I do not own any of these characters, nor do I make any money playing with them.
Snape, one of the youngest professors in Hogwarts history, was working in his lab. He had several potions merrily bubbling away as he graded essays, and was feeling grouchier by the minute. Surely by fourth year students should at least be able to spell respectably?
He heard the whoosh of his floo activating, but didn't even look up to see who it was. The only person who would dare to come into his lab unannounced was one wizard he had nothing to fear from. He snorted, however, when the predictable "Severus, my boy!" came from his fireplace.
"Good evening, Albus," he responded. "I'll be with you in one minute."
"Take your time," the headmaster responded merrily. "I am unannounced."
Severus carefully put up his potions to simmer and, wiping his hands, faced the headmaster. "Tea?" he asked with a touch of sarcasm in his voice.
"That would be lovely," the headmaster answered, as if his calling in to the dungeon was an everyday occurrence. "But I do not believe that we have time today."
"Really?" Severus answered, his eyebrow arching. He was the picture of cool indifference, but secretly wondered about what could possibly bring the headmaster to talk to him at this hour. "An emergency with a student, perhaps?"
"No, with your Godson."
"The other one."
Severus responded with silence and a hint of malice on his face. "You are the only one alive that knows about that," he answered with ice in his voice.
"Yes, yes," Dumbledore told him, clasping his hands in front of him. "That is fortunate that I do because it seems he is in need of you now."
"What happened to the relatives he's living with?"
"They died in a car crash," Dumbledore answered sadly. "I have tried to see if there was something more sinister to it, but right now it seems to just be an ordinary muggle death. Or deaths, rather."
"It seems an inconvenient time for Black to be in prison, he is the legal Godfather."
"Yes, there is that," Dumbledore answered. "But Askaban he is in. So that leaves the second Godfather, the one Lily requested."
"Leave it to you to remember that detail."
"Of course," Albus merrily told him. "So do you want the boy to live here at school with you or at your home in Spinner's End?"
"I have not agreed to this," Snape protested evenly. "Do you really think my life here as a Potions Master is conducive to raising a child? Is the brat even out of diapers?"
"He is eight, Severus," the headmaster answered. "Three years from coming to Hogwarts."
"There are plenty of wizarding families that would love to raise the little celebrity," Snape snapped. "Why should it be me?"
"You know why," Albus told him, his easy demeanor dissipating as he became serious. "And you know why you are the choice over Sirius, even if he weren't in prison. You and Lily shared blood."
"That was a stupid ritual we did as children!"
"And it is enough to satisfy the blood wards. Thank goodness you did, or the boy would have no hope."
"Why don't you look after him?" he asked Albus angrily.
"We both know why," Albus replied sadly. "I wish that I could. But you, Severus Snape, are his best hope for surviving until he can save us all."
Severus, knowing just how much he would not be able to talk himself out of it, took a deep breath. "I do not have the kind and gentle temperament required for raising children," Severus answered. "And what am I supposed to do with the brat while I'm teaching?"
"There is but a month before the end of term," Albus replied. "Perhaps you could install him at Spinner's End until that time? You could have your house elf look after him while you are gone, or maybe you could consider a nanny. Your obligations here would be minimal so you would have time to be with him. I will personally oversee your Slytherins for you, and you have a lab at home as well as here. You could treat teaching like a day job where you go home in the evening."
"I am not sure my obligations at Hogwarts are so easily covered."
"Is there any greater obligation than raising the savior of the wizarding world?" Albus asked him, seriously. "We can manage without you for a month, and next fall you can make a more informed decision. And Severus, though you play at having a mean and sarcastic demeanor, do not try to tell me that you're not a good man. I know better."
Snape harrumphed but knew that the old man had outmaneuvered him. Honestly, was there any getting around that man? It had been years since he had ever even really tried, but he had a feeling that if he were to become Potter's guardian than they would be more at odds than they ever had been before. Merlin! Potter's guardian! Snape rolled his eyes at the inevitability of it all, he did know that he was the best choice to keep the boy safe until he could save the world. James Potter would come back to haunt him just for him having the audacity to entertain such a notion.
