A/N - Welcome to Children of the Dark Collection. This series will feature companion pieces to my series, Children of the Dark - and at the moment I'm going to try and publish every Wednesday. At the moment I've rated this as a T, but it is likely to go up to M if I write any saucier scenes. I've also kept the characters the same as the other Children stories - but these pieces features far more than just Draco, Hermione and Harry. A lot of other characters are featured - mainly from the dark side, but there will likely be some from the light side as well.

As for timings, the pieces will fall into three categories. Those set before the trio start school - some of those will be further back before the trio were born, and some will be when the trio were younger. Some will be set in between the seven years of Children of the Dark and will feature missing scenes or moments that were just mentioned in the actual story. The last batch will be set after school - although none of them will be published until I'm sure they'll contain no spoilers for the end of sixth year and seventh year.

This piece is one of those set before school. It's what happens when Severus goes to the Dursleys to get Harry back. Just remember, if there's anything you want to see, let me know and I'll try and write it. Enjoy.


Homecoming.

Severus stood outside of number four Privet Drive, his heart hammering in his chest. He was about to be reunited with his son if all went well, and he was understandably nervous. It had taken all of Severus's self-control not to rush in when he'd first discovered where Harry was, but fortunately Lucius had been on hand to ensure he proceeded in a logical way. That had meant fully checking out Privet Drive and the Dursleys, and any protection spells that might have been placed upon them, before moving into action. It had taken a couple of weeks, but Severus and Lucius were now sure that Dumbledore wouldn't even be aware of Severus's visit as long as he played things right when he spoke to Lily's sister.

Taking a deep breath, Severus marched up the neat garden path and rang the Dursleys doorbell. Less than a minute later, the door was opened by a woman carrying a small child. At first, Severus thought he was looking at Harry, but then he realised not only was the child larger than Harry, he didn't have Lily's bright green eyes and his own jet black hair. Tearing his eyes away from the child, he looked up at the woman and came face to face with Lily's sister, Petunia. Severus hadn't seen Petunia since they were children, but he recognised the sour look on her face. He'd never been able to decide if she always looked as though she was sucking on a lemon, or if it was just her obvious distaste for him that soured her face.

"Hello Petunia," Severus said softly.

"Severus?" Petunia frowned, not quite sure if the tall, young man in front of her was the scrawny greasy haired boy her sister used to be friends with.

"It's me, Petunia," Severus said. "May I come in?"

"I'm rather busy," Petunias replied, clearly not wanting a wizard in her house.

"It's about Harry," Severus said. "And it's urgent?"

"Harry," Petunia repeated. "What does Lily's son have to do with you?"

"He's also my son," Severus replied.

"Your son?" Petunia cackled. "What about Lily's loser of a husband."

"Potter is not Harry's father, I am," Severus said firmly. "And if you'll let me in, I want to discuss taking him home with me."

"You want to take him off our hands?" Petunia asked in obvious glee. "In that case, you better come in."

Severus frowned slightly at Petunia's glee in potentially getting rid of Harry as he followed the woman into her perfectly neat and tidy house. He didn't know the details of what Dumbledore had told Petunia about her sisters' death, but he'd assumed Petunia and her husband had willingly taken Harry in, despite the fact the two sisters had never seen eye to eye. As such he'd arrived preparing to fight for his son, but things might be easier than he thought.

Severus followed Petunia into the front room, where she instantly put her own son down in a bouncy chair and strapped him in. Severus watched Petunia cooing over her son, before his attention darted around the rest of the room, looking for his own son. There were plenty of pictures on display in the room, but none of them contained Harry, and there was no sign of another child in the house.

"Where is Harry?" Severus asked as Petunia turned back to him.

"He's sleeping," Petunia replied, waving a dismissive hand to the corner of the room where Severus spotted a cardboard box half hidden behind the chair.

Severus walked over to the corner and was horrified to find Harry lying in the box. His son wasn't asleep, he was merely lying quietly, looking up at the world with sad eyes. Immediately Severus scooped his son up and cradled him in his arms.

"Why is he in a box?" He demanded as he whirled back around to face Lily's sister.

"He likes it in there," Petunia answered with a shrug.

"I'm sure he would like it in a chair like your son's," Severus shot back.

"That's Dudley's chair," Petunia said, stepping in front of her son as though she thought Severus was going to remove him and place Harry in the chair.

"And you couldn't have gotten a second one?" Severus asked with a shake of his head.

"Why should we?" Petunia hissed. "It's not our place to pay to look after my sister's child."

"Then why agree to take him in?" Severus questioned.

"We didn't agree, he was dumped on us," Petunia said with a bitter laugh.

"Dumped?"

"Yes, dumped. We got up one morning and there was Harry in a box on our front doorstep," Petunia explained. "There was a note in with him from some wizard or other. The note informed us of his name and that he was Lily's son. It also said that we were to take him in and look after him."

"So you just followed the instructions out of the kindness of your heart?" Severus snorted.

"No, we took him in because we were too afraid not to," Petunia spat. "I've seen what magic can do, and it's not good. We didn't know if we were being watched, so we took the boy in and we've been looking after him ever since."

"By leaving him in a box in the corner," Severus snarled. "Don't worry Petunia, you won't have to look after him anymore. My son is coming home with me."

"And what if the wizard who left him with us, Dimblebores, or whatever he was called, comes looking for him?" Petunia questioned. "I am not putting my family in danger from you freaks with magic."

