Hey everyone so sorry about the delay! I started my new job so my schedule has changed and I had to shift my schedule around to adapt. However now that my first week is pretty much over I should be updating more regularly! Here's chapter 6
"I need to speak with you about the Potter boy." Severus announced as he made his way through the headmaster's office.
"I've already told you Severus, I cannot watch the child, nor can anyone else. He must go back to his Aunt and Uncle's if you're unwilling, I shall talk to them and place protection charms in case." Albus replied tiredly from his desk as he glanced over numerous papers from the Ministry.
"That is not what I came here for. Also the child will never go back to that house, not as long as I'm around. I am here to tell you that I would like to keep the boy." Severus drawled.
"That's excellent my boy. I knew the two of you would get along nicely." Albus replied his eye's twinkling. "May I ask what made you have a change in heart by making your decision so firm."
"No you may not." Severus snapped at the old man. Just because he was getting soft with Harry did not mean he was going to tarnish his whole repute.
If possible, the Headmaster's eyes twinkled more with delight. "And where is young Harry?"
"He is perfectly fine, I am capable of watching a child. Harry is with Poppy in the hospital wing getting a check up, and to make sure nothing is wrong."
"How very… thoughtful of you." Albus teased, enjoying how uncomfortable Severus felt for once.
Sneering, he snapped "My apologies, would you rather I follow a page from those incompetent muggles? Merlin knows they deserve the parent of the year award!"
"Parent? I didn't know you were considering yourself with such a soft title." Albus smirked.
Narrowing his eye's at Albus's ridiculing Severus remembered why he liked to be alone, because nobody could bother him. 'You're doing this for Harry' Severus repeated in his head trying to tame his emotions before latching out at the Old Man in annoyance.
Albus as in sensing Severus's anger and knowing the Potion's Master was out of what little patience he possessed held up his hand "I kid of course my boy, I am however truly delighted. I think this guardianship will work out to everyone's favor."
Nodding his head ever slow slightly Severus responded, "there is another reason I came."
"And what reason may that be?" Albus replied.
"I want total control and say in what Harry does. If I am to do this, I want to do it correctly. I don't want him becoming a spoiled brat because of the fame he acquired. He will follow my rules, I don't want you undermining my authority with him Albus. You may address me with any concerns for Harry's well being but my word is final." Severus drawled, his gaze resting intensely on the man behind the desk.
Lifting his head ever so slightly Albus nodded, the twinkle in his eyes gone before slowly responding "And what makes you think I would undermine you when it comes to the boy?"
"I know you Albus, I know you like to be in charge, in control. I am fine with your input, especially when it comes to Harry's safety and wellbeing, but in the end I want the final say. " Severus countered.
Nodding, the Headmaster had a tight grin on his face before replying, "of course Severus, he will be your ward. I find that this will be a reasonable agreement."
Sighing ever so slightly, Severus felt like a huge weight was taken off his shoulders. Severus would never admit it but he was still fearful around Albus, you don't feel the power of such a influential man like he did and not be wary. Severus was also apprehensive about telling Albus he wanted full control over Harry, he could breath easier knowing that all was well.
"What shall you do with the boy when school starts?" Albus genuinely asked.
Before he could respond the door flew open. "Sevewus!" A tiny voice squealed. "Guess what I'm all bewta!" Harry shouted as he ran towards the dark clothed man jumping into Severus's stiff arms, who appeared uncomfortable with the display of affection in front of the Headmaster.
"That's excellent new Harry." Severus replied to the child in his arms.
"Sorry! I didn't realize how quick of a runner we had on our hands here." Poppy said as she made her way into the office, looking a tad disheveled from running after Harry.
"Harry we don't run away from adults who are in charge of us." Severus lightly scolded the boy.
"But I wanted ta see you." The boy pouted.
"That's fine but next time you stay within view, and no running." Severus replied.
"Kay." The child happily replied before laying his head on the man's shoulder. Harry drifted in and out of the conversation the adults were having. It was mostly about Harry's checkup, and how he was much better but that he'd need to keep drinking a nutrients potion. Poppy also said something about an old scar that would be a permanent fixture on his arm from when Uncle Vernon whipped him. He felt and heard a deep growl from Severus's chest when she said this. Poppy then left the room claiming she needed to check stock before school started.
