L&F 1: Lost And Found
Harry sat in the back seat, trying hard to be good and quiet. It wasn’t often that he got to go on family trips. After all, they delighted in reminding him that he was just a freak that had been left on their doorstep, that he was unwanted. He was just a burden and that no one loved him enough to care if he lived or died.
Even at the tender age of four, he had no illusions that his relatives cared about him one bit. In fact, they’d probably throw a party if he were to vanish suddenly. Hadn’t his uncle threatened to sell him to a very bad man? One who would enjoy inflicting all kinds of horrible and painful things to boys his age if one more freaky thing happened around him?
That had been three days ago and Harry had been good ever since, but it was only a matter of time…
Harry tried hard to be good all the time, but bad things always happened… especially when Dudley picked on him. Harry was beginning to think that his cousin was doing it on purpose just so Harry would get punished.
He was brought out of his thoughts when the car came to a stop and he watched as Dudley hauled his heavy body out of his seat and ran slowly towards the beach, panting from the exertion and heat. Harry knew from experience that his uncle didn’t like it if he was faster than Dudley so he waited a few seconds to give his fat cousin a big enough head start so he wouldn’t get yelled at.
“Get out of the car,” Uncle Vernon growled impatiently as he stood by Harry’s now opened door and reached in to haul the boy out.
He wasn’t heavy and his uncle had no problem sliding his slight frame off the seat and out of the car. “Sorry, Uncle Vernon,” he mumbled as he scrambled to obey, trying to keep his balance when his uncle released him suddenly.
Walking quickly onto the sand, Harry tried not to show his joy and eagerness as he got closer to the ocean. It was only once he got closer to the water that he realized the cruel joke his family had played on him by dressing him in Dudley’s discarded pants and long-sleeved shirt. Already he was getting strange stares from the other adults and the other kids were snickering at him.
This was one of the reasons why his family didn’t give him Dudley’s old shorts. The other reason was so no one would see the bruises, cuts and scars all over his body from the numerous beatings he’d gotten from Uncle Vernon’s belt. After all, if no one saw them, there wouldn’t be any questions asked, though Harry had already learned to say that it was because he was clumsy and hurt himself a lot.
Sure he was currently hot, but then he was used to that.
When he got a few feet from the water, Harry sat down in the sand and took a deep breath of the salty air, ignoring the crowd around him. He felt himself relax as he pulled his shoes and socks off, smiling slightly as the sand ran between his toes when he dug them in.
Since he couldn’t go into the water, Harry decided he would play in the sand instead. He lost track of time as he built walls and destroyed them, tried to build a castle and laughed softly when it didn’t exactly turn out. He was used to playing by himself because, after all, he wasn’t allowed any friends.
He didn’t deserve them.
He looked up, startled, when a shadow fell across where he was playing. He saw the imposing bulk of his uncle and it didn’t take him long to realize that the man was angry. What had he done? He’d been playing quietly by himself, he hadn’t spoken to any of the other kids, and he hadn’t gone anywhere near Dudley.
“Get to the car, you ungrateful little freak,” his uncle growled.
Harry scrambled to his feet, fear in his eyes, forgetting he’d taken off his shoes and realizing they were now the only ones left on the beach. Looking up at his uncle, he realized the sky was beginning to darken with rain clouds. “I didn’t do anything, Uncle Vernon. I was being good.”
He flinched when Vernon reached over and took hold of the back of his shirt in one meaty hand. “I don’t want to hear your lies, boy,” Vernon said as he dragged Harry off the beach and towards the car where Dudley was crying, covered in wet sand – and Harry knew he’d been accused of doing it.
“But Uncle Vernon, I wasn’t anywhere near the water,” Harry began, knowing it was useless to reason with the enraged man but trying anyway. He also tried to tell the angry man that his shoes were still sitting in the sand where he’d been playing but his uncle was in no mood to listen to anything he had to say.
“I said,” Vernon said, thrusting his face closer to Harry’s, his face going purple with rage. “I don’t want to hear your lies.” When they got closer to the car, Vernon shoved him against the back of the vehicle, glaring down at the trembling child. “This is the last straw, boy. When we get home, I’m selling you like I said I would. Then we’ll be free of your freaky ways forever. Now get into the car.”
Harry stared in shock at his uncle, feeling the blood drain from his face. He’d always known his uncle hated him, but enough to accuse him of something he hadn’t been around to actually do?
Vernon opened the back door, glaring at the quivering child, and gestured for him to get in. Choking on a sob, Harry turned and began to run away from his screaming uncle, ignoring the pain from his bare feet as he ran over the rocks. Harry knew Vernon was slow and that he could easily outrun him… he hoped.
He felt a hand grab hold of the shirt on his shoulder and whimpered, thankful when the threadbare material parted at the seams.
He didn’t look to see if he was being followed, but he heard his uncle bellow angrily for him to get back and put on an extra burst of speed, the wind cool against his bare skin. He didn’t slow down from his mad dash through the parking lot until he was well into the tall grass. When he finally did slide to a stop, he realized that if he didn’t move, the grass effectively hid him from sight, since he was small enough.
He heard his uncle bellow again and choked back the whimper that wanted to escape. He wasn’t far away. “Fine!” he heard after a few minutes of silence. “Stay lost! Don’t you dare come back to my house again, because if you do, I’ll make sure to sell your worthless hide!”
A few minutes longer and Harry heard a door slam shut and a car drive away.
He waited a few minutes more, just to make sure they were gone, and was grateful that he didn’t have anything he’d miss back in his cupboard. All the toys he had were Dudley’s broken ones anyway.
He shivered in the sudden gust of August wind. Maybe he should go see if his uncle had dropped his shirt in the parking lot. After all the heat of the day, the wind was getting cold.
When he got closer to the beach, he realized that Uncle Vernon had indeed taken the shirt and apparently the shoes, too.
Shivering against the next cold gust of wind, Harry walked down the road, hunching in on himself against the cold. Where would he go now?
Walking down the dirt road, Harry let his feet choose his direction as rain began to fall. He shivered as the wind drove the rain hard into his small frame, but didn’t say anything, even when a particularly sharp rock dug into the sole of his foot, bringing to his attention the fact that his feet were cut up and bleeding from his mad dash.
He just pushed past the pain and kept walking.
Later that afternoon, Harry was grateful when he came across a stream. Bending down, he used his hand to scoop up some water, drinking greedily, sighing as the cold water slid down his dry throat.
