He stared sullenly out of the window of his new bedroom wondering how this had come to be. From the moment he was attacked by the Dark Lord he had been marked as The-Boy-Who-Lived, the Saviour, the one with the power the Dark Lord knows not. He was sentenced to a life of suffering in the hands of his 'family' for the first ten years of his life, then to a whirlwind of events that even he could not comprehend for the next six. He'd found friends, met his enemy, been idolized, been ostracized, become a hero, gone on adventures and had almost died multiple times – all because of a prohecy that said he was supposed to be the one to bring down Lord Voldemort. His life had been planned out from the very beginning and so he shouldn't have been surprised that it had ended in this way. He'd been offered to the Dark Lord as a way to stop the oncoming war.
"Potter..." bright green unseeing eyes stared right through the potions master as he walked into the room. The greasy dungeon bat flinched at the empty jade orbs.
"Professor," the boy nodded slightly in his direction before turning back to his view.
"Potter," he sighed as he was ignored. Better ignored than being stared at by those emotionless eyes. "Harry," he knelt in front of the boy, for that was what he was in that moment. It didn't matter that he'd grown up far too quickly to be called a boy, that he'd never had a chance to act his age because at that moment he was someone young who had gotten into something Severus would never wish on anybody. "I'm so sorry."
"It's not your fault." it was obvious he was trying hard not to cry and he was succeeding, if barely.
"No one should ever go through what you are now." the spy, a man whose loyalties are still questionable at the best of times, spoke in a voice so soft and gentle Harry could not hold on to his emotions. The betrayal of the people he considered his family, the man he looked up to as his mentor and the rest of the Wizarding World for being so fickle brought the tears hard and steady with no way to stave them off. "I'm sorry I couldn't protect you from this." the boy stayed silent, not trusting his voice should he try to speak. "I tried... but I couldn't do too much lest I raise suspicion upon both of us. I wanted to take you with me the first time I saw you in Hogwarts but the old fool stopped me at every turn. Then later on, I couldn't because I had to go back to my old job, being a spy for both sides."
"At least you tried," Harry was surprised his voice did not break. "You were always there for me." he told the man, finally looking back upon the potions master's face. "I knew you saved me from Quirrel. You disapproved of my participation in the Triwizard Tournament and you were trying to protect me when you followed me to the Shrieking Shack in third year. You were the only one who always had my best interests at heart." he smiled softly at the man who'd been a constant presence in his life. "You even brought the Order into the Ministry to try and save me this year, even if you hated Sirius for what he did to you back in school."
"H-how did you~?"
"I found mum's old journals in one of my vaults." he shrugged as he looked away once more. "I wanted a bit more freedom before I was to be sent here so I ran away just before my birthday. I stayed in an inn in Diagon Alley and spent the next two weeks in relative peace, doing the things I've been wanting to do."
"Harry, I'll always be here for you." the man's tone was nothing but sincere as he turned the boy's face back to look into the jade eyes he had inherited from his mother. "Know that I'll always be on your side."
"I know, dad." he smiled again at the man whose eyes widened in surprise. The usually eloquent man was at a loss for words, mouth agape as he stared at the boy. "Mum was already pregnant before she was forced to marry James," he shrugged as he remembered the way he had discovered it.
He sat on the single bed in the room he had been staying at for the past few days holding a leather bound journal in hand. He had stopped at Gringott's to take some money out of his vault when he was approached by his manager Griphook.
"Mr. Potter, it seems as if you have an inheritance waiting to be claimed."
"Yes, there was a letter in your mother's will stating that you should've received your inheritance by the age of eleven, right before you would've gone to Hogwarts. We've been sending you letters asking you to claim it but you never replied."
"I haven't been receiving letters of any kind." he said as he was led into a small office and offered a seat.
"I am sorry to hear that," Griphook narrowed suspicious eyes at him before smiling. "Be assured that we will open an investigation on the matter."
"Thank you Griphook."