"There's no magic in place keeping Harry with you," Severus explained. He and Lucius had thoroughly checked and they'd actually been surprised that Dumbledore seemed to have left Harry with the Dursleys without putting any sort of protective measures in place. "I'm also confident, Dumbledore is not watching you in any way. My guess is, no-one will even think of looking for Harry until it's time for him to start Hogwarts."

"Your guesses won't keep us safe, Severus," Petunia snarled. "I'm more than happy to let you have your son, but in return we need protection."

"I can do that," Severus said with a nod of his head. "I can arrange it so that I'm alerted if anyone with magic comes within a few feet of the house. I can be here before anyone can get to you. But you have to do something for me in return."

"I'm giving you your son, isn't that enough?" Petunia asked.

"I was taking Harry whatever you said," Severus replied with a snort as he pulled his son closer to him. "I now want something else from you."

"What?" Petunia asked warily.

"If we ever need it, you and your husband are to play guardians to Harry," Severus said. "No-one in the wizarding world is to know I'm his father and that is he with me. As far as everyone will be concerned, he grew up with you and your family and he still lives with you."

"And how are we going to pull that off?" Petunia snorted. "All my neighbours will know Harry doesn't live here."

"We're not trying to fool the neighbours, we're fooling a few witches and wizards who might not even ask questions," Severus replied. "I don't even know if it's ever going to come up. All I'm saying is that if we need to, you and your husband have to be prepared to act as though Harry has been living with you."

"I don't know if we can do that," Petunia said slowly.

"I'll make it worth your while," Severus said, looking around the room and noting that Petunia seemed like the materialistic sort. "I'll give you money every month, and if we need you, you do as we say."

"A thousand a month," Petunia announced.

"A thousand it is," Severus replied. "Forgive me if I don't use a bank transfer. You'll get your money in cash on the first of every month, starting next month. I'll also make sure no-one magical can get near you or your family without me knowing. Hopefully we won't have to see each other too often, but if we ever do need you Petunia, you better come through for us."

Petunia gulped at the implied threat in Severus's voice, and the way his cold black eyes bored into her. Nodding her head quickly, she gathered the few bits and pieces she had for Harry while Severus erected the spells that would keep her family safe. When Severus was finished, he picked Harry up in his arms, and ignoring the bag of hand-me-downs that Petunia claimed belonged to Harry, he strode towards the back door.

"Where are you going?" Petunia demanded, running after Severus.

"I take it you'd rather your neighbours didn't see me leave the house with Harry and then vanish into thin air," Severus remarked. "You back garden is shielded enough so that I can leave without anyone noticing anything."

"Fine," Petunia huffed as Severus walked out into the garden.

Slamming the door shut behind him, she watched as he walked down the garden and into the shadows of some overhanging trees. And then he was gone. One minute he was there and the next he vanished as though he'd just been a figment of her imagination. Relieved that her life could go back to normal, Petunia turned her back on the garden and hurried back into the front room to check on Dudley.

While Petunia was celebrating her life returning to normal, Severus was arriving back at his father's house. He'd had a long talk with Beth about what would happen next, and they'd both agreed that Harry should stay with her, while Severus took up his teaching position and carried on as normal. Severus wasn't sure how easy that would be to do, but he knew it would be worth it in the end, once his father was better and the truth could emerge about who Severus was and who Harry was.

Entering the front room, Severus found that not only was Beth waiting for him, but Lucius and Narcissa were also present. Hermione was sitting on the sofa beside Beth, a soft toy in her mouth as she garbled on quietly to herself. Draco meanwhile was fast asleep in a pristine baby blue basket which was sitting on the floor beside Narcissa.

"Is this him?" Beth gushed, getting up to meet her grandson.

"This is him," Severus confirmed with a smile as he handed Harry over to Beth. "This is Harry."

"He's lovely, Severus," Narcissa said with a smile as Beth sat down with Harry in her arms.

"Look Hermione," Beth said to her daughter, who was several months older than Harry. "This is Harry, he's your nephew."

Severus watched as his little sister, reached out and gently stroked Harry's face. Harry giggled in response, which made Hermione giggle and stroke him again. Severus smiled as the pair bonded with each other. With any luck they'd be close growing up and it would be as though Harry had a sibling. After all, it wasn't like Severus was going to have more kids to give his son an actual brother or sister, not now Lily was dead.

"How did it go?" Lucius asked as Severus sat down.

"She wants money to agree to help us if we need it," Severus replied.

"Bloody woman, you should have just obliviated her," Lucius said.

"This way is easier, we might need the Dursleys again in the future," Severus said. "Besides, a bit of money a month is a small price to pay for having my son home safely."

Reaching across for Harry, Severus picked his son back up, causing his sister to squeal in disappointment.

"Looks like Harry has a fan," Narcissa laughed as Hermione crawled over to her brother and got up on his knee next to Harry.

"Something tells me those two are going to be trouble," Beth said with a fond smile, as right on cue, Draco let out a loud wail as he woke up.

"I think you mean three," Lucius said as Narcissa picked their son up out of his basket.

"What have we let ourselves in for?" Beth laughed as Narcissa moved over to where Severus was sitting to introduce Draco to Harry.

The three young children were definitely going to be a handful, but none of the adults would have it any other way. The trio were going to grow up together, and hopefully a tight bond would form between them. A bond that would last them a lifetime and help them cope with whatever the wizarding world threw at them.