Making a quick decision, he sat on the edge and pulled at the material at the bottom of his pants, relieved when the thing let go easily. Ripping three strips off each side, he slowly lowered his feet into the current.
He hissed as the cold burned against his injured soles but grit his teeth as he allowed the water to wash some of the blood and mud away. Once his feet were numb enough, he wrapped the strips around his feet, hoping it would help ease the pain of his injuries.
He was going to have to keep going soon…
He hoped he found some berries or something. His stomach was beginning to grumble. Breakfast had been a long time ago. Oh, he was used to going without food, but sometimes he managed to filch something and hide it in his cupboard. It helped ease the hunger pains when it happened.
He frowned as he heard a strange sound coming from his right. Curious as to what it could be, Harry got up, hissing in agony as his weight made his feet throb painfully. Pushing past the discomfort, he slowly made his way towards the sound.
Behind some bushes, he was surprised to find a rabbit caught in a trap. Making a quick decision, listening to the frightened sounds of the creature, Harry hurried over to the animal. “Hold still,” he murmured, surprising the rabbit, who looked at him with wild frightened eyes.
“Human!!” he heard and was surprised and terrified that he actually understood the terrified squeaking the rabbit made.
“I can understand you?!” he yelped as he jumped back from the rabbit. The trapped animal went still in shock as it regarded Harry.
“Get me out of this!!” the rabbit squeaked, its body shaking in fear and instinct. “Please!”
Swallowing a few times to get his courage up, Harry hesitantly moved closer to the rabbit and cautiously reached out to feel the wire wrapped around the poor creature’s neck. “Whatever you do, please don’t bite me,” he whispered as he pushed on the wire, frowning as the thing slowly retracted from around the rabbit’s neck until he could slide it out from under it.
He’d barely cleared the animal’s head when it bolted away from him and out of sight. “You’re welcome,” Harry grumbled as he let go of the wire. Sighing in disappointment, he decided to keep moving. Maybe he’d come across something edible along the way…
“Oh no!” Harry heard from his left just as night was beginning to fall. “Don’t eat those! They’re dangerous!”
Looking around, Harry blinked at the mouse that stood there, watching him. “Are they?” he asked in regret. He was so hungry and the berries looked so good. They looked like little pumpkins.
“Yes, human child. A raccoon ate some last week and died horribly a short while later.”
Harry sighed and put the berries on the ground where he’d picked them. “Thank you,” he murmured as he pushed himself to his aching feet. He’d just have to keep going and hope he found something else.
“If you’re hungry, I can show you something safe to eat,” the mouse said before he could move.
“Really?” he asked hopefully.
“Follow me,” the mouse said before it took off, scampering across the trail Harry had just come down. It led him to some raspberry bushes a short distance from where he’d found the orange berries.
This he recognized!
“Thank you!” he breathed as he began picking the berries, sighing as the fruit slid down into his empty belly. He didn’t even notice the mouse scamper away with a backward glance.
That night, Harry tried to keep walking, but he couldn’t see and kept tripping over rocks and fallen branches… and he was getting so tired. The next time he tripped, he cried out softly as he landed on his hands and knees hard enough to leave bruises.
Sitting down, he sniffled as he took stock of where he was and how he was feeling. He was wet – his clothes hadn’t dried from the rain and it smelled like it was going to rain again soon – he was still hungry – the berries hadn’t filled him up for long – and he was tired and aching.
In short, he wanted to go home… but he had no home to go back to.
He felt a tear trickle down his cheek, feeling miserable.
Lightning cut through the air, lighting up his surrounding for a split second… but it was enough to illuminate the decrepit building not far away. Maybe it could be somewhere he could sleep for the night?
The thunder clap made him jump in surprise and fear. He’d never been out when it thundered before. It made his decision very easy. Getting up, he slowly made his way towards the building he’d seen. The next flash showed that it was getting closer so he quickened his step, chocking back a terrified cry when thunder rumbled with a dry crack.
He cried out in pain as he stumbled on a particularly sharp rock that cut through his bandages but he ignored it as the next lightning showed that he had reached his destination. With a sigh of relief, he opened the door… only to have it fall down inside the room. Terrified of what he’d find inside, he waited for the next lightning, standing just inside the dark building.
The next bolt showed that half the roof was missing. With a sigh, he slowly made his way over to the table he’d seen and pulled it over so it was beside the door and curled up underneath it. At least it would keep him somewhat dry…
He huddled under his dubious shelter, arms wrapped around his knees, shivering as a gust of wind came around the corner just as the rain began to fall. It was going to be a long night…
Harry lost track of where he was or what time it was. He’d woken up cold and wet that morning. Now he was sneezing and his head felt stuffy. All he knew was that he had to keep moving. He’d dreamed that his uncle was chasing him last night and had been trying to drown him.
It had only been the rain dripping through the cracks in the table though.
It was still raining and windy but Harry didn’t mind. He just huddled into himself and kept walking.
He couldn’t remember why he had to do so, just that he did…
He’d been cold when he’d gotten up but now he was just numb… and really really thirsty and hungry… and tired. His head had begun to hurt a while ago and his eyes felt gritty. It seemed the only thing that didn’t hurt were his feet. They seemed to have gone numb.
That’s good, he thought with a dry chuckle as he stumbled through the field he was currently walking through. At least one thing doesn’t hurt anymore.
He knew he was still somewhere in the middle of nowhere but didn’t know how far he’d walked or where he was.
When he got tired again, he managed to crawl under some relatively dry bushes. At least it was out of the rain…
When he woke up again, he forced himself to crawl out of his hiding place, dimly aware that the sun was shining… and kept walking, stumbling on. At least now he wasn’t cold anymore, though he still had his arms wrapped around his chest, keeping himself from trembling as shivers ran through his thin frame.
By the time evening came around, his skin hurt, like it was stretched too tight… and still he walked, ignoring the demands of his body… demands for food because he didn’t have any, demands for water – though he vaguely remembered stopping by another stream to drink –, demands for rest…
He thought he remembered talking to another animal that’d shown him food, but his stomach had rebelled and he’d end up bringing it all up again.
“This way,” he heard from ahead of him and he blinked at the fox that was sitting on the path in front of him. “I’ll show you where you can rest.”
