Everything Is Not What It Seems by RavenMooney
Summary: Severus Snape, Potions Master of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, assumed he was going to have a relaxing summer, but that all changes when an upset Lily visits him in his dream needing his help to save her son.

Reluctantly Severus checks on Harry, discovering that all is not what it seems.
Categories: Teacher Snape > Professor Snape, Parental Snape > Guardian Snape Main Characters: .Snape and Harry (required), Original Character, Other
Snape Flavour: Canon Snape, Overly-protective Snape, Snape Comforts, Snape is Loving, Snape is Stern
Genres: Angst, Canon, Family, Fluff, Hurt/Comfort, Tragedy
Media Type: None
Tags: Abuse Recovery, Adoption, Injured!Harry, Kidnapped!Harry, Snape-meets-Dursleys
Takes Place: 3rd summer, 3rd Year
Warnings: Abusive Dursleys, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Profanity, Rape
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 11 Completed: No Word count: 70032 Read: 5149 Published: 30 Aug 2023 Updated: 12 Nov 2023
Chapter 6 Madam Beaumont by RavenMooney
Early, the next afternoon, green grass flames lit the study fireplace, shortly dissipating to reveal a medium height, slender looking witch, who was at least 5ft5 inches tall, wearing navy blue dress robes that stopped just below her knees. Along with that, she wore a black pair of 3 cm heel closed toe shoes. Her curly black hair stopped just passed her shoulders, dark brown eyes with long black eyelashes. Thin lips and a small hooked nose. Her skin was a pale olive complexion and she looked as if she could be in her late thirties.

Stepping out of the floo and into the familiar looking, quiet study, the witch, clutching her black shoulder Versace handbag, she looked around the lit room, her ears twitching the sound of a quill scratching on some parchment. Turning her head to the direction of the scratching quill, the witch noticed the scratching sound had stopped. Her brown eyes were now met with the familiar onyx eyes of the wizard she was currently visiting.

"Sever......"

"Quiet! Tell me, how many scars did you see on my back when I was fourteen?" Severus asked the witch, his wand pointing at the surprised looking woman, who had taken too long to answer and he, Severus was about to stupefy the witch, but was interrupted by her answer.

"Twenty. I had accidentally seen twenty scars on your back, all received by the man ye once called father." The witch said, Severus, after a short moment of being stuck in a distant memory, occluded and narrowed his eyes at the witch before him.

Seeing that she was telling the truth, Severus gave her a small nod, lowering his wand in the process. "Not that I am happy to see you Colleen, but why are you here so early. I thought we had arranged for you to come at four......"

Severus checked the time with a flick of his wand, "it is just quarter past three." He crossed his arms in front of his chest, looking at her, like he would with his Slytherins after catching them doing something they shouldn't, like sneaking out of the Slytherin dorms after curfew.

He watched as the witch shrugged her shoulders, "well, that was before my customer's wife, Madame Labelle, floo called me to let me know that Monsieur Labelle, whom I should have been fitting in fifteen minutes, won't be able to make his appointment today as he and their two girls are currently sick with dragon pox......said he had caught the illness from their daughters. I asked how sick they were, she said that they were currently being treated in at H˘pital de Jeanne d'Arc." Colleen explained, pausing for a moment, "so, I figured, since I don't have any other appointments until yours......well, the Potter's child, then I might as well floo over here earlier than the planned time."

For a moment, Severus just stoically stood there, his face was void of any emotions as he thought about what the tailor had just told him. Raising an eyebrow, he asked, "you couldn't have floo called me before that to let me know that you were coming early?" The witch just shrugged her shoulders in response.

"Didn't think about it" was all she said

Sighing, Severus rolled his eyes upwards, wondering why he didn't just arrange for Potter to be fitted by Madam Malkin. At least she doesn't floo over without letting me know. "I could have stupefied you, you know" The tailor smirked at him, shaking her head slightly in the negative, and he, having known Colleen for years, knows that smirk. "A little warning next time" he told her, with a tone he usually reserves for naughty students. He then asked if she wanted to sit down, indicating to the couches. She nodded, playfully looking offended, that he hadn't asked earlier.
"Anything to drink, or eat?" Severus looked at the witch, as he sat down beside her. Colleen thought about it, before giving a small nod.

"Surprise me"

Nodding, Severus called his house elf. Within seconds, she popped into the room.

"Bring two mugs of chamomile and spearmint tea, Lucy, one for Colleen here, and one for myself.....and maybe a plate of shortbread biscuits if you will. That is all,"

"Yes, master Severus sir, Lucy will bring them shortly" Lucy nodded, popping out of the room again.

Comfortable with her position on the couch, beside the potions master, Colleen looked at the Hogwarts professor with a serious upon her face.

