A Darker World Book One: Changing Identity

Chapter 10: Presents & FatherSon Bondin

Discalimer: I do not in any way, shape or form own any recognisable characters or settings.

Chapter Ten

Presents & Father-Son Bonding

Harry watched the softly falling snow from his bedroom window. Lachie was whining, eager to get outside and play, while Caellum looked disinterested. A crack signalled the arrival of Dippy.

'Master Harry, sir,' the young elf squeaked. 'You is having a Floo-call from young Miss Daffy.'

Harry inclined his head. 'Inform her I am on my way down,' he said coolly.

Dippy Disapparated and Harry made his way downstairs to the living room. It was the only room in the entire manor with a fireplace with a Floo connection. All the other fireplaces were for merely warming the room. Harry settled himself comfortably in front of the fire where Daphne's head was floating.

'Good morning,' Daphne said cheerfully. 'Your father gave me the Floo address before I left.'

Harry rolled his eyes. 'Typical,' he said dryly. 'Telling my betrothed our plans before telling me.'

Daphne laughed lightly. 'Do you like your house?' she asked. 'Your father was really anxious about buying it.'

'I like it,' Harry said. 'It's more than adequate for the two of us. One day, three.'

Daphne blushed pink. 'Oh hush,' she admonished. 'I only really called to invite you and your father to tea tonight. Father wants to meet my betrothed and discuss a legal contract with your father.'

Harry inclined his head. 'We will be there,' he said.

'Good,' said Daphne, looking pleased. 'Tea will be at six sharp. The Floo address is Greengrass Manor. See you then.'

'Goodbye,' said Harry politely. He watched his fiancée's head disappear from the fireplace. 'Dippy!' he called.

The young house elf appeared, eager to serve one of his masters. 'Yes, Master Harry, sir?' it squeaked.

'Inform my father we shall having tea with the Greengrasses tonight,' Harry said. 'Inform the kitchen as well. No need for them to go to unnecessary lengths to prepare food we shall not eat.'

'Yes, Master Harry, sir,' Dippy replied.

The house elf popped away again and Harry looked over at Lachie who was once again whining and looking longingly out at the snow.

'Maybe later, Lachie,' Harry said, scratching the Crup behind the ears.

Dippy reappeared with a message from Severus. 'Master Snape asks why he is required at the Greengrass residence tonight,' Dippy squeaked.

Harry sighed and rolled his eyes. 'Tell him it is to discuss my betrothal to Miss Greengrass with her father,' he said.

'Yes, Master Harry, sir,' said Dippy, popping away again.

A few seconds later, Dippy was back again. 'Master Snape would like to know why they cannot come here for tea,' the elf informed Harry.

Harry growled, causing the house elf to squeak and move away from him. 'Because it is customary for the male or, in the case of same sex betrothal, the dominant, to visit the female or submissive's family home,' he said. 'Tell him that.'

'Yes, Master Harry, sir,' said Dippy.

A crack signalled his departure. When the elf didn't return, Harry decided Severus had run out of excuses and decided to return to his room to work on his holiday assignments.

'Come on, Lachie,' Harry murmured. 'I'll take you to play in the snow after luncheon.'

The Crup barked joyfully and followed its master upstairs again.

'Play in the snow?' Severus said, raising both his eyebrows. 'Isn't that something a Gryffindor would do?'

'I'm half Gryffindor,' said Harry with a shrug. 'Besides, I've never been allowed to play in the snow before. It'll be fun, I think.'

Severus felt his heart clench painfully at his son's admission and inclined his head. 'Very well, son,' he said. 'I shall join you.'

Harry looked surprised, then his face lit up. 'Thank you, Dad,' he said happily.

They finished eating their meal – a light ham salad – and Severus called for coffee before they went out in the snow. Harry, not a big coffee drinker, went upstairs to change into something warmer before he went outside. When he returned, Severus had finished his coffee and Transfigured his robes into a pair of black jeans and a black jumper.

'Ready, Dad?' asked Harry eagerly.

'Lead the way, son,' said Severus stiffly.

Harry led the way out onto the grounds where Lachie immediately went mental and started running around like a thing possessed.

'What do you want to do, then?' asked Severus, looking around at the white coating disdainfully.

'Can you Conjure a stick?' asked Harry.

Severus did so and passed it to Harry.

'Lachie!' Harry called to get the Crup's attention. 'Lachie! Here, boy! Fetch!'

Harry tossed the stick and young pup gave a joyous bark and ran after it. Harry laughed as Lachie skidded to a halt beside the stick, picked it up and trotted back to his master, looking rather proud of himself.

'Good boy,' Harry praised, petting the pup affectionately. 'Ok, here, Lachie. Fetch!'

