sniffled as tears trickled down his face. This was all his fault, he thought, as he slowly drifted asleep on the bathroom floor.

He awoke with a groan and cracked his neck. Why the fuck is my neck so stiff, he thought. Then he felt the cool tile beneath him. “Shit,” he breathed; he’d fallen asleep on the floor of the bathroom, merely feet away from the toilet he’d puked in only a few hours ago. This was a new low even for him.

Rising, he turned the sink tap on a scooped water into his mouth. He leaned against the sink, letting his head fall. He stood like this for a few moments before he heard the door open. Wordlessly, Remus stepped in, and Sirius felt his gaze on his back

“Did they forgive you?” he asked. Sirius raised his head and met his mate’s gaze in the mirror. He shook his head no.

“Good,” Remus said.

Sirius let out a humorless chuckle, “That’s harsh, even for you Remy. Although I do deserve it. I really fucked up this time, didn’t I?” He watched as Remus nodded before stepping forward and hugging him from behind. Sirius closed his eyes as he felt Remus place a kiss on the back of his neck.

Stepping away, Remus said, “Clean up in here, and then meet me for lunch.”

Sirius released a breath before turning the sink on and splashing water on his face. It was going to be a long day.

HPSSHPSSHPSSHPSS


Hermione sat at the end of the Gryffindor table, pointedly ignoring the looks Ron was sending her way. She’d been ignoring him since the night they saw Harry and learned that he was Snape’s son.

She chased him down the corridor begging him to understand. “Harry can hardly help who his parents are,” she told him as they made their way out of the dungeons.
“Besides, can’t you understand that this may be good for Harry. Finally, he has an adult in his life to give a damn about him.”

Ron spun around to face her, his face turning as red as his hair. “He has US, Hermione! He has my parents, and Dumbledore, and McGonagall, and Lupin, and Sirius. What the hell is that git going to do? Take care of Harry? More like serve him up on a platter to the Death Eaters. I bet he was wearing a mask terrorizing muggles during the World Cup. Harry’s better off at the Dursleys and with two dead parents than him.”

Throughout his whole speech, Hermione felt her ire rise until it was going to suffocate her. With tears in her eyes, she lashed out and slapped him across the cheek. Ron cradled a hand to his cheek, looking at her with betrayal.

“How dare you,” she said, choking on a sob. “Harry is our friend. He single-handedly faced Voldemort and a basilisk to save your sister. And he would do the same for either of us without a second thought. Some help your parents are, they completely ignored you when you and your brothers told them about the bars on his windows. McGonagall has never once listened to us and Dumbledore sends him back there every summer. And a fat lot of good Remus and Sirius were when they up and left him this summer- Harry barely received any letters from them. Not a single one of them has helped Harry and neither have we. We know that he doesn’t get fed at the Dursleys and we’ve speculated that his punishments have gone far beyond chores, yet we’ve done nothing.

“Fuck you, Ronald Weasley. Didn’t you see how pale he looked, how ill? We’ve only seen him twice this week; he was undoubtedly in the infirmary. Harry deserves better than all of us and I for one hope he never forgives you.”


After her speech, Hermione stormed off without looking back and hadn’t spoken to him since. She made a point of sitting away from him in classes and spending all her free time until curfew in the library so she could avoid him in the common room. She even managed to convince Neville to sit at a different potions table. She knew that everyone in Gryffindor and the other houses noticed the rift between the two of them and that, compounded with the fact that Harry was missing, fueled the rumor mill like kerosene on a grill. But she didn’t mind being the center of speculation. At her muggle primary school, she usually was the subject of cruel rumors simply because the other kids didn’t like her, and tales of the trio’s numerous adventures always made their way around Hogwarts, so she paid no mind to the curious eyes that followed her.


Hermione didn’t startle or even look up from her book when two redheads suddenly sat down next to her. “Hermione my darling, my sun, my salvation,” Fred said as he put his arm around her shoulders. “You, my brother, and Harry are the talk of the House- dare I say school, George?”

“I think you may dare,” George replied as he plucked Hermione's book from her hands.

Hermione finally looked up and shot George a glare worthy of Mrs. Weasley. She felt a wave of victory and smirked when she saw George gulp involuntarily as he slowly handed her book back to her. “Thank you. I trust you’ll know better than to take a book from me again?” Her parents always compared her to Smaug when it came to books and she was quite proud of that reputation.