"Harry, I'd like to introduce you to somebody." Severus replied, making the boy lift his head up off Severus's shoulder before placing him down on the ground.
Bashfully, Harry looked up at the old man in front of him before turning into Severus's pant leg, shyly hiding his face except for one eye which observed the man carefully.
"Now now, I know you are not shy, and now is not the time for such silliness. This is a rather close friend of mine, and he's known you Harry since you were born." Severus told Harry as he gently pried the boy from his leg, taking both hands and placing them on the child's scrawny shoulders to stand the boy in front of him.
Once Severus had told Harry that the man had known him since he was born, his head popped up. Harry noticed like the last time Harry saw him that the man seemed friendly, his eyes were dancing happily and he had a gentle smile on his face.
"Awre you Santa?" Harry asked quietly.
Letting out a hardy laugh Dumbledore replied "No Harry, I am not Santa, although some may think that. My name is Albus Dumbledore, I am the Headmaster here at this school."
"Dumbedowr" Harry replied, attempting to pronounce the new complex name.
"Professor Dumbledore, Harry." Severus lightly chide.
"What's a headmwasta?" Harry questioned.
"A headmaster is like the principal of a school." Dumbledore answered, until noticing the boy was still confused, not aware of what a principal was either. "It means I run the school, I'm in charge of the students and teachers here."
"So yous in chawage of Sevewus?" Harry asked.
"Yes, technically, although I don't think anyone is truly in charge of Severus." Dumbledore laughed, his eyes twinkling as he glanced at the Potion Master.
"And Sevewus is gonna be my headmwasta?" Harry asked.
"No Harry, Severus will be your guardian." Dumbledore replied smiling.
Harry's heart stopped briefly, he heard about it before but hearing it from someone else made it real. He wanted to ask if that was like having a daddy, but he didn't want to get his hopes up.
"Gwood, I like Sevewus." Harry replied, smiling up at the man behind him, who gave him a small smile in return.
"Good to hear my boy, I think this arrangement will work out perfectly. Now we'll have to talk about what to do with the boy while you're teaching, but we can discuss that in depth at the teachers meeting tomorrow evening." Dumbledore told Severus.
"Hmm joy, you know how pointless I find these meetings." Severus replied dryly, watching Harry carefully who was walking around the office.
"Come now Severus, what's not to like? You can hear about what everyone's summer was like, we need to discuss curriculum and policies…"
"My curriculum is perfected, and the policies to this school haven't changed since I was a student. Not to mention I do not care how everyone's summer was." Severus interrupted. "Do not touch that Harry." Severus added when he noticed Harry reach his arm out to touch a small crystal ball. Harry spun around quickly before giving a guilty smile at Severus's stern face.
"Well I'm sure people will love to hear about your summer, especially when they see young Harry. Minerva will love to see him."
"Mhm how riveting." Severus replied sarcastically. "Binns' doesn't attend these meetings, why must I."
Smiling and ignoring Severus's question Dumbledore turned his focus on Harry, "Harry would you care for a lemon drop? They're wonderful."
Beaming Harry made his way over to the headmaster, unaware of Severus shaking his head. Reaching into the jar he heard Severus call out, "one now Harry and you can take the other one for later, we don't want to spoil your lunch".
Nodding Harry popped in one of the sugary candies, humming in delight.
"Yes, yes they're very good." Severus replied steering the boy towards the door so they could make their way out.
"Is that so my boy? I wasn't aware you cared for lemon drops, would you like one?" Dumbledore asked as innocently as possible.
Sneering Severus replied, "you know my answer, maybe one day, for now, no. Now say goodbye to Professor Dumbledore Harry."
"Bye bye pwoffesa" Harry waved happily as the two exited.
"Good day Harry, Severus."
The two made their way down the corridor, Harry hopping carefully on each tile, making sure to not step on any cracks.