"Now all you need to do is place a drop of blood here after you sign it." he did as asked and watched as a letter and a small key popped into existence. "It seems you have another vault to your name. Shall we inspect it?"
"Yes let's go." he was brought to the new vault where he found all of his mum's personal belongings along with the journals and a small amount of money in it. He took all the journals he could and asked Griphook to keep his visit from the Order and anyone from the school before leaving and going back to his room. He decided he would read the letter first.
Hello my son. I am your mother Lily Evans. If you are reading this letter then I am not with you anymore and I am sorry for that. I had hoped I would be able to watch you grow up into a man but alas, it was not meant to be. I've been killed by someone who wanted to take you away from me. I fear that it was not actually Voldemort that we're supposed to hate but that is a story for another time.
You are a wizard Harry. I know it may be difficult to believe but have you ever done things you wouldn't consider normal? Have you ever made things disappear when you're angry, go some place else when you're afraid or even just broken something without touching it? I know you have because you have powerful magic and yes it does exist. Both your father and I were people with magic, a wizard and a witch, and you are one too.
I want to tell you about him. When you go to school, the school we both attended, people will tell you that your father's name is James Potter and that you are Harry James Potter but this is not so. Your father is a man considered to be dark by most of our peers, has a sharp tongue and quick wit but he is also the most considerate man I have ever known. His name is Severus Snape and your real name is Hadrian Alexander Snape. He is a potions master at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, a brilliant man and the only man I have ever loved. We've been together secretly since our fourth year and married shortly after graduation but something happened and I was forced to marry James. I was already pregnant with you by then. I put a glamour charm on your birth certificate so everyone would believe that you are James' son and had you drink a potion to alter your appearance.
I know it must be confusing but I want you to seek him out once you get to Hogwarts. He will be there for you and can answer any questions you may want to ask. Do not be afraid of the front he has put up and just show him the attached parchment. He will believe you. He will always protect you so don't hesitate to come to him for whatever you might need. If I know Dumbledore correctly then you would've been brought to Petunia's after my demise, something that I never wanted to happen. I know you're a strong young man if only because I know your father so well and I hope you've taken after him.
Good luck my baby, and I hope you grow up into the man I had always hoped you'd be. I love you and I will be watching over you wherever I may be. When you see Severus please tell him I love him and that there has been no one else for me but him.
Lily Anne Evans-Snape
"My birth certificate was there with the letter and it showed you as my father," Harry told the man whose onyx orbs glistened with unshed tears. "There was a key in the other envelope and a potion. Mum said it was the antidote to whatever she made me drink to hide my identity. The key was for another vault, her own personal vault and that's where I got the journals." he reached into his robe and produced the pieces of parchment he had been speaking of. "I always keep them with me, waiting for a chance to talk to you but with everything that's been happening, I couldn't... I just didn't have..."
"Oh Harry," the parchments fluttered to the floor as Severus took his son into an embrace. It took sixteen years but now that he had the boy in his arms he wouldn't ever let go. "I've known. I always knew." he held the sobbing boy into his chest as he spoke, voice thickening with emotions he had thought to have suppressed. "I hated that you looked like my tormentor but I knew I couldn't risk your life if anyone else were to discover that you were my child."
"Dad, why is this happening to me?" Harry sobbed as the full gravity of the situation they were in hit him full force.
"I don't know Harry but we'll figure this out."
"I don't want to be Harry anymore Dad. I just want to be me."
"What are you planning to do about the Dark Lord?" Severus asked his son.
"There was something in Mum's second letter..." he trailed off and peered up at his father with glistening eyes.
"What is it son?" Harry reached into his robes once more and took a piece of parchment before showing it to his father rather reluctantly.
My baby boy,
Happy sixteenth birthday Harry! I hope by now you know who you really are. I know there are certain things that still don't add up but I will try my best to explain everything to you. First of all you should know that Lord Voldemort is not the man who killed me. He was my friend, but your father did not know this. I met him by chance when I was twelve. It was during the summer holidays and Severus had been scarce at the time for some reason. I was at the park when he first approached me and we started talking. He was a charming man and though he was a lot older than me we became friends. Somehow Dumbledore found out and he tried to stop me from continuing my friendship with Tom but I never did because I knew him for who he was. Dumbledore was once the man who had saved our world but he's changed since he defeated his own lover and kept him in prison. He wanted to take over both muggles and wizards and he'd do anything for it.