"So, what's the craic, now that ye have company here for the summer?" She asked, causing Severus to snort.

"I always, as you know, have company here at the manor" he responded seriously, knowing what she meant by 'company.'
"Yes but, you never had......well, you've never had Lily's son staying with you......"

Severus cut the tailor off, "until now"

The room fell into a deep silence as both adults thought about their friend, Lily, who was more Severus's friend, than Colleen's, but still, she knew the late witch, not as much as Severus did, that didn't mean she wasn't saddened at the loss of her friend. Deciding that the room has been silent for far too long, Severus cleared his throat.
"To tell you the truth, I haven't spent much time with Potter......"

"Potter, Sev? You call Lily's son, Potter? Why?" Colleen interrupted, narrowing her eyes at the potions master, who acted as if he didn't just hear her, and continued talking.

"…....as I should be doing......don't give me that look! I've just been busy with numerous things, sorting stuff out for next school year. I do however, plan to spend time with the boy for the rest of the holiday starting next week......as long as I get most of my work done," Severus paused, a thoughtful expression crossed his face as he thought about the few times that he has been spending with his ward. "I have however, spent some time with Pott......(Colleen sent a glare, Severus' way.)…...fine, Harry, though not a lot, but I have been helping him with his potions essay and spending meal times with the boy, trying to make conversation with him. Last week, I did spend meals up in Pott......in the guest room where Pott....." Severus held back the temptation to roll his eyes as Colleen sent another glare his way. Witches. "….... Harry's been sleeping, when he wasn't strong enough to eat downstairs, but it's not a lot of time, to know what sort of permanent home he'll be fine living in" Severus finished,

Colleen nodded at this, understanding Severus's predicament. "I am sure you'll know soon enough, Sevvie." She then looked at him with her arms folded in front of her chest, frowning and was just about to say something, when Lucy popped back into the room, Severus ordered the elf to leave the tray of mugs on the coffee table and both adults thanked the elf before Severus dismissed her from the room. "What have you been doing that is more important than your ward, well Mr Snape?" She used a serious tone, one she reserved for her three children, back in France.

Severus gave her an incredulous look, sighing shortly afterwards. Is it just the women I know, or are all witches like this?

"Lots of things. I was brewing potions last week, sending some off to Poppy, so she can re-stock her hospital wing, I had sent a batch off to Hagrid so Pott......Harry's owl will get better, I am not done brewing, but I shall finish that off later, maybe mid-August when I am back at Hogwarts, preparing for next year......Ah, also, this week, I have been busy writing up lesson plans for the first and second terms, I should be done by Monday next week, should I have no distractions. In fact, I was going to continue while you are fitting the boy this afternoon" Severus explained

Colleen sighed, wanting to tell Severus that maybe he should spend time with Harry more this week and the following weeks instead of worrying about work and planning for September. The boy was Severus's responsibility and since he had offered to be the child's temporary guardian for the summer, then he is meant to put the boy first above everything else, but she didn't tell him, knowing how offended he would easily become and she didn't want that. She loved Severus, kind of like how a sister loves their brother.

"Have you thought about where Harry's going to go Sev?" She decided to ask, having an idea in mind, but she needed to hear what Severus had to say first, lucky for her, the potions master shook his head.

"No, not right now......I will probably figure it out mid-August, depending on how long it takes for Pott......Harry to both emotionally and physically heal. Why? Do you happen to know anyone?"

Collen nodded her head, "yes Severus, I do know someone who will most certainly not hesitate to take Harry permanently in, and so do you."

The potions master looked at her with a quizzical expression, frowning as he thought about who Colleen could be thinking of. He shook his head at her, letting her know that he cannot think of anyone.

"Sean and Maggie obviously Sev,"

"Your brother Sean?" Severus asked, and Colleen nodded her head.

The study fell into complete silence again, as Severus thought about the possible couple that could take the Potter boy in. He knew them very well, in fact so well, that he thought of Sean as a brother. He nodded his head in thought, picturing the boy living with the Princes. He would see Potter quite often as sometimes, he spends the Christmas holidays with the Princes in their manor in Ireland, they currently have two children. A boy, about Potter's age, slightly older and he was sure, without a doubt that Potter and Sean's son, Emmet, would get along. Then there was their eight-year-old daughter, Roisin, who would no doubt welcome Potter into their home, the minute he stepped out of the floo. Then there was the fact that they were pregnant......

"Aren't they pregnant? I seem to recall that they were expecting their third child early next year, sometime after Christmas" Severus said, looking at Colleen for some confirmation, she nodded.

"Yes at least three months pregnant. But you know them, Sev.......I'm sure they wouldn't mind one more, in fact, they'd be fecking delighted to have Harry live with them" Colleen said, softening Severus' mood, as well as letting him know that he was over-thinking things.

