Unexpected Truce

Behold Your Son

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter

A special thanks to The Lonely God With a Box for beta'ing my story.

A/N: I would like to thank everyone for your kind words. They were very much appreciated. I hope you enjoy this chapter. :)

Chapter 36

Severus sat on the couch holding a now sleeping Harry in his arms. Not long after Severus made his claim to always be there for him, the child fell asleep. Severus found that it didn't even bother him that he had become attached to the child. The fourteen year old boy, who was draped over his chest, sitting on his lap, was a comfortable burden he was willing to take on. Absently rubbing soothing circles on the child's back, Severus didn't notice someone walking towards them. Not until that someone was standing directly in front of them.

Snape.”

Looking up, Severus' grip tightened on the sleeping child as he sneered at the intruder standing before him.

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Aberforth walked from behind the bar holding two shot glasses of Firewhiskey. Albus was sitting at one of the tables with his head in his hand. He had already banished Greyback and Bellatrix from the bar before they regained consciousness. Aberforth sat across from his brother and slid one of the shot glasses towards him.

“So.” Aberforth's voice was no where near as harsh as it was earlier that evening. “What are you going to do?”

“I honestly don't know,” Albus sighed. He took a sip of the Firewhiskey, grimacing as it burned slightly going down his throat.

“So, you're giving up?” Aberforth raised an eyebrow.

Albus' brow creased as he looked up at his brother. “No, I'm not giving up. There is one other thing I can try and will ensure Harry's devotion to me.”

“And what is that?” Aberforth asked, leaning back in his chair.

“A Magical Bonding.”

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What are you doing here?” Severus sneered, holding Harry tighter.

He reached in his sleeve and couldn't help and mutter a curse when he realized that his wand was not there. That didn't stop his willingness to protect Harry if it came to it.

The man smirked at how Severus' body language showed that he really did care for the child.

I didn't come to fight.”

So, you've come to torment me some more, Potter. Didn't get enough in life that you have to come even still after death and still torment me?”

James walked over to the table across from Severus and sat down.

Like I said, I'm not here to fight. I'm actually here to say I'm sorry. You're a better man than I was.”

What are you talking about?”

You're watching over my son.” James had sad smile when he looked at the boy draped over Severus, Harry's arms just barely on the man's shoulders, his head nestled under his chin. James could see the content, peaceful look on his son's face.

I despise your son,” Severus spat out.

You do realize that Harry is currently in your arms as we speak, and you have yet to loosen your grip upon him,” James smirked. “I have been watching, and I know that, even though you try to hate my child because he resembles me, you still repeatedly saved his life.”

Severus snorted at the insinuation. He might care for the child now, but that didn't mean that he did the first four years at Hogwarts.

I did what any other Professor would do,” Severus dismissed.

Don't sell yourself short, Snape. You can lie to yourself and to others, but you cannot lie to me. I'm already dead. I can see your heart. You went above and beyond to save my son. Your past and his lineage be damned.”

Absurd.” Severus shook his head.

Tell me, Severus,” James said crossing his arms over his chest. “How do you feel about Quidditch?”

A barbaric game that doesn't need to be at a school,” Severus answered quickly, without even thinking of the answer first.

A barbaric game, you say?” James nodded. “And yet, in Harry's first year, you refereed. I wonder, why was that?” Severus narrowed his eyes, looking at his former nemesis. “You don't like the sport. And from the first game, where Gryffindor was against Slytherin, you made yourself more than capable to watch out for Harry and protect him from being knocked off his broom.”

Alright, so I wanted to make sure he would be alright in the next game. Again, what any other Professor would do.”

What about his third year?” James asked.

What about it? The wretched brat hexed me.”

The same 'wretched brat' that you have still yet to put down. You are still cradling said wretched brat protectively in your arms.” James had a full smile on his face, trying to suppress his laughter.

Severus pursed his lips at the mirth on James. He looked down at the child in his arms, but still didn't have the heart or the will to remove his arms. Severus looked back up at James and saw the smile that, at one point in his past, would be followed by his, Severus Snape's, expense and humiliation. Readying himself for an onslaught of hurtful insults, Severus eyed the man across from him. After sitting in silence for a few minutes, Severus spoke up.

What do you want?”

I'm trying to tell you something. Trying to finish what you and my son started, but you have to be honest with yourself for this to work. You are a formidable wizard. And there is no one that I would be more honored to stand by my son for the life that he is about to face. You may be brash, a little rough around the edges, but I know that you care for my son. I know you will watch out for my son.”

Severus listened to what James was saying still every so often looking down at Harry and back to his father.

Now,” James said, bringing Severus out of his musing. “Third year. You said that he hexed you, but you still shielded him along with his friends from Moony.” Tilting his head to the side. “Why?”

Severus really didn't have an answer for that. Yes, he was more than furious that Harry had hexed him, but he couldn't in good conscience stand by and let Lupin attack them, no matter how much of an insufferable brat Harry could be. Severus looked down at the sleeping boy in his arms. Harry stirred a little, not waking, but moving just enough to ensure that he was still safe before nuzzling more into Severus' neck. James couldn't keep the small smile off of his face watching his son slumber, completely relaxed against his protector's chest. Now all James had to do was to get Severus to admit that he was Harry's protector.

James didn't wait for an answer before he asked one more.

Why did you protect Harry from Karkaroff?”