Tom is not the person Dumbledore set him out to be and I want you to know that you can trust him. I don't know the things that would've happened now that you've grown but things are not always what they seem. Just remember that Tom is not the villain. He is a friend to both your father and I.
I love you Harry. Trust only those you think you should. There are many people who would try to take advantage of you just because you are who you are. Take care my son.
"Is it true then?" Harry asked in a small voice. "Is Dumbledore really the bad guy? Is Tom really your friend?"
"Yes, the Dark Lord is my friend." Severus agreed, holding onto his son's chin and making him look at him. "But friend or not I will not allow him to hurt you in any way." his son nodded as he embraced him once more.
"Dad can I take the antidote now?" his voice was muffled by his father's robes but the potions master nodded anyway. "I just want to wake up as me."
"Are you sure?"
"Mmhmm," he mumbled. "I don't want to be Harry Potter anymore."
"Alright, but first you get ready for bed so when the transformation happens you'll be asleep." he ushered his son into the bathroom and sat on the edge of the bed as he waited. It took only a few moments before the dark haired boy was done and he walked over to his father without preamble, wearing nothing but sleeping pants. "Hadrian, what happened?" Severus could not help but ask as he stared at his son's bare chest. It was scarred and bruised but it seemed as if he didn't even notice it anymore.
"Oh, this? It's just what Vernon did to me." It broke Severus' heart to listen to his son talk about his abuse so casually but he knew there was nothing he could do about it anymore. When the time came, he will get revenge for his only child but for now they had other matters to attend to. He tucked Hadrian into bed and handed him the vial containing the dark purple liquid that would bring his true heritage out into the open.
"Are you absolutely sure you want to do this son?"
"Yes, I'm tired of being someone I'm not. At least this way I would be free to be me."
"Alright then, drink up and then get settled. The change will take a lot out of you so don't be surprised if you feel groggy in the morning." Hadrian did as he was told and then laid back on his bed smiling as his father pulled his blanket up to his chin and dropped a kiss upon his brow. "Good night my son. I'll see you in the morning." jade green eyes drooped as he succumbed to the exhaustion of the past few days.
"Love you Dad." he managed to mumble sleepily before drifting to sleep. His father smiled softly at him, heart warming at the thought that he had been accepted so quickly even though he had been horrible to his own child.
"I love you too Hadrian."
"Good morning son," his father's deep baritone cut through his sleep fogged brain. He lay in his bed, his eyes still closed and breathing deeply as he readied himself for the change in his appearance.
"How bad is it?" he mumbled drowsily, listening to his father's voice as he chuckled softly.
"You can see for yourself," Severus replied smirking in amusement. "Or you can go to sleep. No one will bother you here."
"Have you told Tom?"
"No, but then he's too busy plotting Dumbledore's demise at the moment."
"What should I do about him Dad?"
"I don't know his plans for you." Severus replied. "But I do know that he was disgusted by how quickly the Light had given you to him with the promise to stop the War."
"Will I become a slave?"
"I was not privy to the details but I will try to find out."
"You don't have to risk your life for me Dad."
"It's my job as your father and a spy."
"I don't want to lose you. I just got you."
"You won't lose me. There are still things you don't understand and I promise I will try to explain but for now you get some more rest. You can see yourself later on."
"Okay." he mumbled once more drifting off to sleep with his father's presence wrapping around him comfortably.
"Hadrian..." there was a voice calling out to him but he tried to shoo them away, whoever they were. He was still tired from the transformation although he hadn't seen his new self yet. "Hadrian, wake up."
"Go'way." he swatted at whatever was running through his hair, it made him even more drowsy while annoying him at the same time.
"You've already missed lunch, you have to eat."
