Harry had written to Ron and Hermione telling them all about his trip to Diagon Alley and his meeting his father's wife but shortly after he had sent Hedwig off into the night to deliver the letters he began to feel somewhat guilty. When he had left Hogwarts for the summer he had been slightly apprehensive as to how summer with the Snapes was going to go and he had promised to write to his friends regularly, keeping them informed of how things were going and in return receiving advice and guidance in the event that things started to go awry but as time went on he became more comfortable with the situation. He no longer needed Hermione's logic to keep him from freaking out over nothing or feared that he might suddenly require Ron and his brothers to mount another rescue mission for him, this time before he got made into potions ingredients, and now it felt wrong to be divulging information relating to his father's private life to his students. He pictured Ron's face when he learned the potions master had a wife and he cringed, and worse again he knew Ron was sure to tell Fred and George. His father had welcomed him into his home and family and now he felt like he had betrayed his trust.
The next morning following a somewhat sleepless night Harry trudged downstairs a little earlier than usual in the hope he could catch his father alone before breakfast.
Severus was sitting at the table reading the daily prophet when Harry peeped round the door.
"Harry, what's wrong?" he asked, laying the paper down in concern as he took in his tired, haggard appearance.
"I need to make a confession."
Severus nodded solemnly and gestured for him to sit down.
"You know I've been writing to Ron and Hermione?" he began.
"Well I've just realised that you probably would have preferred me not to share some of the things that I did and now they are probably going to be all over the school and I'm really sorry."
His father eyed him for a moment before asking him what kind of things he had shared.
"Err well everything."
"What do you mean by everything?"
"Everything! Your house rules, what we eat, what we wear, the Malfoys visit, the trips to Little Whinging and how you decided to punish us for them, the trip to Diagon Alley and Gringotts and meeting your wife, everything!"
"And you have now decided that this was wrong of you?"
"Yes, you welcomed me into your family, you trusted me and I abused that trust by passing on intimate details of your life to my classmates."
"Those details pertain to your life as much as they do mine Harry. Tell me do you know how Mr. and Mrs. Weasley punish Ronald when he misbehaves?
"Yes they make him de-gnome the garden." Harry replied, grinning at the memory.
Severus smiled, "and correct me if I'm wrong but I do believe the first night of term generally consists of students swapping anecdotes from home while gorging themselves on sweets."
"Yeah but no one really cares what anyone's parents do but it's different you're also their professor."
"Harry for that reason, and because I do rather value my privacy I am glad to see that you understand the importance of discretion in some situations but Hogwarts professor or not, I am not an island, our lives are intertwined now, I cannot simply draw a line in the sand and separate your stories from my stories and only permit you to talk about what one might deem yours alone. I do not want you or Lily or Evan to have to hide part of who you are just because I am also your teacher. Believe me, while acting as a professor, anyone who I catch gossiping about my personal life will regret it. I am a big boy Harry, I can look after myself, but I am your father first. Always!"
So you aren't going to punish me? Harry asked still somewhat confused.
"What, just so you can go and tell your friends about it again?" Severus mocked.
Harry looked horrified causing his father to laugh. "I was joking, I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said that but as for a punishment, it looks like you spent much of the night berating yourself over this already and besides you start dance class in an hour, I would imagine that will be punishment enough. Especially when I tell the young Master Malfoy how great you look in a tutu.
Harry stared at his father aghast, causing him to laugh once more before sending him back upstairs to tidy himself up a little before breakfast. Then after they had eaten Severus led Lily and Harry into the ballroom where he gave them a list of instructions regarding what he expected Harry to have mastered before the end of the lesson and then set the gramophone to play before whisking off to his lab with Evan in tow.
Evan turned out to be a fantastic assistant once given the chance, Severus had always seen him as the weaker of the two twins, he had always seemed so shy and eager to please but he was delighted to note that his confidence soared with a little responsibility and once the boy had come to understand what was to be expected of him Severus came to realise he was a lot more self-assured than he would have credited him.
By the time Severus went to check on the Dance lesson Lily had started to realise her assignment was more difficult than she had initially though and was slowly coming to recognise it as the punishment it was. Harry was trying his best to please both his little sister, who loved dancing so much, and their father but he found his limbs most uncooperative and he really had no interest in it himself. He felt ridiculous, prancing around with just about as much grace as an beached walrus.
"Look up Harry!" Lily reminded for like the thousandth time as he shuffled across the room watching his feet.
"How am I supposed to know I'm doing it right if I cannot look?" he reasoned.
"You don't look, you feel." She replied, starting to lose her patience. "Listen to the beat of the music and keep time with that." She led him back out into the centre of the room "Now try again, one two three, one two three, one two three."
"Much better." She remarked with genuine enthusiasm before realising they had an audience. She blushed.
"Sorry I didn't mean to disturb you, I just came to see how you were getting on." He informed them before excusing himself once more.
By the time he returned again Harry had in fact mastered a basic waltz. He would have the dance teacher come out to polish him up a little before the big day but little Lily had done a wonderful job. He made a show of checking his watch and then changing the music to the nutcracker recommended they practice ballet next.
Harry who had been standing up against the wall slid down onto the floor with a groan causing his father to laugh. He offered him a hand, "Come on I was only joking. Detention is over now, go on and have fun."
"You truly are evil sometimes, you know that right" Harry muttered as he left.
"I cannot very well have it getting out that I'm going soft now can I." Severus replied with a grin reminding him that it was a detention after all before returning to his study to begin planning the trip to Cokeworth. With Evans help he had finally worked through the rest of his to do list as such was now free to spend more time with the children and so he spent the remainder of their detentions tutoring them on various brewing techniques, wandless magic and theoretical lessons on the very basics of every subject on the Hogwarts curriculum providing both a nice intro for the twins and a refresher course for Harry. Then once the week was up he sat them all down and reminded them why they had been given detention. He then had each of them write a letter to Petunia, apologising to her once again for their actions and advised them that there would be severe consequences should they ever repeat a stunt like that again before ultimately forgiving them. He then announced that he had planned a visit to Cokeworth for them the following day.
Harry grinned, he had forgotten about Cokeworth. With the week of detentions providing a little structure, time had flown and all in all it had been a week well spent as it meant that on top of all the additional things he had learned he had now finished all of his summer assignments and had even managed to read one of the books his father had asked about during his test. Brimming with excitement, he was now completely free to enjoy his first ever family holiday without the niggling thought of outstanding work awaiting him when he returned home.