The potions master sighed, nodding his head, knowing that Colleen was right. He allowed a smirk to form on his lips, "no, they'd be delighted in taking in more than one child, until they have enough children for two quidditch teams"

Collen snorted in agreement.

A serious expression took over Severus's face, "I shall think about it" the potions master said in a serious, promising tone, letting the witch beside him that he would think about her idea.

Colleen nodded, a small smirk forming on her lips.
"If they're not a suitable family for young Harry, Sevvie, I know someone else that would be great for the boy" She started, wondering if she had a death wish or something, she mentally shook her head, no, she didn't. It is just fun to get on Sevvie's nerves.

"Who?"

"Why, you of course, Sev" Colleen said, smiling at the gobsmacked potions master.
"Me?"

The tailor gave a small nod of her head, "yes Sev. Do you see anyone else in this room besides us two?"

Scowling, the potions master shook his head, he crossing his arms in front of his chest, frowning in deep thought."And pray tell, why you would even think I would be a suitable permanent guardian for Mr Potter?"

"Lily, Severus......you were friends with Lily, and later on, James. Plus, you can understand Harry more than any other person you or Albus suggest"

Sighing, Severus nodded his head in agreement, but he didn't say anything in response, just sat there in silence, imagining what it would be like if he did indeed take the boy in, permanently. He knew, of course, if it came down to that option, he would become Potter's permanent guardian, but that is only as a last resort if he and Albus cannot find anyone who could take the boy in. Luckily, they had until next year to decide. Of course, if they haven't found anyone by September, then he, Severus would continue being Potter's guardian. For he, nor Albus wanted Potter to wind up as a ward of the ministry as it would then become easy for people like Malfoy to get guardianship of the boy and possibly......no, Severus did not want to think about what Lucius would do with Potter, Lily's son and his ward, if he was given the chance.

Lost in their own thoughts, both adults, in synchronised movements, picked up the mugs of chamomile and spearmint tea, taking small sips, after blowing to cool the tea down a bit. Colleen, having a few sips of the relaxing tea, reached forward again, picking up a shortbread biscuit to dip into her mug, enjoying the taste. She turned her head in the direction of the potions master, looking at the familiar, misunderstood man next to her.

"How has work been Sev? I mean I know all about the events that happened at Hogwarts in the previous two school years, having been told by Daddy and Sean.......I just want to know how you managed with Voldemort.......(Severus flinched, glaring at her)…....sorry Sev, forgot," she sent an apologetic look to the potions master, " with You-Know-Who, trying to regain his physical body, twice?" She finished

Gaping like a Grindylow, Severus just stared at her, wondering how on earth he was going to respond to that. He thought back to the previous two years at Hogwart. The first year, at the start of Potter's first year at Hogwarts, the Dark Lord was hiding out in the back of Quirrrell's head and only just last term, memory Dark Lord had almost regained his physical body if, for unknown reasons, Miss Ginerva Weasley, they youngest Weasley, succumbed to death down in the chamber of secrets, then he would have been back. How he was defeated as well as the Basilisk that was using the pipes, Severus did not know, something Dumbledore had for some strange reason, refused to tell him how the Dark Lord was stopped.

Severus had an idea and knew that Potter had something to do with both events, since he was in the Hospital wing during those events, but he just didn't know what Potter's involvement was with stopping the Dark Lord trying to regain his body, twice at Hogwarts. He sighed, looking at Colleen with a truthful expression on his face.

"To tell you the truth Colly, I am positive, that I know just as much as you do about the events. Both times, Albus refused to tell me the whole story of what happened in the time that the Dark Lord was stopped from regaining his body" Severus said, catching the smirk forming on the tailor's face.

What does she know that I don't? And most importantly, why would Albus tell her........well her father, Des, instead of me, his loyal spy for the light?

"Alright, spill it, Colly. What do you know?"

Still smirking, the tailor shook her head a little, knowing very well why the headmaster of Hogwarts hasn't fully told the potions master all that much with what happened last term and the year before that, and she knew that if she told Severus the headmaster's reason why, he would outright deny it.

Disappointed that she wouldn't tell, Severus decided to try a different approach, hoping beyond hope that he could out Slytherin another, older Slytherin. He allowed a small, sly smirk to form on his lips as he looked slyly at the tailor. Luckily, for him, she instantly recognised the smirk and what it meant. He watched as the tailor frowned in thought.

"And just what are you smirking slyly about, Mr Snape?" She asked in a mocking classroom tone, which sounded, scarily like Severus's, only if she was a professor herself, the students would be less intimidated by her. Not to mention her height, some students would take advantage of that if they were taller than her.

Still smirking slyly, the potions master casually responded, "Oh nothing, Colly, I was merely thinking about that memory of you, that I have stored away in my pensieve, you know that Christmas in my fifth year, when you were singing.......hmm, what was that song called again?"