Severus looked at James. He remembered exactly why. He hadn't trusted Karkaroff. He had been pestering Severus about the Dark Mark for months. The Potions Master had been trying to avoid the man for weeks, especially after their talk during the Yule Ball.

Well, that particular night, the Drumstrang Headmaster cornered Severus in one of his Potion store cupboards. They had a heated discussion till Igor pulled up his sleeve to show the dreaded tattoo. Like Severus needed a reminder of what the Mark looked like. All but physically kicking Igor out of his store room, Severus remembered being slightly amused at the appalled look on Karkaroff's face when he realized that he was being dismissed. Slightly tightening his hold on Harry, Severus thought about how Harry had the worst timing in the world. At the same time, he was just coming from wherever, and Igor leaving at the same time. They met in the hallway. He towered over Harry and Severus knew they locked eyes with each other. Now, having a history with Igor, Severus knew that if Igor didn't get what he wanted, he would throw a tantrum. And those said tantrums were usually disastrous for some poor bystander, not for the person or persons that upset him. That night, Snape remembered, he knew Harry was going to be that bystander. He could not have that.

Seeing Harry in the hall walking in the same direction as Karkaroff had headed, Severus narrowed his eyes at the boy. He knew he needed to delay him somehow.

James leaned forward and placed his hand on the back of Harry's head, letting his fingers get lost in the locks of his son's hair.

Severus,” James whispered, bringing Severus out of his musing. “Like I've told you, I know your heart. I know the real reasons you did what you did. I'm trying to get you to stop lying to yourself. Once you do that, you can truly protect my son. He has Lily's forgiving heart. Whatever you two may have felt about each other before, that's nothing. When Harry forgives, he forgives wholeheartedly.”

And how would you know that?” Severus sneered.

Because it's the same thing Lily did. You do know that she forgave you, right?” Severus looked at James in confusion. “She went looking for you. She wanted you to meet Harry. Everything.”

Why are you telling me this?” Severus snapped, cutting James off.

James sighed. “You and Harry started some very powerful bonding magic. This bond is equal to the bonds between a parent and child. I'm here to complete it, but first I must get you to listen.”

Listen to what?” Severus asked.

To your heart,” James answered. “Right now, you're struggling. And you're letting your damned pride get in the way of what your heart is trying to tell you. I asked you those questions so that you can be completely honest with yourself. I know you care for Harry. Your body language tells it all, but you're fighting it in your head. If you're worried about rejection, don't be. Like I said, Harry is like Lily in that respect. But if you require further proof that Harry will not ever reject you, then look down. Look at the boy in your arms. Look at my son. He's not clinging to just anyone. He's clinging to you. He is, as we speak, displaying to utmost trust someone that someone can show. He is currently unconscious, laying against your chest with his hands in fists, gripping your clothes. He feels safe, secure. Which, as long as Lily and I have been watching him, he has not felt like this. Ever. It hurt Lily and I so much that we couldn't protect Harry, but now, he has someone. He has you.”

Severus looked back down at the messy head boy currently in his lap.

Severus,” James said. “Be truthful. How do you feel about my son, Harry James Potter?”

Still looking down at the child, and finally looking at James, he said, “I wish he was mine.”

James smiled at his confession, and with his hand still on Harry's head, he stood up and placed his other hand on Severus' head.

Everything in the room lit up. The light was getting too much for Snape's eyes and he closed them. The last thing he heard was James' disembodied voice in the back of his head saying,

Take care of my son, now your son.”

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Minerva sat on the small couch, Severus' head in her lap. She had a warm damp flannel covering his eyes. She knew that one little act soothed Severus. Deep in thought, Minerva sat there, one hand over the flannel while the other absently combed through his black locks with her fingers.

Severus began to moan, bringing Minerva out of her musing.

“Severus,” Minerva quietly called out. “Severus, it's alright.”

“Potter,” Severus mumbled. “Where's Potter?” He brought his hand up to his face, trying to remove the flannel, but came to a little resistance. “What?”

“Severus, you've been unconscious for sometime now. I know how your eyes get when this happens,” she slightly admonished. There was no heat behind her words, for she was just happy that her son was waking up.

“When did you get here?” Severus asked, sighing and putting his hand back over his chest.

Minerva lifted her head and sighed, looking over at the small clock over the mantle. “We got here about three hours ago.”

“Where's Harry?” His voice much weaker than previous.

She could tell that he was about to fall back asleep. She began rubbing his scalp again, trying to soothe the residual tension in her son. “He's upstairs resting, Severus. Get some sleep. We'll talk more in the morning.”

Minerva could feel the last bit of tension melt away from Severus as he began to slumber. She could feel herself calming down. Ever since she had adopted Severus, she had her fill of worry. Him taking the Dark Mark, then becoming a spy. Both of these has had her worried, but never has she been this scared for her son than tonight. Not knowing what all happened and why he wasn't waking had really worried her. That, and worrying about Poppy, and what she told her at St. Mungo's.

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Albus walked back to the castle. He had a lot on his mind. How was he going to make the Magical Bonding work? He knew that he would have to first get Harry away from everyone. After the attack on Privet Drive and Grimmauld Place, he knew just the way to get Harry alone. A smile began to form on the Headmaster's face as he planned it. Things were starting to look up for Albus, or so he thought.

TBC

A/N: Thank you to everyone that has favored, followed and or reviewed my story. I am steady making milestones with this story. :)

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Mandancie :)

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