Harry smiled feverishly at the fox. “Okay,” he slurred as he stumbled after the animal. He didn’t wonder how the fox had come to be waiting for him. He didn’t really care as long as he got somewhere to rest…
He didn’t register the conversation he had with the fox, just lurched after the animal, eyes feverish. Everywhere he looked; it had the blurry outline, making everything look funny and unreal. He could almost forget why he was out in the elements.
The fox led him to a big tree surrounded by some bushes. Harry was grateful when he was finally able curl up in a ball at the foot of a big tree and close his eyes.
“How did you find the human child?” a big wolf-hound asked curiously as he followed a fox to where he’d apparently left the boy.
“I met up with a raccoon that he’d helped out of a mud hole yesterday. Apparently he’d been following the child to make sure no harm came to him.” The fox dipped his head in a shrug as the big dog looked at him in surprise. “He also asked if I could help him get back to a human pack.”
He didn’t say anything more as he and his house mate followed the fox in one of his master’s back fields. “Yes, I see what you mean,” the big wolf-hound said as he peered down at the small shivering child. “Who could do such a thing to their pup?”
“From what I understood from the human child, his uncle threatened to sell him for being bad. Do you think your master will be able to help him?” the fox asked, leaning his head down to nuzzle the feverish boy.
“Inana is already getting him. We’ll have to see. Lily and I will lay with him to give him some warmth but it would be best if my master didn’t find you here.”
“Agreed.” The fox looked down one more time at the child before he looked back up at the wolf-hound beside him. “Let me know if he survives. I’ve never met a human that could speak to so many different animals before.”
The wolf-hound dipped his head in agreement and watched as Lily moved to curl around the child’s back, surprised when the small bundle turned into her body, shivering from the cold, though the heat radiating off him was staggering. Sighing, the male also laid against the boy, effectively covering the small child in ‘blanket’ of fur.
It was a long while before Inana led their master to where the others were. They heard the man choke back a surprised gasp when the big male moved enough to reveal the boy, though he still kept him covered.
When their master moved to pick up the small child, covering him with his cloak, he knew the pup would be well cared for. Despite the rough look of the man standing before them, he was very gentle and good with injured creatures. This child would be no different.
Severus Snape looked down at the child lying in the bed, tossing fitfully, a light blanket covering his tiny frame.
The bed looked huge when compared to the boy’s size. He didn’t think this one was even the size or weight a normal four or five year old was, which – if his calculations were correct – should be the age Harry was currently.
At first, he’d been annoyed when he’d found the small bundle being kept warm by two of his dogs, but when he’d really looked at the shape the small child had been in, he hadn’t hesitated in picking him up and carrying him into his home.
He’d had to give Harry a couple of baths just to get dirt off his feet. Once done, he’d slathered some Healing Salve on before bandaging them carefully.
Wringing out the cold cloth, he touched it to the burning skin of Harry’s forehead in an attempt to control the fever. He’d already given him a Fever Reducer, a Nutrient potion, a Blood Replenisher as well as forcing some soup down Harry’s throat.
The Fever Reducer had brought down his fever for a while, but he seemed to be burning it off at a tremendous rate that shouldn’t be possible. What else could be wrong with the child that he wasn’t seeing?
He’d wait a while longer until the fever was down again before going to check on his tests. If he could find out what was wrong with him, he’d be able to find out why his potions weren’t lasting like they should.
Snape’s eyes snapped with anger as he read the results of the blood tests he’d done on Harry. He had to resist the urge to go find the bastard who could do such a thing on an infant. According to the results, the Dursleys had been poisoning their charge almost from the day he was dropped off on their step.
It was as if they’d been determined to kill him off before giving him a chance!
And Harry’s magic had been just as determined not to let it happen, it seemed. It was the only reason it hadn’t worked.
It also seemed that it had used it to change Harry slightly. It explained the reason he could talk to the dogs… but was it limited to just dogs? He’d have to test the child later down the road.
Standing at the foot of the bed, Snape looked down at the sweaty child. His fever wasn’t as bad as it used to be, but it was still high. Finally, the Fever Reducer was beginning to work, but it would take a while longer before Harry was out of danger.
Pulling his wand out, Snape pointed it at the boy with a determined glint in his eyes. He had to see just what they’d done to this boy and this was his only other option…
Harry felt warmth surround him and for a while he thought he was back in his cupboard and that the whole beach fiasco had been a dream… a bad one.
He frowned as he realized that was unlikely and tried to open his eyes to see why he was warm instead of cold. It took a few minutes of effort, but he finally managed to open them. He blinked hazily at the strange furnishings around him and wondered where he was. Was he dreaming?
Then another horrifying thought occurred to him and he jerked up to a sitting position, panting hard while his heart pounded in his ears. He realized that he was dressed in a shirt that was too big to be Dudley’s. So who’s…?
Had his uncle caught him and sold him to the bad man?
Panicking, he quickly pushed the blankets back and forced his heavy limbs to move out of the comfortable bed. When he was finally standing, his legs trembling with the effort, he forced himself to walk… or tried to.
He felt so weak that his knees gave out and he fell to the floor in a heap. What was wrong with him?
His head jerked up when he heard footsteps coming towards his room. With another surge of panic, he began to look around for a place to hide. Looking under the bed, he pulled himself underneath just before the door opened. He held his breath as black boots with a swirling black cape, followed by a big-pawed dog, walked towards the bed… and stopped when whoever it was realized that he wasn’t in there.
“Find him, Jax,” he heard a man’s voice say and Harry watched in horror as the dog padded closer to the bed, sniffing first the bedding, then the floor. When the dog looked in his direction, Harry realized that there was nowhere for him to run. He was stuck under the bed.
He watched as the dog lay down on the floor beside the bed, his eyes never leaving him. “Will you not come out, pup? My master won’t harm you.”
“I don’t want to,” Harry whispered, pushing himself even further into the darkness under the bed. “I’ll only get hurt if I come out.”
“You’re wrong,” the big dog told him and Harry thought he saw amusement in the animal’s eyes. “He may look rough, but he’s very gentle when he needs to be.”
“You might as well come out, Mr. Potter,” he heard the man drawl in a bored tone of voice. The dog’s eyes flickered up to look at the stranger before landing on him again. “I’m prepared to wait until you do.”
Who? Harry thought in surprise. Who was Mr. Potter? Or was that his name? He jumped in fear when the feet suddenly moved to the other side of the bed and the man knelt down to peer at him, so he moved further away from the adult, fearing the man more than the dog.