"Now Harry, I must work on several potions that are highly volatile so I need you play in your room or in the living room after lunch until I'm done. Then maybe we can go outside and enjoy the rest of the day before dinner."
"Kay." Harry replied, his eyes focused on the floor beneath him so that he didn't touch any cracks.
Shaking his head lightly at the boy's innocents they made their way back into Severus's quarters, Severus quickly prepared some sandwiches, and after the two were done eating Severus brought Harry into the living room, creating a pile of toys for Harry to entertain himself with.
Crouching down to level himself with the child who was sitting on the floor Severus told the little boy who was playing with a toy dragon. "Now I'll only be gone an hour or so, I'll check on you periodically when I have time. Yell if you need me at all, otherwise you are not to enter through that door. Okay Harry?"
"Harry?" Severus prompted when he didn't get a response.
"Kay." Harry replied smiling up at the man.
"What did I just say?"
"Ywell if I need you. Don't go in dat door." Harry answered.
"Good boy, I'll only be a little bit, remember if you need me just call my name." Severus said running his hand through the child's baby soft hair before entering his lab.
As promised any chance Severus got a break he quietly would open the door and peep over to check on the child who was unaware of his presence. He watched the boy as he talked to the wizard figures, commanding them to do certain things, while also personifying the dragon, giving him a different voice than what the wizards had. Smiling slightly he admired Harry's innocence and promised to keep it in tact for as long as he could.
After all the potions were made and he placed them in the correct vials he sat next to Harry and watched him have the different wizards fight one another and have the dragon 'breathe' fire on them.
"What's going on here?" Severus questioned crossing his legs and reaching across to grab one of the figures laying down.
"Dats Matt, Dave da dragon kwilled him." Harry explained as he smashed to wizards together who were fighting.
"Matt? No wonder he died, with a name like that, he would be marked as one of the worst wizards in history." Severus remarked, picking up the figure examining it closely. "And what is happening with the two wizards in your hands?"
"Der fighting." Harry replied, his tone hinting 'obviously.'
"Wizards do not fight like muggles." Severus stated.
"Do they use dat stick?" Harry questioned.
"Yes, it's called a wand. It's very powerful and centralizes and channels a wizard or witches power." Severus answered.
"Can I have one?" Harry asked.
"No. Not until you are much older, and another rule is you must never, never touch my wand Harry. It's very powerful and could easily hurt you."
"Can I see it?" Harry replied.
Sighing Severus drew his wand from his holster, he placed the boy on his lap and carefully twirled the wand in front of the child who tentatively reached out to touch it, only after glancing up at Severus to make sure it was okay.
"Every wand is unique and it is made to be compatible to its owner." Severus explained to the child. "So this wand is one of a kind, and made for me and my magic" Severus explained in simple terms.
"How's it diffwent?" Harry asked in awe at the black wand in front of him.
"Well mine is 13 inches, and wands vary in size, it's made from ebony wood and has a core of both dragon heartstring and thestral tall hair.
"What's mine?" Harry asked glancing up at Severus.
"Well we're not sure yet, and we won't know for many year, but I'm sure it will be very special for a special little boy." Severus replied giving a light nudge.
"I want one." Harry whispered, more to himself than Severus.
"One day, but for now you will stay away from wands, they are not a toy." Severus said as he scooted the child off his lap and stood the two up. "Now, how about we go outside and get some fresh air."
"Kay!" Harry exclaimed, excited to go out and enjoy the rest of the sunny day. "Wait we can't forget Jazz!"
"How could I forget." Severus mumbled while giving a slight eye roll. Once Harry woke up this morning he had become attached to the stuff black panther and had dubbed it with the name "Jazz". This morning he brought the thing everywhere, it even sat with them at the table for breakfast.
"Come on Jazz, we going outside!" Harry squealed, holding on to the plush toy tightly.
The two made their way outside, enjoying the fresh air and the strong summer sun, they only had so much time left to enjoy this kind of weather. The two walked around until Harry started to get antsy, wanting Severus to chase him. After a while Severus laid down on the grass exhausted, 'I'm still fairly young, how am I so tired from chasing a child?'
"C'mon Sev!"Harry laughed as he ran over to the man with Jazz in his arms.