“Yes, yes,” Fred said, raising his hands in surrender. “We hereby pledge our undying loyalty to Hermione, keeper and defender of books, may a dog-eared page never cross your path.” Hermione made no reply, simply assessed first Fred and then George before giving a curt nod.

“I assume you two have another motive in sitting here, aside from irritating me?”

Fred and George grinned at each other. “Alas Hermione,” George said. “You are omniscient, nothing will ever escape you. We are indeed here for intel.”

“Tell us,” George continued, “Whatever did you do to our fickle Ronny-kins to have his panties in such a twist?”

“I’ve no idea what you’re talking about.” Hermione pointedly looked at her book, avoiding their gaze.

“Hermione, Hermione, Hermione,” Fred drawled. “We may not have your high marks, but you have to give us more credit than that. Anyone with two eyes can see that you had a falling out.”

“And we’re willing to bet that it has something to do with Harry being absent,” George finished.
Hermione still said nothing and merely pursed her lips.
“Come on now, Fred and I are sure that our brother is to blame. Sometimes he can really get his head stuck so far up his arse that he won’t see daylight for months. So what did he do this time?”

“Your brother is a prat and undeserving of Harry’s friendship and that’s all you need to know,” Hermione ground out in a harsh whisper.

Fred and George looked at each other, clearly not satisfied with her answer. “Is that all you’re going to give us?” George asked.

“We’re friends, aren’t we?” Fred said, not backing down as Hermione glared at him. “You and Harry are our friends and Ron, for better or worse is our brother, so don’t we deser-” he was cut off by Professor Dumbledore rising and asking for quiet.

Despite her fury at the headmaster for his treatment of Harry, Hermione was grateful for the reprieve from the interrogation as she and the redheaded twins directed their attention towards the podium.

“Good evening, students,” Professor Dumbledore started, his hands clasped lightly in front of him. “I trust that you all had a nice first week back and none of the professors were too tough on you.” He looked at Professor McGonagall, who rolled her eyes, garnering chuckles from many of the students.

“I am aware that it has not been a typical week back. We are missing two vital members of our community and that has undoubtedly led to much speculation amongst yourselves.” With this the whispers started again, and Hermione knew that everyone was discussing Harry and Snape. Hermione braced herself for the fallout; this was it-Dumbledore was going to tell everyone the truth.

“In the beginning of the week, a secret came to light. We have discovered that Harry Potter is the son of Professor Snape.” As if lighting a flame on a canister of hydrogen, the room erupted at this news. Everyone started talking with appalled looks on their faces. “What the fuck?” Hermione heard a Hufflepuff behind her say. Down the table, Seamus and Dean were insisting this must be a prank while Ron stared at his dinner plate with a scowl on his face. The Slytherins looked just as aghast as the Gryffindors were, clearly revulsed at the concept of Snape being related to the Boy Who Lived.

As Hermione peered closer though, she saw that there was one Slytherin who was not crying with outrage. In fact, the blonde kept quietly to himself much like her and Ron, as if this news was not a surprise. Why on earth would Draco Malfoy be privy to this information? Hermione had no idea, but she was determined to figure out how he knew about it.

Dumbledore cleared his throat and held up his hands, “Please settle down everyone. I know that this comes as quite a shock to you all. Professor Snape and Harry took the week off to adjust to their new roles, but will be back next week. I trust you will not hound them with questions when they return.” His gaze lingered first on the Gryffindor table and then the Slytherins. “Very well, that is all the news we have to discuss. I hope you all have a relaxing weekend.” Hermione rolled her eyes, as if anyone will have a relaxing weekend after he dropped that bombshell.

“Well, well Hermione,” she looked up at George staring at her with a raised eyebrow. “It seems you’ve been holding out on us.”

“It wasn’t any of your business.”

“None of our business?” Fred asked her. She was shocked by the serious tone his voice had taken, a tone she only heard once when he was talking about the aftermath of Ginny being taken into the Chamber of Secrets. “Harry is our friend. We’ve been worried about him these past four days, and now to find out he’s been going through this- hell if we’d known we would’ve at least sent him a toilet seat to cheer him up.”

“Well now you know, so no harm done,” Hermione said as she got up from her seat and followed the crowd of students leaving the Great Hall. She paid no mind to the stares following her but knew Harry would hate it when he returned to classes.

“Hermione, wait!” she turned around as she felt one of the twins grab her arm.

“What?” she asked, exasperated with this day, the other students, Dumbledore…Ron.