“You’ll either come out or I’ll drag you out,” the man said with a glare of impatience. Harry took in the long black hair, the black eyes and the crooked nose that looked like it had been broken at some point and felt tears well up in his eyes as he looked at the stranger, realizing his uncle had sold him after all. Somehow he’d gotten hold of Harry and sold him to the bad man like he’d promised. What would happen to him now? Would he be used and then killed, like he’d seen in the show Vernon had shown him?
He realized now that his uncle had gloated over his fear and horror of what he’d seen, of how the kids had been used repeatedly only to be discarded when they were of no further use or were too old – like nine or ten. ‘That’ll be you if you do one more freaky thing, boy.’ That was what his uncle had said, cackling happily at his reaction.
It took a few more minutes before Harry finally crawled out from under the bed, but on the side away from the scary man. He stood shakily beside the bed, head down so the stranger wouldn’t see his tears or his fear. He felt the dog press his fury body into his in silent comfort, but Harry balled his fists so he wouldn’t pet the begging dog or bury his face in the fur in an effort to hide.
It was over. His uncle had won.
When the stranger’s feet appeared in his line of sight, Harry closed his eyes, waiting for the worst to begin. He made a sound of surprise when he was gently picked up and placed on the bed again, but didn’t resist. His eyes snapped open when he felt the blankets pulled up to his neck.
He watched warily as the stranger sat down on the bed beside him with a strange small bottle in his hand. “Now, this is for you to drink. It’ll help bring down your fever and make you sleep for a while.”
Harry was too startled to protest as the bottle was pressed against his mouth and he drank it down, gagging at the bitter taste.
“Yes, I know it doesn’t taste good, but it’ll help,” the stranger murmured softly. “Now, tell me why you were in the middle of my field.”
Harry stared for a long few minutes, debating on if he should answer this stranger. But if he was the bad man his uncle had sold him to, did it really matter? “I ran away from my uncle because he was going to sell me to a bad man. Are you going to hurt me like that?”
“No, child,” the stranger said with a tired sigh before he frowned menacingly. “What’s your name?”
“I don’t have one,” Harry whispered, fearing the look on the man’s face, forcing himself not to move from where the stranger had laid him down. Whenever his uncle looked at him that way, it didn’t mean any good for Harry. Was he going to be punished for not coming out when he’d been told to? Had he done something else wrong?
“What did your family call you, if you have no name?”
“Boy or freak,” Harry whispered again, feeling his face flush in shame.
The stranger didn’t show any sign of anger or surprise, but simply looked at him with an unreadable look on his face. “Would you like me to give you a name?”
Harry frowned as he thought about that for a few seconds before he shrugged indifferently. “Sure.”
“Let me think on that, then. You sleep and get your strength back. We’ll talk again,” the stranger said with a slight smile. “Jax will stay with you until you fall asleep.”
“Sir?” Harry asked finally just before the man could leave the room. “What’s your name?”
The stranger turned to look back at him and an eyebrow rose slightly. “Severus Snape.”
Snape watched through the partially closed door as the small boy leaned over the edge of the bed after he’d left and frowned thoughtfully as the boy whispered something to the listening dog. He didn’t say anything when Jax jumped up on the bed and curled up around the boy, who, in turn, balled himself into the warm body.
He knew who this child was – everyone in the Wizarding world knew who this child was – but how had he come to be left on his own and how long had he been out there? How was it possible for him to understand the dog? Was it just dogs or was he able to understand more animals?
He was going to have to check a few things out, like just who Harry’s uncle had planned on selling him to, and just what he’d meant by ‘bad’ man, though he had his suspicions.
He’d seen the scars on Harry’s back, the old ones and the fairly new ones. It made him wonder who would dare to hit a small child and why. His first stop would have to be Gringotts to see just what the Potters’ will said. Then he was going to have to file papers to make Harry legally his. There was no way he was leaving that child with his relatives again, no matter what Dumbledore said this time.
He’d argued with Dumbledore over putting the boy with those muggles and now he had the proof that he’d been right about them. He just had to see a few things before he put a plan in motion…
“You’re sure that no one was told about the contents of the will except for the Headmaster?” Snape asked, frowning in confusion.
“Yes, Professor Snape. The Headmaster said that he would execute the will and ensure that the Potter child would be placed with the appropriate people. Is there a problem?” the Bank Manager asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Yes, there definitely is a problem,” Snape growled angrily as he realized just what the Headmaster had done. “The Hogwarts Headmaster placed a magical child with a family that would and has taken immense pleasure in beating him for something he couldn’t help.”
“Explain, please,” the Bank Manager asked, his eyes flashing dangerously.
“Harry Potter was placed with his mother’s sister, who just so happens to be a member of a family that hates anything to do with magic, and has ever since Lily Potter was a small child,” Snape said with a grimace as he remembered just how much Petunia had hated the fact that Lily could do magic and she couldn’t. “I know for a fact that she didn’t want any of her children to ever be placed with Petunia Dursley and her family. The Headmaster was fully aware of this but, despite the protest of several people, he placed Mr. Potter with his aunt and her family.”
“And is Mr. Potter still in his aunt’s custody at this time?”
“No. Mr. Potter was discovered on my property a few days ago with a high fever wearing nothing but pants on his person. I’m still in the process of getting all the facts, but it would seem that the child ran away from his uncle who wanted to sell him to a ‘bad’ man,” Snape said in disgust. “I have my suspicions as to what he meant, but I need proof before I can set certain things in motion.”
“When you sent your owl, I took the opportunity to pull the Potter will as well as the Black will,” the Goblin murmured after he nodded at Snape’s words, surprising Snape. “As you know, Sirius Black, the last remaining Black, was made Harry Potter’s godfather, and as such, Mr. Black added the child to his will shortly after his birth. He made Mr. Potter his sole heir until he had children of his own.”
“I… didn’t know,” Snape murmured in surprise. The mutt had been Harry’s godfather? What would that mean for Snape’s plans if Black was ever released? Of course, that would never happen, but one never knew.
“Yes,” the Goblin murmured in amusement. “Here’s a copy of the Potters’ will for your records. In accordance to the will, I also have the adoption papers that Mr. and Mrs. Potter had drawn up in case they met their demise before their child reached his majority.” At the stunned look on Snape’s face, the Bank Manager smiled, which looked kind of wrong, all sharp teeth and twinkling eyes. Snape felt like a piece of meat that had been added to the menu for a few seconds.
“Just what does the will say about Harry Potter?” Snape asked, eyes narrowed slightly as he realized just what the Goblin was saying.