"Aren't you tired?" Severus breathed out staring up at the boy directly over him.
"Nope." Harry smiled as he plopped down on top of Severus who let out a loud grunt.
"We can pway someting differwent." Harry told the Potion Master as he laid on his chest.
"Something a little less strenuous perhaps?" Severus sighed.
"Hide and Seeked" Harry squealed.
"It's just 'seek' Harry, not 'seeked'" Severus responded.
"Wanna pway? Pwease!" Harry begged.
"Very well. There are rules though. Okay?" Severus said his voice becoming sterner as he sat up, making Harry sit up as well.
"Kay." Harry replied happily.
"You must not go near the lake, over that hill, or in the forest over there. If you do you will be in a lot of trouble young man. Understand?"
"Yep." Harry answered, his voice becoming giddier at getting closer to playing a new game.
"Okay, I shall count first, you shall hide, I want you to make sure the castle is visible to you at all times. Okay?" Severus said.
"Kay, Kay. Let's go!" Harry responded impatiently squirming in anticipation.
"Very well." Severus replied while closing his eyes. "One… two… three…" Severus started and heard the heavy footsteps of Harry running away. While Severus started counting to a minute he enjoyed the peaceful silence and getting a chance to take a breath. 'Another reason I suggested I would count, so I could take a break, not to mention the child can't count'.
Once the time was up Severus started making his way in the direction that Harry ran off to. Creeping quietly he put his spy skills to use, 'the boy will be found in a minute tops' Severus smirked inwardly.
However low and behold Severus was wrong, after searching quietly for fifteen minutes with no sign of the child he started to become desperate. "Harry!" Severus shouted repeatedly.
He started to search frantically, his heart beating rapidly when there was no sign of the child. He then looked up and noticed the tree line into the forest. 'He wouldn't, I told him not to.' Severus tried to reassure himself. Clenching his hands into fist he took a deep breath before pulling out his wand "point me Harry Potter." Severus demanded.
Suddenly the wand turned around, away from the forest and back towards where Severus first started counting, the wand led him to a lone tree, which still stood high in the sky. Glancing up he noticed a small boy and a black panther on one of the highest branches.
"What are you doing up there!" Severus demanded his voice harsh.
"Hiding." Harry replied simply, shouting so Severus could hear him.
"Get down from there this instant! Are you mad?" Severus yelled.
"Kay." Harry replied happily, unaware of the danger he was in from being up so high in a tree at such a young age.
Severus watched as Harry began to climb down the tree, his body tense, his breath shallow. Every step Harry took down, every time his hand let go of one branch to grab a hold of another Severus felt his heart beat harder. Suddenly halfway down Harry's foot slipped, his body going out from underneath him, catching himself on a single branch, dangling in the air. A tiny scream broke through the boy's lips especially when the panther fell and hit the ground next to Severus.
Severus's stomach lurched at the sight of the small boy dangling high in the air. "Harry!" Severus yelled in a panic. "Hold on!" Severus then did something he had not done in years, flying he sprung up the tree wrapped the boy in his arms and set him down on the ground.
Once settled Severus grabbed a hold of Harry's shoulders, checking him up and down, "are you okay?!" Severus demanded his heart still beating rapidly.
"You can fwy! Harry squealed his eyes round with awe.
"Hush. Are you okay?" Severus insisted once again.
"Yep." Harry replied like his life wasn't in danger a mere second ago.
Giving a small smack on the boy's bum Harry yelped in Surprise. "Are you insane?" Severus yelled.
"Dat hurt!" Harry pouted, his eyes filling with tears.
"Do not be absurd, that was hardly a smack, rather a light tap. However it is to warn you to never do something like that again! I nearly had a heart attack." Severus shouted. "It took me nearly twenty minutes to find you and when I did you're dangling from a tree!"
"Dats da point of hid and seek! You suppose to not find me easiwly!" Harry replied stubbornly.
"Watch your tone young man." Severus warned.
Pouting Harry crossed his arms "you didn't save Jazz either."
"Forgive me I was a little preoccupied with you to even spare a thought about Jazz" Severus replied.
