Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter
A special thanks to The Lonely God With a Box for beta'ing my story.
Summary: Harry discovers something strange in his Gringotts vault among his parents' belongings-a letter of apology from James to Snape. Harry decides he should deliver it.
Contents of letter and canon setting up to the author.
A/N: I found this under the challenges on the Potions and Snitches website. I hope that you like it.
It had been a long and dreary summer. The fiasco at the Ministry was still fresh in Harry's mind. Harry heard the entire prophecy and learned that he would have to die before the war was over. But what hurt more than anything was that Sirius was dead. The whole point of going to the Ministry was to save him and that turned out to be a trick. Not a trick, but a trap. And Harry fell for it.
Once Harry got back to Privet Drive, he started blaming everybody for Sirius' death. For a while he blamed Dumbledore. He wouldn't speak to Harry. He kept Sirius locked up in that house.
Then he blamed Snape. He didn't listen to Harry's warning. He just walked out of Umbridge's office. Then he stopped teaching him Occlumency, but that wasn't totally all Snape's fault, since Harry was the one that snooped into Snape's private things. If he was being honest with himself, Harry would probably feel the same way if someone went through his belongings. So he couldn't really blame Snape.
Then the last one he wanted to blame, even though it seemed irrational, was Hermione. She begged him to listen that it might be a trap. That Voldemort only put that vision in his head so that he would come running. Turned out that she was right. Again, he launched forward into something that he knew nothing about and it cost him more that he was willing to pay.
It was now two weeks before school was to start and Harry, deciding to get away from his relatives, called the Knight Bus and went to the Leaky Cauldron. After procuring a room from Tom, the bartender, Harry went out to Diagon Alley.
After getting a somewhat restless night's sleep and having breakfast at the pub, Harry went out to the alley and headed for Gringotts. Once he got to the bank, he was met by Griphook.
"Mr. Potter," Griphook snarled. "Now that you are sixteen, you will be taken to your family's vault.
Harry had a look of bewilderment on his face. His family's vault? Then whose vault had he been getting his money from? These questions rattled in his mind, but he didn't voice them just yet. He just followed the goblin to the moving carts.
"If we're headed towards my family's vault, then whose vault have I been taken money from?" Harry asked once he sat down and couldn't hold back his curiosity any longer.
"That was a trust that your grandparents started when you were born. It was left with explicit instructions that it be used for your schooling."
Harry had no response to that, so he just nodded.
They traveled for some time before the cart stopped. Once it did, and Harry and Griphook got out, they walked over to the only door in the whole hallway. Griphook opened the door and stepped aside. Harry, very slowly, walked in and the room lit instantly.
To say that Harry was surprised would be an understatement. Harry couldn't believe what he was seeing. He remembered the shocked look on his face when he first saw all the gold that was in the other vault when he first came to the Magical world. But this was completely different. There were books everywhere. Furniture and boxes were stacked neatly in a corner. Gold was scattered in small bundles around the enormous room.
Very slowly, Harry walked around the room. Looking at the photos that laid against the furniture, Harry saw what looked to be his grandparents. There was even a picture of his dad with Sirius, Remus and, picking up the photo and bringing it closer to his eyes, he saw what looked like Snape. But that couldn't be true. Harry remembered how Snape felt about his dad and Sirius, so for him to be in a photo with them voluntarily seemed impossible. Putting the photo aside for the moment, something caught Harry's eyes. There was a letter. Thinking that it was probably a letter from his mom to his dad or vice versa, Harry picked it up and started reading it.
I know I am the last person in the world you expect to hear from and I would have to agree with you, but I had to write this letter. Lily wanted me to write this letter to you asking for your forgiveness. I know we've done some horrible things to you during our time at school, but you gave as good as you got. Sorry. Listen, I am sorry for how we've, no, I behaved. I know it doesn't mean much to you, but I just wanted you to know.
Lily keeps pressuring me to write this letter and she is currently downstairs fixing dinner as I write this. She threatened that if I didn't write this, she would put something in my food that only you would be able to cure. So basically the choices she gave me were I tell you everything in writing, or I come see you face to face begging for the antidote. As you can see, I don't want her wrath upon me, so I'm writing.
Boy, if Sirius could see this now, he would think that I'm completely whipped.
Seriously, I am sorry for my actions towards you while we were in school.
Know that I wasn't against what Lily did. She still thinks about you. She was happy to see you at the wedding. I know you didn't want to take that picture, but she treasured it.
I know that Lily sought you out after Harry was born. She told me that you held him, but what she didn't tell you is the other reason I'm writing this to you. Like I wrote before, I am not against it. Sirius may be, but I'm not. I agree with Lily, but then again, it was agree or be in pain.
Lily named you Harry's Godfather. She was determined to keep you as her friend, and she wants you in Harry's life.
Once this war is over, she wants you to come over and spend the day with your godson.
Well, that's what I have to say. Since I can't send this by owl, you won't be able to respond. When we can come out of hiding, I will be expecting your response.
Again, forgive me.
Harry re-read the letter twice. His hand was involuntary gripping the parchment until it was crinkling at the corner.
Those two words just stuck out most of all from that letter. Severus Snape was his godfather. Looking back down at the table, Harry saw an envelope and noticed that the writing was the same as the letter. His dad had written an address on there. Harry looked at the address and figured, why not? What had he to loose? What would be the worse that could happen?