The tailor stared at the potions master with a confused look, but then her cheeks blushed red, now remembering what memory Severus was talking about. One she wished, her family and friends would just forget and never bring it up again, she held back a sigh, not letting Severus win just yet. He's not the only Slytherin here.

Keeping quiet for now, the tailor just glared at the smirking potions master, daring him to continue. He did, while continuing to still smirk.

"Ah that's it, Silent Night, if I recall......oh, weren't you drunk as well? Yes, I think you were. I wonder what your customers shall think when I tell them, the next time I see them," Severus could go on, but he chose not to and just decided to wait a moment or two for Colleen to snap. He wasn't disappointed.

He heard the witch letting out a defeated sigh. "Fine, I shall tell you why Albus didn't give you any more information than you already know. Only if you promise to never bring that memory up again, Sev.....and no, do not tell any of my customers about that memory" she said, glaring at the potions master, letting the professor know that she was being a hundred percent serious.

Severus nodded, promising not to tell the tailor's customers about the memory. Only if she doesn't bring up any embarrassing memories of myself. Severus added, silently to himself. He then took several small sips of his tea, listening carefully to his friend as she told him the headmaster's reason for not revealing all of the information about the previous two events.

"Alright Severus, I shall tell you, but please listen until I am finished, then you may react in any way you want. Just as long as you don't go making me deaf." The witch started, Severus was about to protest, saying that he would not act in such a way that would make her deaf, or close to that, but one look at Colleen, told Severus that he better promise her and do what she wanted, otherwise, he would not be told about anything.

Sighing, the potions master, nodded again. "I promise." Was all he said, before he occluded his mind.

******

Hearing Severus promise, Colleen nodded, thinning her lips in thought. Thinking of Albus's reason for not telling the man beside her, the full story. She bit back a smirk from forming on her lips, occluding her mind in the process, telling herself that she needed to be serious now. Later, and only after she has told Severus, then she could smirk at the man's reaction.....that is when he finally calms down.

She glanced at the mug the potions master was holding in his hand. "You might want to put that down, while I am telling you" she indicated at the mug in Severus's hand.

Frowning, the professor shot her a confused look, but seeing the serious look on her face, he complied and put the half empty mug back down atop of the coffee table. He leaned back in the chair, occluding, he nodded at Colleen, to let her know that he was now ready and that she could start with her explanation. I just hope it isn't too bad.

It was.

Throughout the whole of Colleen's long explanation as to why the headmaster had never told Severus the full extent of the two events that happened last term and the previous year, his nostrils were flaring, but he kept occluding, telling himself to breathe and calm down and to listen to the rest of what his friend had to say. When she got on to telling him about the chamber of secrets and what happened with that, he, Severus, couldn't sit still for another second and ended up pacing the length of his study and back again, reigning in his anger that he so wanted to unleash.

Foolish, foolish, reckless, stupid impulsive Gryffindor.

Halting mid-pace, Severus stopped to look at the tailor when she had finished speaking. Reigning in his temper as best as he could, Severus, with a raised tone, asked, "Are you done?" He watched as Colleen gave a small nod.

"Yes Sev, I'm done. Want to talk......" She was interrupted when the potions master stalked towards the study door. "Severus, what are you doing?" She asked, though she had a pretty good guess where he wanted to go right now.

In a flash, she was on her feet and over by the potions master, her hand on the potion master's shoulder, ignoring the flinch. As if reading her mind, Severus stopped moving another step, though he didn't turn around to face his long-time friend. "You cannot confront him, like this Sev......you'll do more harm than good" she said in a calm tone. She glared when the man before her, snorted, and though Snape couldn't see her glare, he felt guilty.

"Sure I can" the professor said, shrugging the hand off his shoulder, turning back round to look down at the still glaring tailor who now had her arms crossed in front of her chest, "after all, he is my ward, isn't he not?"

Colleen nodded at that, but shook her in response to the rest of what Severus had just said. In response, the tailor responded in the same calm tone as before. "Yes, he is your ward Sev, but that doesn't give ye the right to storm into, Merlin only knows where he is, only to yell at him......possibly fecking scaring him in response and......" She glared at the potions master when he rolled his eyes.

"I will not scare him, it is not my intention to......" Severus paused, his facial expression, much calmer than a moment ago, "…....I merely want to ask him his side of the events" as well as dish out punishment to the foolish, reckless boy! Severus added to himself, through gritted teeth. Occlude, Severus.

The potions master glanced down at the tailor who looked at him with an incredulous eyebrow raised. "And how are ye going to do that?"

Feeling his heart rate decreasing back to its normal rate, Severus sighed, running a hand through his silky, recently-washed, hair. Why did the boy have to inherit his father's recklessness?