"'M not hungry." he mumbled.
"Probably not but I still want you to eat something. You're skinny enough as it is."
"Want more sleep." he turned over, away from whomever was disturbing his sleep and buried his face into his pillow as he heard the door open.
"He's not getting up, is he?" it was another person, but his sleepy mind didn't recognize the voice.
"No, I've been trying to get him up for the past twenty minutes."
"~Like a log~"
"~When he can."
"~But we know~"
"What to do to wake him up."
"Oh no, it's the twins." Hadrian growled in his mind, he wanted to get up before they did something drastic but he was currently glued to his bed and no matter how much he tried he was still so tired. "I'm up, I'm up." he said in an attempt to sway them from whatever they'd managed to cook up in the last ten minutes that they'd been speaking to his father.
"No you're not." they answered him together before grinning at each other as they watched their friend roll onto his back and blink sleepily up at his father.
"Yes I..." he broke off with a yawn. "Am."
"~To get up~"
"Oh shush," Harry finally sat up but leaned back so he was leaning against the head board of the bed. "Your dual speak is giving me a headache."
"Hades?" Severus raised an eyebrow against the twins at the nickname.
"We'd always thought Harry wasn't his name." one said.
"So we decided to give him a cool nickname."
"Whatever you say," Hadrian muttered with his eyes still closed.
"Come on Hades~"
"~It's time to~"
"~get up and~"
"~wreak havoc in the manor." the grinned wolfishly at the boy on the bed.
"What do you plan on doing?" he opened his eyes slightly and stared at the two who had taken residence at the other end of the bed.
"We have some ideas." they told him together.
"Your plans will have to be put on hold for the moment." Severus said as he rose from his seat on the bed. "You need to get ready."
"Lunch, a rather late lunch," his father replied. "You can choose to take it here or outside."
"Is Tom around?"
"No, he's currently in a meeting with the rest of the Inner Circle."
"Then why are you here?"
"I was the one tasked to watch over you." Hadrian hummed in response before another thought occurred to him.
"How did you two get here?" he turned his attention to his friends who grinned back at him.
"Well that took you quite a while."
"I'm still half asleep." he glared at the twins. "Give me a break and then answer my question."
"Of course, your highness." they said together as they mock bowed at him. He simply raised an eyebrow at the pair with an eerie resemblance to his father.
"You look like him." they pointed from son to father who in turn mimicked his progeny's actions.
"He's my father. Deal with it."
"Alright Hades." the two conceded at the annoyance in his tone.
"We've been here since we left school."
"But we've been working with Tom since he came back."
"Are you marked?" both teens raised the sleeves of their shirts to show them unmarred skin.
"No, we still only bear yours."
"I understand." he smiled at the pair who grinned back at him in relief.
"Would anyone care to explain?"
"Not now Dad," Hadrian turned to his perplexed father. "Maybe later."
"Very well, now why don't you get dressed. We can eat lunch out in the garden."
"You haven't eaten?"
"I was waiting for you."
"You didn't have to do that Dad."
"I wanted to." the potions master rose gracefully from his perch on the bed and strode over to the door. "I'll be waiting in the veranda."
"Did you tell him?" George asked as soon as the door had closed behind their former professor.
"A part of it."
"Well what did you tell him?"
"That I only found out about him being my father this summer."
"But you've known since your first year!"
"What was I supposed to say? That during one of my detentions, he left and an owl came to tell him of me being his son? That I snooped in his private affairs and that's how I found out? I don't want him to be angry at me. I'm afraid I'll lose him because I lied to him for all these years. I just got him." he began to sob, his face hidden in his hands, shoulders shaking as he cried. They took their places beside him, one on either side and slung their arms around him before pulling him back down on the bed. Unknown to them, a certain dark haired, onyx-eyed man heard everything.