“It would appear that it was Mrs. Potter’s wish that her son be raised by her former best friend, a Severus Snape, with the Potter Vaults to be kept in trust for the child. The key that was given to the Headmaster to give to you will now be invalid and a new one provided for your use to purchase whatever the child will need. You might want to keep for it for Mr. Potter until he begins school. At that point he’ll then be able to access his personal Vault, and at his majority, the rest of the Vaults belonging to both Potter and Black unless Lord Black is ever released.”
Snape managed to pull himself together enough to take the adoption papers from the Goblin. Looking down at the papers, he came up with the name for Harry that would protect him from people who would use him for his fame and give him a normal life free from all the negative attention without sacrificing Lily’s gift to her only son: his birth name. Taking the quill from the Goblin, he wrote out his full name where it said ‘Legal Guardian’ and then wrote ‘Adrian Harrison James Potter Snape’ for Harry’s name. Since the boy didn’t know his own name, it wouldn’t be hard for him to get used to the new one.
The Goblin’s eyebrow rose but he didn’t comment, simply slid two keys and a copy of the Potter will over to Snape. “I’m sure you’ll see to it that the provisions within the will are kept up in accordance to what the Potters’ wished.”
“Of course,” Snape murmured as he pocketed the items. He’d read the will later when he had more time to take care of it. He had one more stop to make before he went home again. He’d left Harry to sleep off the Sleeping Draught with a house-elf to watch over him. Later tonight he would be making an appearance at the Dursleys home and find out just who it was that Harry’s uncle had intended to sell him to.
Those muggles were going to pay for what they’d done to Harry. He had taken pictures while the small boy slept and would pick them up from the muggle developer he knew before he went home.
Leaving Gringotts, Snape headed for the Apothecary for more ingredients. He needed to make some more Nutrient, Meal Replacement and Fever Reducer potions for his new charge. If all went the way it looked like it would, tomorrow, Harry would be able to get out of bed for a few hours so he could regain his strength. He also needed to stop at a child clothing store in muggle London. He needed some clothes that would fit Harry besides the pants he’d been found in, which were completely unsuitable, and the shirt he was currently wearing that belonged to him.
Once he had the ingredients and clothes, he noticed a toy store beside the one he’d just exited and, with a thoughtful look, knowing Draco enjoyed having toys, figured that Harry might appreciate having something to play with that wouldn’t get him into trouble.
Walking quickly into the store before he lost his nerve, Snape picked out a few colouring books and horses that looked interesting. He paused when he noticed the Dragon figurines and smiled slightly as he picked out two. Draco would like these, he thought as he looked at the intricate design.
He hesitated slightly as he realized that he was ignorant of Harry’s taste whereas he knew what Draco liked and disliked. What should he get for a child he knew nothing about? Picking out another Dragon, he figured that if Harry didn’t like it, he could at least give it to Draco. He’d have to remember to bring Harry here so he could choose himself a couple of toys that he could say were his own…
When he was done, he had three picture books, two colouring books and crayons, three horses, and the three Dragon figurines. Feeling he had enough for now, which was more than he would’ve normally bought, he found a secluded spot and Apparated home.
Later that night found Snape standing outside Number four, Privet Drive, watching the Dursleys settle down to watch the telly. Casting Notice-Me-Not and Silencing spells, he made his way over to the door, wand in hand.
He’d left while Harry was asleep again, with the three dogs guarding him and hoped this wouldn’t take long.
Quietly, he entered the home, closing the door behind him so as to not arouse suspicions with the neighbors, cancelling the spells on himself. Casting a quick spell on the house to make sure no sound would be heard from outside, he made his way over to the living room.
It took the family a few minutes to realize he was there, since they were so centered on the show they were watching. It wasn’t until there was a pause in the episode that anyone noticed him. Petunia had gotten up to make herself a cup of tea and froze when she saw him. “What are you doing here?” she demanded angrily though Snape could see the fear in her eyes.
Good, he thought in satisfaction. She knew who he was. This would make things simpler. “Sit down, Madam,” he told her. When she went to approach him, he twitched his hand, drawing her attention to the wand in his grasp.
“Just who the hell do you think you are?” Vernon demanded angrily as he rose to his feet, ignoring Petunia’s reaction to the wand. Snape watched in amusement as the blood drained from her face and she slowly sat down.
“Sit down, Mr. Dursley. We have some things to discuss the three of us,” Snape murmured as he flicked his wand at the television, which shut off instantly.
“I was watching that!” Dudley complained loudly, surprised when he realized they had company. “Who’re you?”
Vernon slowly sat down, fear flicking through his eyes. “What do you want?” he asked hoarsely, sweat breaking out on his forehead.
With a quick flick of his wand, Snape put Dudley to sleep, though he silently added a spell that would activate every time the brat acted out or was cruel to others. It would only go away if he made amends for his cruelty. He’d seen Harry’s memories of this fat child. He knew just how much of a bully this child was and how it was encouraged by his parents.
“What did you do to him?” Petunia whimpered in fear.
“Nothing. He’ll wake up again in the morning with no ill effect. Now,” Snape murmured as he pinned Vernon with his eyes. “Just who is the person you were planning to sell Mr. Potter to, Mr. Dursley?”
“Vernon?” Petunia asked in surprise.
The pudgy man remained stubbornly silent so Snape decided to help him along using his wand. It took a few minutes before the other man cracked.
“Down the street, third house down on the right, there’s a man who showed interest in the boy. After checking around, I found out that he’s on one of the watch lists for the police. They say he likes young boys,” Vernon said finally, a tick appearing in his left cheek.
“You were going to sell him a child?” Petunia asked in shock, her eyes wide with horror.
“It’s just the freak,” Vernon growled dismissively. “He deserved it after everything he’s done.”
“And the scars on his back?”
“How else are we to teach him to mind us?” Vernon demanded loudly, his arms flying around in his agitation. “He’s an unruly child that doesn’t listen! I guarantee that by the time I’m done with him, he listens real good.”
“I’ll tell you this now, Mr. Dursley. Charges are being laid against you and your wife for child abuse and neglect. I’ll also see to it that charges are laid against you for human trafficking. I’m sure the police will be very interested in the fact that you would knowingly and willingly sell a child of four to a known pedophile,” Snape murmured, twirling his wand slowly so that neither adult realized what he was doing.
“You can’t prove anything!”