"Fine.......how do you propose I should confront the boy about his side of the events?" Severus calmly asked, his Snape inherited temper reigned in.

The tailor's lips thinned in thought, lost in a memory as she looked at the man she had grown up with. "You wait, wait until the time is right for you to confront him.......or until he decides to come to you to talk about it. If he hasn't, then I would suggest you wait until you know you can keep your head on," she added as an afterthought, knowing how predictable the potions master's temper can be.

Silence ensconced the room once again, as Severus thought about what Colleen had just said. After some thinking, he reluctantly sighed, nodding in agreement, knowing that she was, once again right. Blasted Albus for keeping this from me!

If there was one thing, Severus loved about Colleen, it was the fact that she knew how and when to change topics, which is something that she did this very moment. Her way of distracting the potions master from his many thoughts about the philosopher's stone and the chamber of secrets, as well as the one boy that was involved with both events. She decided to distract Severus, with asking about how his brewing was coming along and if he had discovered any interesting, new potions to brew. His reply to both, was a no.

The professor then asked her about how her life was going back in Paris and how her three daughters and her husband were getting along. She nodded, saying that all was going well, telling him that her husband has gotten promoted and is now the senior undersecretary for the French Minister of magic. She mentioned that her eldest daughter, Camilla, will be starting her sixth year at Beauxbatons, come September.

Severus raised a surprised eyebrow at this statement, his face showed no other emotion as he silently calculated the last time he had visited Colleen and her family in Paris.

"Has it really been that long Colly? The last time I visited, your eldest was starting her first year at Beauxbatons." Colleen nodded, telling Severus that it has been that long, adding that it has been even longer that he had visited everyone in Ireland. During this, Severus took out his wand, checking the time. He glanced over at the witch, patiently waiting for her to finish speaking. When she did, all he said was, "I am sorry Colly, but we will have to finish this discussion another time, it is ten minutes to four." Severus put away his wand. "Lucy"

Lucy popped in, asking her master what he wanted. "Find and fetch Mr Potter for me if you would, tell him that it is time for his fitting appointment and that he is to meet us down here in my study. Understood? Good, then you are dismissed." Severus turned to see Colleen ready to use her wand to unshrink a stool that she had just taken out of her bag and placed down on the floor.

"Allow me" he said, taking out his wand again and using the reverse spell for the shrinking charm. The stool grew back to its normal size.

"I could have done that myself Sev" she huffed, putting her wand back into her pocket, she then proceeded to take out some other items, that Severus instantly recognised as part of her tailoring equipment; a wizarding measuring tape, clipboard with some parchment clipped onto to the board, and obviously her, common kingfisher feather self-writing quill, one she's had now for almost two years. It was the very same quill that Severus had bought and given to her as a birthday present, the last time she had come to tailor some clothes for a Slytherin first year student of his, a student that, he, Severus had also been guardian of for half the year, until he had found a suitable family for the student.

*****

It felt like forever, but finally, a tired young Gryffindor boy bit back a yawn, that was threatening to escape, as he stopped in front of the door. Wanting nothing than to just go back up to the library where he could continue to have a rare, pleasant snooze, he knew he couldn't and so with reluctance, Harry reached up a shaking hand, timidly knocking on the door with his fist.

He flinched back when the door opened to reveal the stoic potions master, who just stood there with his arms crossed in front of his chest. expecting to see an angry look upon Snape's face, or at least a sneer, but looking up, he didn't see neither.

Instead he only saw the professor looking at him with a raised eyebrow and was leaning against the door.

"You are late" Snape stated calmly, his penetrating onyx eyes bore into Harry's, causing said boy to avert his emerald ones to the floor. "Why?"

Shrugging his shoulders, Harry looked back up at Snape. "Sorr......sorry sir, I......I um, got lost," he responded, bitting his bottom lip.

"What did I say about biting your lip?" Snape snapped, causing Harry to flinch back a step or two, away from the man. He also averted his eyes back to the ground, only to glance back up when he thought he heard the professor sigh.

"Come, we are wasting time standing here." The professor stepped back from the door, motioning with his head for Harry to enter the room.

Not needing to be told twice or make Snape any more annoyed than he already sounded, Harry, with some hesitation, entered the study. Stopping short when his eyes landed on a young look witch, looking at least in her late twenties, causing his jaw to drop in shock and for a moment or more, he became oblivious to the fact that Snape, his most hated professor was also in the room, that was until he heard the familiar snarky tone of the potions master.

"Close your mouth Mr Potter, you look like a Grindylow,"
Feeling his cheeks blushing red, Harry, not needing to be told twice, closed his mouth. Frowning in confusion, shortly afterwards when he recalled what creature Snape said that he looked like. The Gryffindor boy turned his head to look at the potions master with a confused facial expression.