Bending down Harry hugged Jazz to him tightly, asking the feline if it was okay. Holding the plush toy up to Severus Harry said "you have to kiss him ta make him betta."
Severus lip twitched, as he wanted to sneer at the child, instead he bent down to be level with Harry, taking Jazz into his hands he muttered "I am very sorry for not catching you Jazz, you'll have to forgive me I was a little more preoccupied with your friend."
Severus then glanced at the child, seeing if his apology was enough. 'Apologizing, and to an object no less.'
"He says it's 'kay as long as you kiss him."
Shaking his head Severus took to panther and kissed the top of his head. 'Merlin don't let anyone be watching.'
"All better?" Severus asked.
"Betta!" Harry smiled before throwing his arms around Severus's neck. Severus closed his arms around the boy, breathing him in taking a moment to relish in the fact that he was safe.
"Can you show me how ta flwy?" Harry asked.
"No, and you must not mention that to anyone. It's not a… good thing to know." Severus replied.
"I'll explain when you're older but for now, I think it's time we head back after all this excitement."
"Kay, dat was fun!" Harry smiled as he skipped around Severus.
"Good lord I'm raising a Gryffindor." Severus mumbled.
"And I won!" Harry replied happily.
"You did not, I found you." Severus replied.
"Did too! You cheated."
"I beg your pardon?" Severus exclaimed.
"You used your wand." Harry replied knowingly, "I saw you."
"Yes because I thought you disobeyed me, and it was getting late."
"Well it's not my fwault yous a bad seeker." Harry replied, a mischievous look appearing on his face. "Maybe cause you're old."
Severus's eyes narrowed, the child attempted to run away but was snatched and thrown over the man's shoulders. "Old you say?" Severus mussed.
Squealing Harry laughed "Let go! I didn't mwean it!"
"I think you did! Well we're just have to show you some manners, calling me old, I'm only 23!" Severus replied, teasing the boy as he kept a firm grip on the boy who was slung over his shoulders.
"Wow dat is old." Harry responded.
Severus smacked the child playfully. "Well I'll go show you what this 'old man' can do. Maybe turn you into potion ingredients, feed you to dragons." Severus teased.
"No pwease! Help!" Harry shouted jokingly.
"No one can hear you now cheeky brat." Severus smiled, tickling the child as the two made their way into the castle to enjoy a peaceful evening.
"No!" Harry yelled stubbornly.
"Yes!" Severus replied even more stubbornly.
"Yes, Harry, this is your final warning, watch your tone young man or you'll be in trouble." Severus warned. "Now get in the tub."
The two had been having this argument now for twenty minutes just standing in the bathroom. Everything was great when they returned home. Harry took a nap, Severus taught Harry some words and reading, then the two did some quiet activities, Harry played while Severus caught up on Potion's weekly. They then had an excellent dinner but everything turned sour when Severus announced that Harry needed a bath before bed.
"No, pwease" Harry whimpered his voice breaking as tears filled his eyes. "I can do it."
"You most certainly can not, I let you do that once and you were ice cold, and barley clean. Now get in the tub."
Crying silently Harry glanced at the water and then to Severus. "I don't lwike da wata,…or baths." Harry whispered.
Suddenly a thought crossed Severus's mind that twisted his stomach into shambles. Those muggles wouldn't would they? Bending down he took the boy's face in his hand gently, pulling the child's bottom lip from between his teeth.
"Harry. Your aunt and uncle… they didn't… they… Merlin.. they didn't touch you anywhere did they? That you didn't like to be touched, or were sad, scared, or uncomfortable?" Severus asked, praying that wasn't the case, because if it was he'd kill them. Nobody would hold him back.
"No, dey didn't lwike to touch me, too… 'fweaky'" Harry replied, whispering the last part because he knows Severus didn't like him saying he was a freak or freaky.
Sighing in relief Severus asked cautiously "then what makes you not want to get in the tub?"
"Cause da watta hwurts. And dey donk my head under da watta and I can't bweathe." Harry whispered.
"Excuse me?" Severus replied his voice deadly.