“Is Harry ok?” She took a deep breath. The middle of the hall was not the place for this conversation. She grasped Fred’s wrist and George followed as she led them into an empty classroom.

“Yes, no, I don’t know. I think he must’ve been pretty injured earlier this week. He seemed out of it on the train but brushed things off like he always does. Professor Snape seems to be treating him all right. To be honest, subconsciously I think he’s glad to have someone who cares about him.” She continued quickly, as she saw George was about to interrupt her. “I know you and your parents do. We all do- well Ronald clearly doesn’t, the git- but I think he’s glad to have someone to himself, who’s not just a professor or his friend's parents.” The twins nodded, seeming to understand.

“You’re okay with this right?” she asked hesitantly.

“You’re not going to turn on him like your brother?”
Fred clutched his chest as if she had mortally wounded him with a sword. “How little you think of us, Hermione. Of course not, Harry is our brother.”

“Besides,” George said with a devious smirk. “Think of how much we can annoy Snapey now. I’m sure Harry can sneak us into his quarters for some pranks.” Hermione rolled her eyes at their antics, leave it to the twins to already be hatching up prank plots. Secretly though, she was relieved that at least Harry had a few Gryffindors on his side.

The three made their way out of the classroom and up the moving staircases to their common room. “Bafflegab,” she gave the password and the portrait swung open. Hermione felt a headache pull at her temples as she walked towards the cacophonous din that awaited them. It seemed that everyone in Gryffindor was discussing the events of the night as loudly as they could.

“Can you believe it, Snape, the dungeon bat, Harry's father?” Colin Creevy asked Romilda Vane.

“I don’t buy it for a second, Dumbledore must be messing with us,” said a second year Hermione didn’t know.

“But what about James Potter?” Lavender Brown asked Parvati Patil. “He and Lily were soul mates. I can’t believe that Lily would cheat on him.”

“Nah mate it's true,” she heard Ron telling the other fourth year boys from across the room.

“And good riddance in my opinion. He’s done nothing but cause trouble for us over the years. I’ve nearly died twice ‘cause of him.”

Fred started clapping slowly, “Wow Ronald. How brave of you to turn on your best friend like that.” Everyone quieted as they watched the Weasley twins confront their younger brother.

“Oh come on. You can’t tell me that you still consider that traitor your friend?” Ron crossed his arms over his chest as he made his way towards them. “He’s no longer a Gryffindor, he belongs with the Snakes now. In fact, I say we kick him out.” Hermione ground her teeth as several of her housemates gave jeers of support including Seamus Finnegan.

Suddenly bats started to squeak as they flew out of Ron’s nose and began to beat around his head. Ginny stood behind him with her wand pointed. “Maybe you’re the one that should be kicked out. What happened to your Gryffindor loyalty? Wait till Mum hears about this.”

Ron's ears started to grow red, “You wouldn’t.”

“I would.” They were now nose to nose and Ginny stood glaring up at him. He was the first to look away and she directed her gaze towards everyone that cheered earlier.

Neville chose this moment to pipe up, drawing attention away from the feuding siblings. “Harry is our friend. He’s been there for all of us, led us to Quidditch victories, stood up to bullies for us. Who are we if we turn on him now? Who cares who his parents are, he’s our friend and that’s all that matters.” Her speech was met with even more cheers, but Hermione noticed more than one person keeping quiet, who didn’t look thrilled with his words.

“Well said Mr. Longbottom,” a harsh Scottish accent sounded from the fireplace. “Five points to Gryffindor for supporting a friend and housemate. Now, I expect Gryffindor loyalty from all of you,” Professor McGonagall continued, fixing her lethal stare on everyone who clapped when Ron said Harry should be kicked out. “Harry is a fellow student and Gryffindor and I expect you all to support him. He will be back on Monday and you all are to present a unified front. There will be no bullying, no jokes, no gossip, and no one is being expelled from my house without my say-so. Is that understood?” She surveyed the room as everyone gave meek nods, her eyes narrowing at certain students. “Very well. Now, I do not want to hear another word of this this weekend. The next person to say something inflammatory will be spending the week in detention with me.” With that final threat and a sweep of her robes, she left the common room.

The noise slowly returned, but did not reach the deafening quality it was at before which Hermione was thankful for. Everyone was far more subdued after their scolding. She breathed a sigh of relief. Yes, it could’ve gone much better, but it also could’ve gone far worse. For now, it seems that Professor McGonagall staved off the worst of it. At least for the weekend.
To be continued...


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