Harry threw the stick again, harder this time, and Lachie chased after it. Severus gave a small smile as Lachie abandoned the stick and bounded after Harry. Harry laughed happily and ran from the pup. The Potions Master laughed outright when the Crup knocked Harry flat on his back and started licking his master all over the face.

The Snapes eventually abandoned playing games with the young Crup to build a few snowmen. Consider neither of them had ever done so before, they were incredibly proud of their effort.

'We should go get ready to have tea with the Greengrasses,' Severus finally said, once the two of them had collapsed on their backs in the snow

'Ok,' Harry agreed.

They rose gracefully and separated to prepare themselves for a long evening. Harry showered quickly and changed into a pair of black jeans and a sleek emerald green button down shirt. Having pulled in a pair of dress shoes, which Severus had insisted on buying for him, Harry grabbed a comb and ran it through his shoulder-length hair.

CRACK!

'Master Snape asks whether you is ready, Master Harry, sir?' Dippy squeaked.

'Tell him I'm on my way down now,' Harry said shortly.

Dippy Disapparated and Harry turned to leave the room. Shutting the door behind him, Harry descended the stairs only to find Severus glaring at him.

'You've grown,' Severus grumbled.

Harry blinked. It was true, his jeans were hanging a little short on his thin legs and his shirt was tight on his shoulders, which had filled out due to the regular full meals he'd been eating over the last few months.

'So I have,' Harry replied with a shrug.

Severus flicked his wand and the clothes adjusted to fit Harry's new frame more comfortably. 'Ready?' he asked.

'Yes,' said Harry. The young boy took a pinch of Floo powder and tossed it into the fireplace. 'Greengrass Manor!' he said clearly, before disappearing in a whirl of jade flames.

Harry spun for a few minutes before stepping gracefully out of a second fireplace.

'You made it,' Daphne said, stepping forward to greet her betrothed.

'I did,' Harry agreed, stepping aside so his father could Floo in.

Severus stepped out as gracefully as his son and inclined his head at Daphne. 'Miss Greengrass,' he greeted formally.

'Professor,' Daphne said back, just as formally.

'Is that Professor Snape and his son?' Peter Greengrass called from his study.

'Yes, Daddy,' Daphne called back.

There was the scraping of a chair and a door clicking shut, then a tall muscular man was striding into the room.

'Ah, good evening,' Peter said warmly. He held out a hand for Severus to shake.

'Good evening, Mr Greengrass,' Severus said. 'I would like to thank you for having us here this evening.'

'You are most welcome,' said Peter jovially. 'Is this is your son?'

'Yes,' said Severus. 'This is Harry.'

'Hmm.' Peter studied the stoic young boy for a moment. 'How are you enjoying Hogwarts, young man?'

Harry blinked. 'It's school,' he said coolly. 'It is nothing more than necessary stage of my life.'

Peter looked thoughtful. Daphne squeezed Harry's hand nervously.

'What do you wish to do when you graduate?' Peter then asked.

'Research,' Harry said straightaway.

'Oh?' said Peter. 'On what?'

'Despite Muggles' ignorance of the best way to get the best out of the environment they have several innovative ideas that could advance wizarding medicine,' Harry said calmly. 'I intend to combine Muggle Chemistry with Potions and research ways of combating especially rare illnesses that so far have no cure only medicine to make the patient's life more comfortable before they pass on.'

Peter looked absolutely delighted. 'That sounds marvellous,' he said. 'However, forgive me for saying this, but it doesn't sound as though it would pay very well. How do you intend to support my daughter?'

'I have money,' Harry said coldly. 'I will someday inherit the Prince fortune and I am already in possession of the Potter one and the majority of the Black fortune. I do not need to work ever, however I will because there are people out there that will need me.'

'Isn't he clever, Daddy?' said Daphne anxiously.

'He's certainly ambitious,' said Peter. He clapped his hands together. 'Shall we proceed to the dining hall, then?'

'Yes, Daddy,' said Daphne sweetly.

Harry took Daphne's hand and allowed her to lead him into the large dining hall where four places were set around one end of a long table. Peter watched as Harry held out a chair for Daphne to sit in before seating himself next to the blonde girl.

A house elf popped in with the meal – roast beef – and Peter offered Severus some wine and Harry and Daphne some pumpkin juice.

So, Harry,' said Peter, as they all began their meal, 'what is your favourite class?'

'Potions.'

Severus smirked. 'My son is very talented with a cauldron,' he said. 'Your daughter also has some talent in my field of expertise.'

Peter nodded. 'Good to know,' he said. 'Good to know.'

They finished their meal and Peter and Severus retired to Peter's study to discuss the betrothal.