"It always cold, cause I wasn't awowed warm watta, and once I complained cause Dudley gots warm watta, so my unwle made it so hot it bwuned. And den oder times dey would push my head unda and I couldn't bweathe." Harry explained, his voice shuttering from repressing the sobs.
"Shh Harry, little one. Listen to me, that's not going to ever happen again, I promise." Severus whispered.
Bright gleaming tear stained emerald eyes glanced up at Severus. "Pwomise."
"Promise." Severus replied gently. "Now let's get out of these dirty clothes and into the tub, I promise it's nice and warm." Severus then helped peel Harry out of his clothes, before helping the boy into the water.
Harry's eyes widened in shock as he stared at Severus in awe at how nice the water was. Severus smirked, "nice right?" before reaching down and grabbing some of the bath toys the two bought so that Harry could entertain himself.
Harry began to relax into the warm water, grabbing a boat and squid he began smashing the two toys together, talking in different voices to mimic the squid and passengers of the boat. Severus smiled listening to the boy's antics. Washing the child's hair, he gently scooped up water, placing his other hand in front of Harry's face and tipping his head back slightly to wash out the shampoo and conditioner.
"You know that there is a giant squid in the lake here at Hogwarts?" Severus commented as he washed the child.
"Weally? Can we go see him?" Harry asked.
"Yes, but you must be careful, and never go without me. Maybe we can go to the lake tomorrow." Severus replied while rinsing the soap off the body.
Moments later Harry looked up at Severus with a mischievous look in his eye. Severus didn't need to be an expert in legilimency to know what Harry was thinking.
"Don't you dare." Severus warned, to Harry's widening smile.
Water splashed up and hit Severus to his shock at the boy's defiance. "Why you little imp." Splashing the boy back mildly to Harry's surprise, who was busy giggling and fighting back. The two splashed each other Harry giggling like crazy while Severus cracked a smile or two.
"Well, I think we have managed to get water all over the floor." A wet Severus muttered while casting a cleaning charm around the bathroom and a drying charm on himself. "Now let's get you out of here before you shrivel into nothing."
Hoisting the boy up and wrapping him in a towel, they made their way into Harry's bedroom where he got changed into fresh pajamas. Folding the sheets back Severus tucked the boy in, before sitting down with his legs towards the end of the bed, somewhat laying down trying to get comfy before asking Harry what book he wanted to hear.
"Babbitty Wabbitty." Harry whispered, laying his head on Severus's chest and placing his thumb.
"Alright then." Severus said before turning The Tales of Beedle and Bard to the Babbity Rabbitty chapter. Severus then began telling the tale of Babbitty, the wise old witch who worked as a washerwoman for a foolish Muggle King.
Not even a page in Harry interrupted Severus. "You hafta do da voices."
Severus looked at Harry, if it was anyone else he would kill them, threaten them with detention or with their lives for saying something so absurd, but for Harry Severus would do the voices. 'Merlin let no one ever hear about this.'
Continuing the story Severus changed his tone by several octaves either higher or lower in order to imitate certain characters while displaying the pictures for Harry to see. Once the story was over Harry remained cuddled on Severus, his heavy eyes dropping even more as he struggled to stay awake.
"Can we go see Babbitty's statue?" Harry slurred, his tiredness affecting his speech.
"Maybe one day." Severus whispered to the child, even though the statue did not exist, and if it did Severus did not know where to find it. "For now, sleep little one, pleasant dreams." Severus shifted the boy so his head was now down on the pillow. He then did something he had never done, he gently kissed the boy's forehead before repeating "good night Harry."
"Night Sevwus, wov you." And just after that the boy's breath evened out as Severus backed out of the room. Glancing at the time he noted it was only 7:30, he still had plenty of time to finish brewing some potions for the infirmary, take a hot bath, and have nightcap before bed.
Sighing Severus thought of how much he enjoyed the day, how much more different his life had become in these short amount of days. He knew he wouldn't change it for the world, but he knew he'd have to start planning a schedule for the child, especially with school coming back in session in a short amount of time.
There is chapter 6! Again sorry it took so long! I'll try not to let it a break go for that long again. Review