“Are you sure about that?” Snape smiled cruelly down at the man on the couch and left the house without a backward look. The pictures he’d taken had already been delivered to the police that afternoon along with the information Harry had provided. By the time the police came by in an hour, Vernon and Petunia Dursley would be telling them whatever they wanted to know and the truth besides.
The Dursleys’ lives were just about to crumble around their ears for all the cruelty they’d shown a small child in their care.
The next morning, Harry woke up warm and comfortable. His head didn’t hurt anymore and he felt restless and bored. Inana and Lily had left him sometime during the night but Jax still lay on the floor beside his bed.
“My master will be coming to check on you soon. I believe he might have some things for you.”
“Really?” Harry asked, looking down at the dog in curiosity. “How do you know?”
“He arrived with packages yesterday and wouldn’t allow the little cleaning creatures to take it from him just yet.”
Harry knew Jax meant the funny creatures that had brought him his food yesterday whenever he woke up, but he didn’t know what they were. He’d never seen anything like them before, although they looked like a shorter version of the elves in the fairy books he’d seen in the library when Dudley went there.
I wonder what Mr. Snape bought that he didn’t want the little creatures to put away? Harry thought to himself with a slight frown. He was drawn out of his thought by Snape entering his room after a quick knock. He sat up politely, remembering what Aunt Petunia had drilled into his head. Just like when I was littler, he thought to himself, and company was expected.
In Snape’s hand were three bottles and Harry bit back a tired sigh as he realized it was more of that nasty tasting stuff. How long would he have to take it?
“Until you have your appetite back,” Snape murmured as if he’d heard Harry’s thoughts. “You’ll have to take this potion before every meal. It’s an Appetite Enhancer.”
Harry looked up at the man in surprise and took the bottles from him, downing them obediently without a word. So far, Mr. Snape had been kind and understanding, but that could – and usually did – change without warning if he did something wrong.
“Can I get out of bed today, sir?” Harry asked politely, pulling his legs up to his chest as he felt a little funny, his stomach churning unpleasantly.
“You can, for a little while, but I want you to stay in this room for today and if you feel tired, I want you to nap. Understand?” Snape said with a raised eyebrow.
“Yes, sir,” Harry murmured as he pushed the blankets off his legs to get up. He barely managed to get to his feet before his stomach cramped painfully and suddenly the potions he’d taken were coming back up and onto the floor. Harry looked at the mess with a feeling of horror, his stomach still feeling queasy. “I’m sorry,” he whispered miserably, not daring to look up at the man sitting on the side of the bed. Would he get a beating now?
He blinked in surprise as the mess instantly vanished and he looked up at Snape with wide eyes filled with fear.
“Adrian,” Snape murmured as he rose from the bed and Adrian flinched instinctively when the man reached out for him, but he only took hold of Adrian’s arms to turn him to look at him fully in the face. “Your stomach isn’t used to having food inside it yet. That’s why I’m giving you the Appetite Enhancer, to force your body to get used to the food again. It’s going to take a bit of time, but until you’re used to food, this is going to happen. Don’t think that just because a beating was how your uncle treated you that that is how I’m going to do things as well. I know that it’s going to take time for you to get used to how things happen here, but I also know that you’ll like it better here than anywhere else.”
“Will I ever have to go back to the Dursleys?” Adrian asked softly, trying not to hope for it.
“I’ve already filed the papers which ensure that you’ll never have to go there again. I’ve also picked out a name for you. Adrian Harrison James Potter Snape. Do you like it?”
Adrian tilted his head slightly to the right as he ran the name over in his head and smile hesitantly. “Yes, sir. What do I call you?”
“Since I’m your legal guardian now, you can call me Severus or, even though I’m not your real father, but if you really want, you can call me father,” Snape said with a soft smile.
“I’d like that… father,” Adrian whispered, feeling his heart give a happy flutter. Impulsively, he threw his arms around Snape’s neck, hoping he wasn’t doing something wrong. He whimpered tearfully when he felt Snape’s arms come up to hold him in a hug instead of shoving him away.
He now had a family of his own. One no one could take away from him.
He felt Snape rise to his feet, though he didn’t let go of Adrian as he sat down on the couch. “Here, Adrian. I have some things for you so that you’re not so bored while you’re limited to your room.” Adrian pulled back to find a bag sitting beside his new father.
Looking questioningly back at Snape, Adrian crawled off his lap and knelt down beside the bag. Opening it up hesitantly, he gasped at what he saw inside it. “These are for me?” he asked in awe as he began pulling the books and colouring books out of the bag. He couldn’t wait to check them out.
“Yes, who else would they be for, silly?” Snape drawled, amused by the look on Adrian’s face.
“Oh, wow,” he whispered as he pulled out the horses and put them carefully down on the couch beside the rest of the stuff. He’d never gotten his own toys before. He’d always had to wait for Dudley to get tired of things or break them before he got to play with anything.
When he pulled out the Dragon figurine, he was speechless. “It’s beautiful,” he finally managed to whisper out as he turned it over in his hands, careful not to drop it. Looking around the room, he climbed down off the couch and set it gently down on the table next to the bed, eyes glued to the beautiful Dragon.
“Now, come have breakfast,” Snape murmured as he led Adrian over to the table, who reluctantly followed.
Watching Adrian with his new toys, Snape realized that no child should be that careful with new things. They should be ripping them out of their packaging to play with them. The fact that Adrian only looked at them and didn’t play with them straight away told Snape more than any amount of words could.
Adrian wasn’t used to getting new things.
He was going to have to remedy that. This child needed things to put in his room that were his and only his. He wondered just how good this boy would be if he taught him Potions like he did Draco. He would have to try it out.
He was amused when Adrian hurried through his breakfast, though he was neat. Most children his age weren’t, that much he knew.
“Tell me, Adrian, do you take baths or showers?” He frowned in concern when Adrian froze for a few seconds.
“Neither. I’m given soap and a face cloth. Aunt Petunia takes a pitcher of water and dumps it over my head. Then I wash myself and she does it again,” Adrian whispered, putting his fork down, appetite lost. Snape was worried when the little boy didn’t look up or touch the rest of his food.
“Which one would you like to take?” Snape asked as if there were nothing wrong with what he’d been told.
“Could I take a bath with my new toys?” the little boy asked hesitantly as if he was afraid he would be told he couldn’t.
“Yes, but you can’t spend too much time in the bath, understand?” Snape asked as he pushed Adrian’s chin up so that he could look into the green depths.