"Sir, um.....what's a um.....Grindy....."

"A Grindylow Mr Potter?" Snape interrupted

Harry gave a small nod, wondering if he had made a mistake in asking the professor a stupid question. It's probably something everyone in the wizarding world knows already. To his surprise, Snape, after a good few minutes or more of silence, the potions master answered Harry's question and told the boy what Grindylows are.

"In answer to your question Mr Potter, Grindylows are small, horned, sickly green dark water creatures. You will most likely find them in lakes all over Great Britain and Ireland, if you do, I suggest you swim as fast as you can and possibly use your wand......using the revulsion jinx. The jinx, when used, releases a jet of fiery purple sparks at the target, if used underwater, the spell fires boiling water at the target......" For a moment, both Harry and the witch in the room, thought Snape was finished with his explanation of Grindylows, and Harry was about to say something in response about the water creatures, but he heard Snape continue.

"They mainly survive on algae, small water creatures and of course fish.....though rare, but they have been found eating humans......Grindylows are aggressive the only ones that have been known to tame the dark water demons, are Mer-people." Snape finished,

And Harry's mouth formed an 'O' shape. "Sir, I....I still don't get how I look like a.....grindylow?"

Snape's lips formed into a smirk.

"It is a common expression that.....my grandmother Snape, I believe, used to tell me when I was younger. It is a common wizarding expression, a bit like the muggle expression, 'close your mouth, you look like a trout.' Expression or the other muggle phrase, 'close your mouth, you'll catch flies."

"Oh," a thoughtful look crossed the young Gryffindor's face as he thought about what exactly Snape had told him in less than a minute. The sound of the professor clearing histhroat, pulled Harry out of his train of thoughts.

"Sir?"

The potions master rolled his eyes upwards before glancing back at Harry with an exasperated look. "I asked if you wanted a drink or something before we get started with the introductions?"

Harry hesitated, sure he was shaking, lying to himself that it was just cold in the room, not saying anything, he shook his head no, responding to the potions master that he was fine and didn't want a drink. The professor narrowed his eyes at him, before giving a small nod, taking this as his cue to begin the introductions.

"Coll.....(Snape cleared his throat)…....Madame Beaumont, this is my ward, Mr Harry Potter." The professor indicated to the raven haired boy, he then turned to look at his ward, "and Mr Potter (the potions master rolled his eyes) Harry, this is Madame Colleen Beaumont, she will be the tailor who will be fitting you this late afternoon" Snape introduced

The tailor nodded at Harry, giving him a warm smile, gently taking hold of Harry's hand to shake. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Harry.....you don't mind me calling you Harry, do you? I don't usually call my customers by their first name, but you, I can make an exception for. After all, I knew your mother, of course, not as well as Sev.....over there did, but she was considered as one of my friends when......"

Snape cleared his throat again, this time it was too cut off the witch from her rambling, and Harry was sure that if Snape hadn't decided to do so, then they'd be here all the way to the next century.

"As much as this chat is ever so......pleasant, Madame Beaumont, but right now you are here to tailor Mr Potter, not to chat about everything that pops into your mind. You may, if you have time afterwards, talk to the boy" Harry heard Snape say.

The tailor, after shooting the potions master a glare, scowling at the man, she gave Harry a warm look. "This way Mr.....Harry," she said, gently placing a hand on the back of the boy, ignoring his flinch, she guided him over to a small cherry wooden, round stool that she had stood in the middle of the room, just by the professor's desk. She helped the scrawny looking boy up, feeling him shaking under her touch. He felt far too warm.

Maybe he's coming down with something. Colleen shot the professor a certain look, who, luckily was quick to notice.

Summoning his house elf, Severus ordered the creature to bring back a glass of cool water for the boy, she nodded her head, popping back out again, Lucy popped back in with the requested glass of water, handing the boy the glass.

Severus told the boy in a firm but gentle tone that the drink is meant for him and he should have a sip or two. When it looked like the boy wasn't going to drink it, Severus was about to say something else, but was beat to it by Colleen and whatever the witch told the boy, the potions master could see that it had worked and though he felt a small pang in his chest that Potter didn't yet trust him fully, Severus was just glad that the boy was drinking the drink.

As the professor was currently leaning against his desk, with his arms folded over his chest, Severus looked back at the exchange between his ward and Colleen. He heard a few bits and bobs of Colleen explaining how she will be fitting him and what the items that she would be using are called. He watched as the tailor used her wand, flicking it at the boy and within an instant, Potter's over-sized, baggy clothes, no longer looked as if they would fit a baby Killer Whale and were now sitting comfortably on the boy. The way they should have been, if the blasted muggles had a heart.