Severus swore the old man would pay for bringing pain to his son's life. He was the only reason why Hadrian had been sent to the Dursley's, he was the one to order Severus to tell the Dark Lord of the Prophecy, Albus Dumbledore was the puppeteer who controlled all he deemed unworthy. His robes billowed behind him as he strolled over to the veranda, snapping his fingers to call for lunch as he did. His thoughts became darker as the time passed, thinking of various ways to kill or maim the meddling old coot. He loathed how quickly Hadrian had been thrown aside with the promise of stopping the war. But then again, Dumbledore never did anything without reason.
"What are you thinking about?"
"Many things," he replied noncommitally. "We can talk after you've eaten." Hadrian pouted but sat down and began eating while the twins took their seats on either side of him. Inwardly his father was wondering about their strange relationship, there was something there but he couldn't quite figure it out yet, outwardly though he showed no expression on his face.
"Dad could you tell me about Mum?"
"What do you want to know about her?"
"What was she like before you went to Hogwarts?"
"She was kind to me, carefree and happy." his answer was quick to come, there was no need to think of the words because she had never really left his mind. "I was not very outspoken as a child due to the situation at home but somehow your mother broke through all of that. Even as a young boy I was harsh and angry most times, though Lily only ever saw the part of me that I tried so hard to keep hidden." Severus's voice was full of emotion, his eyes clouded as he thought back on the memories of the fiery redhead that was his best friend and lover. He didn't notice the twins slip away as he spoke. "She would come up with different ways of distracting me when I was in a particularly dour mood, she'd dance with me, sing for me or sometimes she would just create this whole fantasy world where there is only the two of us. We'd become lovers and have a family and live happily ever after." he snorted at that particular thought. "We at least had that part of the dream partly done. We became lovers and had a family although it isn't much of a family to begin with."
"She sounds lovely Dad." Severus looked up quite startled as if surprised to see that he had been talking to someone, as he drowned himself in his memories he had forgotten he was describing his lover to his son. "I wish I could've known her."
"She loved you even before you were born, that I am sure of." they trailed off into a comfortable silence as both got lost in their thoughts. "Hadrian, what is your relationship with the twins?"
"What do you mean?" he stared at his father in confusion, head tilted slight with his eyebrow raised in question.
"Are they your lovers?"
"What gave you that idea?" he asked incredulously.
"You seemed so intimate together."
"They're my brothers Dad." he explained. "When I first came to Hogwarts I would get these nightmares and they were the only ones who could calm me. When I wake up in the middle of the night after one I would go down into the common room and somehow they would know and they would come down as well and we'll talk until I fall asleep."
"But there's something else."
"I know you heard me. I thought you'd left but after the twins and I spoke I felt your magic still by the door."
"I'm sorry I did not mean to eavesdrop."
"I couldn't say anything to you because of Dumbledore." Hadrian told his father. "I was afraid he'd pull us apart before we even became a family."
"I'd like to ask something."
"Shoot." Hadrian amended at the raised eyebrow he received. "Sorry, muggle expression. What was it you wanted to ask me?"
"How come you didn't struggle with the thought that I was your father? After all I wasn't exactly the nicest person to be around and yet you seemed to have accepted the fact that you are my progeny."
"I've known since I was eleven so I guess that's part of it." he shrugged as he thought of the proper response. "I wanted a family and one can't exactly choose who they are born to. It didn't matter to me that you were being cruel because I knew the real reason why. Mum told me everything through her letters and her journals so I knew what to expect. I guess in a way I never saw you as anything but my father." he looked up shyly at the man who used to be his professor, jade orbs flashing slightly at the thought of being rejected.
"Well, well, well," a snide voice interrupted his father's reply. "What are you doing here Potter?" Hadrian raised his gaze from his father's but looked right past his school rival. He gave a curt nod towards the elder Malfoy before his eyes settled on the dark haired man standing just beside the regal man.
"Hello Tom." he greeted with a small smile as he let his jade orbs wander down the man's strong frame. His scrutiny obvious to his father and the man he was ogling. Tom smirked at the emotions playing out in the shining emeralds but shivered under the heated gaze.
"Hello Harry," he paused slightly. "Or should I say Hadrian?"