“Yes, father,” the little boy said with a shy smile.
“Are you done eating?”
The black locks bounced in his eagerness to take a bath with his new toys so, with a nod from Snape, Adrian took off like a bullet towards the couch to gather his horses, which he spent a few minutes to carefully open, putting the garbage back into the bag they’d come out of.
When he was sure that everything had been picked up, Adrian carried his horses into the bathroom, followed by Snape, who couldn’t believe how careful the child was with everything. Had they beaten him until he learned to clean up after himself?
They’d only had him for two and a half years. A child of four should still be learning to do half of what this boy did. Just how far had they taken things? It was a good thing that he didn’t have to go back to that house. Here he would be well cared for. Snape was amazed that, for all the abuse he’d already suffered, Adrian was still a sweet and even-tempered child.
He chuckled as he watched Adrian try to climb into the claw footed tub. He’d pushed his toys into the water already and was trying to pull himself over the edge, though he stood just a few inches above the lip, his little leg trying to pull his whole weight over the edge. Moving closer, Snape picked up the child and deposited him into the water.
He watched for a while as Adrian played with his horses before he handed a face cloth and the soap over, wanting to see just how good of a job he would do with washing himself without help. He was amazed and slightly disturbed when Adrian washed everywhere thoroughly, making sure not to miss any spot. Then came the hair…
Once Adrian was dried off, Snape pulled out the pyjamas he’d bought and helped the boy get dressed. “I think we’re going to have to go shopping for more clothes for you once you feel better,” Snape murmured as he followed Adrian out of the bathroom, his horses carefully wrapped in a towel so they wouldn’t make a mess on the floor until they were dried off.
“I don’t need much,” Adrian said, missing the angry flash that flit through Snape’s eyes before it was gone.
“Let me be the judge of that, Adrian,” Snape murmured as he walked over to the door. “Don’t forget. Take it easy today and if you need to, take a nap. I have work to do and will see you at lunch.”
“Yes, Father,” Adrian said as he carefully pulled out his horses and gently wiped them before putting them on an empty shelf to dry completely.
Snape watched him for a few more seconds before he left the boy to finish his work.
Adrian felt his eyes droop and fought it as he tried to finish his picture. He was almost done! Then he would take a nap… but sleep won out.
That was how Snape found him an hour later, sleeping on the floor with his head on one arm, a crayon in his other hand. He smiled indulgently as he watched him sleep for a few minutes longer before gently shaking him awake. It was time for lunch.
The whole week went much the same way, with Adrian taking naps at odd times, though they were fewer in number. When he’d felt better, Snape had told Adrian to stand still for a minute, and had pointed his wand at his forehead. He’d murmured something that Adrian didn’t understand and he’d felt his forehead tingle a little. When he’d looked in the mirror, he’d been amazed that there was no more lightning scar on it.
“So people don’t make assumptions,” was all Snape had said when Adrian had looked at him questioningly.
Snape had finally taken him to get some new clothes and Adrian was proudly dressed in a beautiful outfit because they were going to visit someone today. His father had told him that there was a boy there whom he could make friends with.
His very first friend!
He couldn’t wait.
He was slightly confused when Snape led him over to the fireplace but bit his tongue and waited patiently to see what would happen. They both climbed into the fireplace and Snape threw down some kind of powder, holding on to Adrian’s hand as he did so. “Malfoy Manor,” he called out and they were suddenly enveloped in green flames.
Adrian clung to Snape as they whizzed by several other fireplaces in a nauseating way that terrified him. When they finally stopped, landing hard, he was grateful for Snape’s hold on him so that he didn’t fall on his face as he stumbled.
When they walked out of the fireplace, Snape waved his wand, cleaning the soot off their clothes. Adrian took the opportunity to look around, taking in all the beautiful decorations in the room before he became aware of the people who were standing watching him in amusement.
“Severus,” the blonde-haired man murmured, the look in his eyes slightly cold as Adrian looked up at him. Feeling unsure, Adrian took a step towards Snape, hiding slightly behind him, though he could still see the two adults and the boy who stood beside them.
“Lucius, Narcissa,” Snape murmured in greeting, nodding slightly. “Draco. This is Adrian, my son.”
The hand Snape put on Adrian’s head was gentle. The woman smiled gently at him and Adrian smiled shyly back at her. She looked almost like the ice queen that he’d read in one of Dudley’s fairy tale books, all regal and pretty.
“It’s nice to meet you, Adrian,” the woman, Narcissa murmured, holding her hand out to shake his.
Adrian hesitated for a second before his manners forced him to step away from the shelter of Snape’s robes and towards her, his small hand slipping easily in hers. “Nice to meet you, Mrs. Malfoy,” he said quietly, smiling shyly again, a faint blush creeping up his cheeks.
Her smile deepened and she winked at him. “Why don’t we go sit in the Parlor and have tea and cookies?” she asked the others as she led Adrian out of the Foyer.
Snape watched the mutinous tightening of Draco’s lips and wondered if he would pick a fight with Adrian or become instant friends. He knew what was going through the blonde boy’s head, too. He’d never had to share what he considered his… and because Snape was his godfather, he was considered Draco’s.
He’d have to keep a close eye on the two boys, if it came to a tugging match, Adrian wouldn’t fight because he didn’t think he was worthy of having a family of his own. It was what he was used to, after all.
They’d been sitting for almost an hour when it happened just like Snape had figured it would…
“Who do you think you are?” Draco blurted out finally as they sat at a small table, slightly away from the adults so they could ‘get to know each other’, as the woman had put it. Adrian hadn’t wanted to. He could feel the hate coming off the other boy and knew from experience that it didn’t mean anything good for himself.
After all, that was how it had started with Dudley all the time, and ended with Adrian being punished for whatever happened. It seemed some things didn’t change. Adrian had kept quiet though he wanted to run over to Snape and hide against him again. He knew he wouldn’t be allowed to so he didn’t bother.
“What do you mean?” Adrian asked finally, warily since it seemed the other boy was waiting for some kind of reaction from him.
“Uncle Sev belongs to me,” the blonde boy growled out, glaring at Adrian with hatred. “You have no right to come between us.”
“But-” Adrian began only to be cut off.
“It’s just because no one else wants you that he took pity on you,” Draco said in satisfaction as he saw the hurt flash in Adrian’s eyes. “He doesn’t really want you around.”