'Right,' said Peter, pouring the both of them a glass of Firewhisky. 'How do you want to do this?'

'Harry,' Severus said slowly, 'has only one condition.'

'What's that, then? Peter asked. 'She makes no mention of his mistresses?'

'No,' Severus said stiffly. 'That there be a clause so that Daphne can break the engagement if she wishes and for whatever reason.'

'That's fair,' Peter said, nodding. 'Daphne would like a clause that states that in case of divorce any children conceived during the marriage remain in her custody.'

'Agreed,' said Severus. 'About the dowry?'

'Ah.' Peter downed his whisky and poured himself another glass. 'How does ten thousand Galleons per annum sound?'

'More than adequate,' Severus replied. 'Shall we?' he added, indicating the Blood Quills and parchment that would make it a legally binding contract.

Christmas morning dawned white and bright. Spinner's End Manor's grounds looked picture perfect. In the kitchen, the house elfs were divided in two – one group were making breakfast and the second group were preparing Christmas dinner.

Upstairs, Harry had woken from yet another nightmare around 3 o'clock and was now sitting in bed reading a Potions journal.

A knock on the door made Harry look up. 'Come in!' he called, putting down his journal.

Severus entered. 'Happy Christmas,' he said awkwardly.

'And to you,' Harry replied.

'The elfs are making a special breakfast,' Severus said.

'I'll be down shortly,' Harry said.

Severus inclined his head and left. Climbing out of bed, Harry dressed in a pair of jeans and a black silk button down shirt. As he went downstairs, Harry wondered what had hid father acting so out of character.

The house elfs had made all of Harry and Severus' favourite breakfast foods that morning so there was quite a spread. Harry helped himself to some pancakes and bacon before pouring himself some juice.

'Excited?' Severus asked.

'Abut what' Harry replied, looking a little confused.

If Severus had been a Gryffindor he would have gaped. As it was, he was a Slytherin and therefore merely stared at his son.

'It's Christmas, Harry,' said Severus.

'So?'

Severus frowned so Harry tried to explain.

'I've never celebrated Christmas,' he said with a shrug. 'The Dursleys did, but I wasn't allowed to.'

Severus tightened his jaw in anger. 'Well I insisted you celebrate with me,' he said stiffly. 'Come.'

Sliding his blank mask into place, Harry followed his father into the green living room. Underneath a huge Christmas tree was a mountain of presents.

'Here.' Severus passed on to Harry. 'From myself.'

Slowly, Harry unwrapped the present to reveal Moste Potente Potions. 'Wow,' Harry murmured in awe. 'Thank you, Dad.'

Severus gave a rare soft smile. 'You're very welcome, Harry,' he said, passing another parcel to the young boy.

Harry opened this one a little faster to reveal a journal with a handwritten note inside:

To start your Potions and Chemistry research.

Love,

Daphne

Harry flicked through the blank pages with a huge smile. 'Remind me to write thank you letters, Father,' he said.

Severus inclined his head. 'Of course, Harry,' he replied.

Harry opened a third box to find chocolate frogs from Crabbe. His fourth contained sugar quills from Goyle.

'This is from Mandy,' said Severus.

Harry tore into the parcel and drew out a huge tome on Chemistry. He immediately flipped it open and started to absorb the pages. Severus had to clear his throat to garner Harry's attention.

'Perhaps later?' Severus suggested.

Rolling his eyes, Harry opened the box from Mandy's parents, which was filled with Muggle clothing.

Also from Severus, Harry received a family ring, a book entitled A Guide to Magical Politics and an entire room in the house for his Chemistry lab, complete with chemicals and equipment. Harry was itching to get in there and research.

That evening, Harry disturbed Severus in his room. 'Thank you for a wonderful day, Dad,' he said sincerely.

'It was my pleasure, son,' Severus replied.

That night, Harry slept soundly, free of his holiday nightmares.

A/N: I apologise for the long wait. My boyfriend has been complaing of neglect so I had a lot to do to make it up to him. When my boyfriend's happy it means I get presents which makes me happy and encourages me to write. So yay for my lovely boyfriend for spoiling me rotten.

So, this was a rather pointless chappie. Sweet and fluffy though which makes a change from all the drama I've been writing. I do have the next chapter written and it's already been betaed as well but I'm going to give everyone a chance to read this one first before posting the next one so you'll have to wait until Thursday morning cos that's the only other time I have free this week.

On another note, I'm a Godmother! My bestest friend ever has given birth to a darling little girl and I get to spoil her rotten without having any responsibility for her. You'd love her, Emily is a darling. I want to kidnap her!

Only one more thing to say and that's my many thanks to iGymnast for continuing to beta for me. I honestly don't know what I'd do without you, sweetie.

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