"But one word of advice I will offer," Dumbledore continued. "You need to know him for who he really is, as Harry, not as James' son. Do not let your hate for his father affect the treatment of his son."
"If I am going to do this," Snape told him, gratingly accepting the inevitable, "I do not want interference. He would need to be raised in a clear-eyed fashion, not with as much sympathy and overindulgence as you would give him. There will be order and discipline."
"As long as I do not feel that you are properly tending to the boy's needs and not abusing him, I am fine with those terms," Dumbledore told him. "But Snape, do you honestly think he needs order and discipline more than sympathy? He has just lost his second set of parents."
"I'm sure the brat had his relatives wrapped around his little finger doing his every bidding. He will need order and discipline."
Snape accompanied Dumbledore to his office, where the brat in question was staring wide-eyed while sipping a cup of cocoa. McGonagall was sitting with him, calmly sipping her tea and trying to be calm and supportive.
"Harry, my boy, this is your Godfather, Severus Snape," Dumbledore told him. "He was a very close friend of your mother's from childhood."
Harry looked up at the tall man dressed in black, and blinked in alarm. He seemed to shrink into his chair, and the cup of cocoa shook a little bit. He had never seen anyone as intimidating as the man before him, surely this man could be far more evil than his relatives. At least he could usually outrun Uncle Vernon and Dudley, this man made him freeze just with a look from his black eyes.
"Oh, he looks scary, but he is no that bad," McGonagall assured Harry with her soft Scottish lilt.
"I am that bad," Snape contradicted her. "Where are the boy's things?"
Harry reached down to a worn bag half-full. He could not find his voice to say anything, but Snape understood the gesture.
"Where are the rest of his things?" Snape asked sharply. Surely a child such as Potter would have trunks full of junk for him to accomodate.
"He appears to just have this," McGonagall told him. "I'm not sure if his other things were misplaced in the confusion or what, he doesn't seem to be able to say."
"I see," Snape glared at the downturned head of the boy. "Insolence."
"I believe it to be shock," McGonagall told him with a outwardly gentle voice, though Snape heard the strength and the warning in her voice. "He has had a difficult few days." Snape looked sharply into the eyes of his former teacher, and she looked steadily back at him. Recognizing her message of being kind to the boy, he looked away hurriedly. He knew better than to directly challenge the woman.
"You could stay for some tea," Dumbledore offered Snape, smirking at the polite sideways reprimand his deputy headmaster had given Snape.
"I think it best to be going soon," Snape answered, sizing the boy up. He was undersized, had awkward glasses, and his clothes were several sizes too large but worn out. Snape wondered if he were a picky eater and a slave to modern fashions that seemed to favor large, worn-out clothing. Perhaps his shaggy hair was also an outpouring of his style, he reasoned. Snape did not look in the boy's eyes, however, he felt it best to keep this impersonal and professional.
"Mr. Potter, bring your bag and come with me."
Harry obeyed silently, setting down his cocoa and picking up his bag.
"I will expect a full report tomorrow," Dumbledore told Snape. "And we will visit this weekend as well once Harry has a chance to settle in."
"You take good care of that boy, Severus," McGonagall told him sternly. "Or you shall have me to deal with."
Snape ignored them, and took the boy by the shoulder to usher him over to the fireplace. Harry barely had time to blink before the great black man said "Spinner's End!" and they whooshed away. He found himself sprawled over the floor of a house with soot billowing out, causing him to cough.
Harry Potter and the Potter Universe is the property of J K Rowling and various other publishing and filming companies. I neither receive nor accept any monetary reward nor any goods from writing this fan fiction.
It has been brought to my attention that the beginning few chapters of my story have some similarities to a previously published fanfic. I don't recall ever reading her wonderful story before, but the similarities are so striking that I feel I must cite her work as well. So it is in accidental homage that I present my writing, the original is below and hope you take the time to read this wonderful author