Severus snorted at the confused, shocked expression Potter kept giving both he and Colleen, while said witch was using her wizarding measuring tape, something that had caused Potter to flinch when he saw the measuring tape in the witch's hand and didn't allow her any closer until he felt safe again and knew that she wasn't going to hurt him. Of course, Severus would have stepped in and reassured the boy that she wasn't going to hurt him with the tape, but he knew after many times watching Colleen reassure his abused students that she wouldn't hurt them, that she could certainly handle Potter.

Deciding that he might as well relieve the boy of his thoughts, as Severus was a hundred percent sure that if he didn't intervene, the boy will no doubt have a headache. He nodded at the boy when he caught the boy looking at him once again.

"In answer to your silent question Mr Potter, yes, Madame Colleen Beaumont and I, are indeed related. She is my maternal first cousin, my mother, Eileen Prince Snape is the sister of Colly's father, my uncle, Desmond Prince." Severus explained, using his teaching voice.

The boy frowned in confusion, looking at the potions master and the tailor. He eventually nodded his head, no doubt seeing the resemblance, much clearer, between both adults in the room. Potter looked at Severus once more, a small shy smile forming on his lips, "you......you um, do look alike, sir"

Nodding in silent agreement, Severus rolled his eyes at his smirking cousin. That can't be good.
"Ye know Harry, if ye want, I can tell you some stories about Sev, here later. After I've finished fitting ye?" The witch, who was up to no good, suggested,

Luckily, Severus thought, noticing the unsure look Potter sent his way, that I have terrified my students enough to not want to hear any embarrassing stor......

"I......I'd like that ma'am.......I mean, Colleen"

Blasted Gryffindor bravery! Severus mock glared at both his cousin and his ward. His expression changed though at the slight of the boy flinching, also noticing that Potter looked as if he could collapse any moment.....hmm, he wondered at that, wondering if he should give the boy a pepperup potion or something, considering how tired the boy looks.

I'll see how he is later, maybe send him to bed once Colly has finished fitting him. He nodded, agreeing with that idea, knowing a nap might help the boy, and while that would be happening, Severus knew that he could also work out what is wrong with Potter, maybe floo call Poppy later, have her come to check on the boy.

This time it was Severus's turn to smirk, recalling of the embarrassing memory he had stored in his pensieve, one he could offer to show the boy sometime. He glanced at the tailor, then at the boy. Yes, I think I shall definitely do that. He smugly thought to himself.

"If you want Po....Mr Potter, I can tell you some stories about Madame Beaumont, that will be far more interesting for you than the stories she'll no doubt tell you," Seeing the boy looking uncertain and catching Colleen smirking at him, Severus added, "in fact, I can tell you one right now......no wait, I can show you the memory later Mr Potter, after Colleen here is finished with your fitting, as it is much entertaining to watch than being told,"

"Severus!" Colleen scowled, cutting her cousin off, glaring at the smirking man. She was now standing back up on her feet, her arms folded against her chest and her eyes never leaving the potions master, "you will not show that memory to anyone"

The evil smirk on the potions master's face disappeared and Severus sighed, "very well, as I have said earlier today Colly, I shall not show that memory to anyone......" The potions master smirked again, adding, "unless you do something that results me to show someone the memory"
Instead of replying to her smirking cousin, Colleen ignored the man, turned her back to him and faced the boy again. She kneeled back down, measuring the boy's calves. It wasn't long until she was finished, and with a flick of her wand and muttering a spell, the price for what Severus owed, floated in the air at her eye level. Dark brown eyes scanned the price in silence, she then turned her back to the floating numbers, looking at the potions master.

"Usually it would be five hundred galleons, Mr Snape, but due to you wanting to pay with the family discount, it is now eleven galleons, and one knutt," Colleen said, pausing for a moment, before asking, "how do you wish to pay?"
Severus, standing up right and leaning away from his desk, gave the witch a look, meaning, 'do you really need to ask that?'

A small gasp bought him out of his thoughts and Severus turned his head in the direction of the gasp, he rolled his eyes at the very readable expression on the boy's face. Looks like I shall be having another chat with the boy today. Severus thought, about to say something, but the boy, for once, beat him to it.

"That's a......you can just take the......."

"Quiet Mr Potter, I'll handle this" Severus interrupted the boy,

"But......" Potter started again, but shut his mouth when the potions master gave him a known glare.

"You are the child Mr Potter, I am the adult, your guardian, therefore, I shall be the one to pay for the clothes......as well as any other necessities that you need." Severus said, swearing to himself and silently to both Lily and James that he would make the boy understand that the money in his vault is for when he finishes Hogwarts or even later on after that, not right now though, when he should be counting on adults capable of providing for him. Giving his ward one last glare, he turned to look back at Colleen, replying to the witch, "with my wand of course, Madame Beaumont" he took out his wand, knowing exactly what to do.