Harry folded the letter and placed it in the envelope. It magically sealed. He placed it in his pocket and continued on looking through out the vault. After some time, Harry walked out of the vault, and he and Griphook headed back up to the main lobby. Once out of Gringotts, Harry was going to do his shopping for school, but he changed his mind and headed back to the Leaky Cauldron. Without speaking to anyone, Harry headed straight for Muggle London. The address on the envelope that was still in his pocket wasn't that far from there.
Harry began his trek. It was thirty minutes before Harry reached his destination. He pulled out the envelope again and looked at the address. Finding the street, Harry walked until he got to the numbers that matched the envelope.
Harry's heart was pounding in his chest. Not from the walk, but the anticipation of the reaction he would most likely receive from the occupant of the house. While he was at the bank, he was determined to deliver the letter, but now standing in front of the door, Harry was every bit as nervous. He swallowed, squared his shoulders, and walked up to the door.
Harry was just about to knock when he heard from behind him, "Whatever you're trying to peddle, you are wasting your time. Get away from my porch."
The voice came from behind him, but Harry instantly recognized the silky baritone voice of his Potions Professor. Lowering his arm, Harry took a deep breath and turned to face his Professor.
"Potter," Severus snarled. "What are you doing here?"
"I-I," Harry stammered. His voice just wasn't working now.
"Eloquent as always," Severus sneered. "Why are you here? How did you find me?"
Harry, realizing that he wasn't going to talk, reached inside his pocket and pulled out the letter and held it out.
"What is this?" Severus asked, snatching the letter from Harry. Looking down at the envelope, Severus recognized the handwriting and looked back up at the boy standing in front of him. "Where did you get this?"
"It was in my family's vault," Harry said, finally finding his voice.
Severus did not say another word. He just pushed passed Harry and walked into his house, slamming the door behind him. Harry stood at the porch for a second and without a second glance at the door behind him, he walked off.
Severus stood at the door, looking down at the letter in his hand. He was truly debating throwing the envelope in the fireplace, but something was nagging at him to open it.
It had been a week since Harry gave Severus the letter. He didn't expect to see the Potions Master again until school started, but that changed. Harry was sitting in the pub, eating his supper, when someone walked up and sat down across from him. Harry looked up at the person. His fork stopping midway towards his mouth.
Severus wasn't expecting to run into Potter, but he needed to go to Diagon Alley for some supplies and when he walked in the Leaky Cauldron he spotted the messy-haired boy sitting in the corner, alone. Walking over to the boy, Severus sat down across from him.
"Aren't you supposed to be with your relatives?" Severus drawled.
Harry swallowed the food that he had in his mouth and lowered the fork.
"I haven't been with them for two weeks now."
Severus raised he eyebrow.
"Is there a reason behind you running away?"
"I just couldn't stay there anymore." Harry said more now than he did when he was standing at the Professor's front step. "It's not like anyone noticed. Or even cared." That last part was said a lot lower, but Severus heard it just the same.
Instead of responding to what Harry said, Severus pulled out the envelope and placed it on the table. Harry looked at the envelope and noticed that it was not opened. He couldn't help his shoulders sagging a little.
"This letter is from your father," Severus stated.
"I will ask you again, where did you get it from?"
Harry looked at Snape. "I told you. My family's vault. When I got here, I went to Gringotts to pull some money out so that I could get my books for the school year. I was told that I had a vault that I could now access since I was sixteen. I found the letter there."
"And did you read its contents?"
Harry put his head back down.
"Yes, sir," Harry mumbled.
"What does it say?"
"Open it, and read it," Harry said with more courage than he let on.
"I will not open anything that James Potter wrote," Severus said with finality. "There is no telling what cruelty is on that letter."
"My dad didn't seal it," Harry all but screamed, causing a few people to turn their way. Severus raised his eyebrow at the boy. "I did." Harry's voice was much calmer, now. "That's how I knew where to go."
"What does it say?" Severus asked again.
Harry sighed, looking at the envelope on the table, untouched.
"You're my godfather," Harry mumbled with his head lowered.
"I beg your pardon?" Severus said.
Harry raised his head and looked at the man sitting across from him and said, "You are my godfather. Mum insisted."
Severus' brow furrowed together and then quickly reached for the letter. Finally opening it, Severus quickly read the letter. He couldn't believe what he was reading. There was little that could shock Severus speechless, but this was on that level. Hell must have completely frozen over, because there was no way James Potter would ever ask for forgiveness. Not from Severus Snape. But there it was. Just as plain as the nose on his face. James Potter asked for forgiveness.
The other thing that shocked Severus was that Potter was right. He was named godfather to Potter. Severus looked up at the boy sitting across from him. Harry had his head down, his food long since forgotten. Harry's shoulders sagged. Severus could see how tense the child was by the way he was sitting, as if he was expecting an angry tirade from him.
"Not a word about this, Potter," Severus growled as he stood up from the table.
Harry looked up and watched his Potions Professor walk out of the pub, his robe billowing behind him. Harry looked back at the opened envelope on the table and a small smile graced his lips.
"Well," Harry whispered to himself. "At least he read it."
Harry picked up his fork and continued eating with a lighter feeling on his chest.
Fini? or TBC?
A/N: Thank you for taking the time to read my one-shot. It is now up to you if I continue this story or leave it at this one chapter.
Leave a review and let me know.
Many hugs and kisses to you all