Adrian felt tears well up in his eyes at the hurtful words of the other boy and looked down at the table, knowing he was right. Hadn’t his own uncle wanted to sell him to someone else? Wasn’t it the reason why he was always called ‘freak’ by his relatives? Even Aunt Marge didn’t want him around. And now, this boy, someone he didn’t even know, was telling him the same thing. It had to be true if a stranger was telling him the same thing as everyone else.
Wanting to get away from the mean boy, Adrian pushed away from the table and rose to his feet. “I’m sorry,” he choked out, missing the look of surprise and triumph on Draco's face, as he turned to leave the room.
“Adrian, stop,” Snape snapped angrily and Adrian didn’t hesitate to obey. He’d learned early in life that disobedience earned punishment. As he didn’t know what Snape would do if he disobeyed, he didn’t dare do it, so he closed his eyes and waited for the worst to happen.
He felt Snape come stand beside him but he refused to look up at the man he’d been happy to call father. Did he really have the right to call him that? According to the blonde boy, he didn’t.
“What did you say to him, Draco?” he heard Snape ask and was surprised that he wasn’t the one accused of causing the disruption.
“Nothing,” Draco mumbled and Adrian could hear the defiance in the tone.
“Draco,” Lucius said, a world of warning in the one word.
“I told him he wasn’t wanted,” Draco mumbled finally, glaring defiantly at the adult standing beside Adrian.
Snape gave Draco a look of disappointment and disapproval at the words that came out of the child’s mouth. It was all it took to make Draco realize his mistake. “We’ll be back,” Snape murmured as he guided Adrian out of the room.
He led Adrian to another room and closed the door. Looking down at the child in front of him, he knew Draco’s words had hit something inside Adrian that he needed to rectify or it would just make things worse.
“Adrian,” he began but stopped when he saw the small shoulders shake.
“I’m sorry I’m bad,” Adrian gasped out through his tears.
Snape stopped himself from cursing and knelt in front of the boy. “Adrian, look at me,” he said gently and smiled when Adrian peeked up at him. “I don’t want you to apologize for something you haven’t done. Do you understand?”
“But-” Adrian began and cut himself off when Snape shook his head. “Okay,” he whispered instead.
“Now, I know Draco said some hurtful things, but I want you to listen to me. He’s used to getting everything he wants and he’s not used to sharing. We’re going to have to teach him how to do that, alright?”
“H-he said you didn’t… didn’t want m-me,” Adrian hiccupped tearfully, unable to stop the words. “That you… only took p-pity on me because n-no one else wanted m-me either.”
Snape sighed and pulled him against chest as he picked Adrian up, moving towards the chair a few feet away. “It’s not true, Adrian.” He thought about how to phrase his next thoughts, knowing that if he said it wrong, that it would only create more problems, not make it better. “Do you know why I agreed to take you in?”
Adrian shook his head as he curled up against Snape, trying to control himself. Snape wanted to curse the Dursleys for their destructive handling of this poor child who’d never known anything but misery and heartache from them.
“Your mother and I were best friends when we were younger. When she passed away, she wanted me to take care of you so she’d know you were being taken good care of.” He smiled in reassurance when Adrian looked at him in surprise.
“You knew my mum?” he asked in surprise.
“I did, but today isn’t the time to ask about her,” Snape said firmly when Adrian opened his mouth to ask another question. He stopped the chuckle that wanted to come out when Adrian’s mouth obediently snapped shut. “I don’t ever want you to believe that you’re not wanted, do you understand?” he asked as he took a handkerchief out of his pocket and proceeded to wipe Adrian’s face with it.
Adrian took a deep shaky breath before he nodded. Snape knew he wasn’t convinced, but only time would fix that problem.
“Now, let’s go back to the other room and see if Draco is sorry for the hurtful things he said.”
Adrian clung to Snape’s hand as he led the boy back into the Parlor where Narcissa was looking at Draco in disapproval. “What do you have to say, Draco?” she said in a steely voice when she saw them enter.
“I’m sorry I was mean and rude,” he said in a sulky voice.
“And I won’t do it again,” Draco said with a sigh as he looked up at Adrian.
Snape felt Adrian move closer to him and looked down at the boy. “Do you think you can give Draco another chance at being your friend?”
Adrian looked up at Snape before looking back at Draco. Whatever the child saw in the blonde boy’s body language seemed to make up his mind. Looking up at Snape again he nodded hesitantly. Snape watched as Adrian walked over to the table and he turned to join the Malfoy couple at their table again, hoping that would be the end of it.
“Do you think we could be friends now?” Adrian asked after a few minutes of silence.
“I suppose I can try,” Draco said sulkily before he looked up at Adrian with a strange look on his face. “Why didn’t you argue back? I thought you would.”
Adrian shrugged uncomfortably. “What you said, it’s what I’ve been told since I was little,” he told Draco simply.
“Really?” Draco asked with wide eyes. “Your relatives told you that? Why?”
“Because when I’m bad, strange things happen. I don’t know why.”
“Your magic does things too?” Draco asked with a small smile of relief.
“What do you mean? Everyone knows magic isn’t real,” Adrian scoffed with a frown. Hadn’t his uncle always told him that? “It‘s only in fairy tales.”
“Nah-uh,” Draco said shaking his head from one side to the other once, his attitude told Adrian that he knew better. “I make things happen all the time. Mummy says it’s because my magic leaks out.” Draco frowned as he tried to remember what Narcissa had told him before he nodded as if that was the end of the matter.
Adrian didn’t look like he believed him but didn’t want to argue the point. It wasn’t worth it.
They were quiet for a few minutes before Draco looked up at Adrian again. “Want to make a potion?”
“What’s a potion?” Adrian asked in confusion.
Draco looked at him in surprise before he smiled slowly. “I’ll show you.” Adrian watched as the blonde boy got up and walked over to the adults. “May I take Adrian to my potions lab and show him how to make a potion?”
The adults looked at him suspiciously before looking over at Adrian. Then Draco’s parents looked over at Snape. “I want you to behave yourself, Draco,” Snape warned sternly.
With a grin, Draco gestured for Adrian to follow him.
Later that night, Snape watched Adrian from the privacy of the doorway again, watching as the little boy hugged Jax tightly. “You should’ve been there, Jax,” Adrian said softly, the joy shining in his eyes. “It was great! I finally have a friend and he doesn’t think I’m a freak, either.”
Snape smiled gently before he walked away. His new son was going to be fine.