Colleen nodded, she pointed her wand behind her at the floating numbers, flicking her wrist, resulting to the numbers shortly appearing on the next blank space on the parchment clipped to the clipboard, she flicked her wrist again, this time at her self-writing quill, cancelling the charm before summoning it to her waiting hand, pocketing it shortly after it landed. The witch did the same with her clipboard and parchment, but instead of putting them inside her pocket, she handed it over to Severus.

"Ye know what to do" was all she said as the potions master took the board and parchment from her and with a double tap with his wand, under the price, his name appeared, shortly followed by a small green tick. Without hesitation, Severus handed the board and parchment back to Colleen who banished it back into her Versace handbag.

Severus glanced over at the boy who still stood on the stool, holding in his hand, the glass of water, that looked as if the boy hasn't yet drunk out of it, which he did, small sips only, Severus saw with his own eyes. "Finish your water Mr Potter, I do not want to have you collapsing from dehydration.....it can get very stuffy in some parts of this manor sometimes during summer," Severus told the boy, firm, but gentle.

Potter slowly nodded, swaying a little, luckily Colleen was nearby and steadied the boy before he could fall and injure himself. She offered to help him down, something Severus would have done, but decided to let her handle the boy, for he knew she would be like a mother bear when it comes to children, any child, well the abused, ones that Severus brings over to his manor or into his living quarters if the abuse is that bad where they need his undivided attention, and shown that they are not alone in the world.

It is much harder to give them the right amount of attention when school was in session as he had to deal with many other issues as well. In the past, Collen has always fussed and coddled the students of his that she meets, smothering them....a bit like a younger version of Molly Weasley, he smirked, wondering what she would think if he told her that.

The amount of times Colleen would never allow him close enough to assess his own previous temporary wards, Severus eventually got used to it and allowed the witch to fuss over them, at least she makes up for that motherly warmth affection that the children aren't usually used to.

Severus sighed, letting his mind wonder, thinking about the Slytherins he has discovered do not live a happy life and wondering how most of them were doing, the ones that he has found homes for and the ones that, due to their abusers influence in the ministry, he cannot take them out of their unloving environments, mostly because their parents are followers of the Dark Lord and they would have Malfoy senior to back them up and with Malfoy's power over the Minister of magic, well, even if Severus was technically part of the Prince family and his uncle to back him up, Malfoy and the abusive Death Eaters would win without a doubt......

A loud pop in the room distracted Severus from his ongoing thoughts. Looking in the direction of the sound, Severus saw Lucy had arrived back in the room, standing by the couch. What, was unexpected however, was the sight that greeted him. Severus, who had been standing by his desk for quite some time now, made his way over to the couch to where his cousin, Colleen was currently sitting down, a collapsed Potter laying across the couch, the back of his head, currently being supported by Colleen's lap.

"What happened?" He asked, totally out of it, his eyes scanned the boy which is when he noticed what was covering Potter's body. Frowning in confusion and wondering why he had forgotten about the wounds and bruises that had somehow completely vanished from Potter's body, Severus' eyes widened when he saw a couple more wounds and bruises re-appearing all over Potter's body as if they had never left.......

Glamours!

The blasted boy was wearing a glamour charm!

Severus noticed other things he had not seen before, black circles underlining Potter's eyes, the boy's face becoming paler as the charm slowly wore off due to the boy collapsing from extreme fatigue, red marks that weren't there before appeared all over boy's body.

Potter's ribs.......well, from what the two cousins could see, the blasted, foolish boy looked as if he hadn't eaten in days, which Severus knew that wasn't the case as he, himself was eating in the dining room for every meal with Potter, so that left.......Severus inwardly seethed, not at all sure who he was angry with. Himself, for not checking on the boy earlier on, Dumbledore for sending the boy there, the Dursleys for doing this to the boy, Potter for disobeying and lying to him, already breaking two rules, or himself, again, for being too hard on the boy in the previous years at Hogwarts.

He assessed the vials of potions Colleen had obviously summoned Lucy to bring, beside them on the coffee table, was a ceramic bowl filled with warm water and a cloth soaking the water in. Severus told his house elf to fetch Madam Pomfrey right away, knowing that the medi-witch wouldn't be visiting her family until sometime next week. When the elf nodded, popping away to do what she was instructed to do, Severus glanced at Colleen and together, both adults currently in the room worked on healing Potter's wounds that had unfortunately reopened, as well as used the aloe vera paste to rub some into the bruises.

It wasn't long until Lucy popped back into the study with Poppy in tow, who didn't take long to assess the situation. Her once gentle eyes, not seeing the tailor, Poppy's blue eyes turned into fury towards the potions master, who had the audacity to sit there and heal the boy. Without neither cousins to explain the situation, she pounced, (verbally) at the potions master.
To be continued...


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