Chapter 5 – a disastrous breakfast

Despite his interrupted night, Professor Snape woke up early. His eyes drifted open as the first rate of artificial sunlight started to filter in through the enchanted window of his bedroom. He was startled out of his restful state upon a loud clatter emanating from the kitchen. He quickly dimmed his dressing gown and slippers before going to investigate the source of the noise.

Upon entering the kitchen he spotted Lauchlan assembling various pots and pans on the kitchen counter. And professor Snape realised he was cooking breakfast. Lauchlan spotted him out of the corner of his eye and whirled round to face him.

" hi dad, I am sorry that I am late starting breakfast, but my bed was just so comfy that I just couldn't drag myself away." He smiled and started cracking the eggs into a pan.

Professor Snape sat down at the kitchen table "Lauchlan I do not expect you to make breakfast, if anyone should make breakfast then it shall be me, and in any case child we are in Hogwarts, the house elves will make it for us"

Lauchlan shrugged "routine for me I guess, plus I get to play Harry for a bit"

Professor Snape hid the strange emotion he felt at the words "get to play Harry" and instead he stared at Lauchlan "I just want you to know that it is not expected of you, ignore what the Dursleys told you Lauchlan, I know it will be hard." The professor paused "What were your chores?" He asked softly.

Lauchlan flipped the bacon as he replied as if on auto pilot "get up and make breakfast, while the Dursleys eat I clean the kitchen and take the rubbish out before clearing up the breakfast pots" Lauchlan started preparing some coffee "after that I would cut the grass, water the plants, weed the flowerbeds, wash the conservatory windows and sometimes paint the fence or the shed if it needed doing, then it would be indoors where I would mop the floors, iron the laundry, put the laundry away, then vacuum the whole house before starting on dinner so that it would be done for when my uncle came home." Lauchlan passed his dad a coffee. "then after the Dursleys had eaten I would wash the dishes again and if I had done my chores well then I would get to eat a sandwich or maybe some cold soup."

The professor nodded silently, horrified at how the child had been used like a slave by his aunt and uncle.

"so you admit that food could get withheld from you? In what capacity child? "

Lauchlan shrugged thoughtfully "if I was injured or ill them my chores took longer and sometimes they weren't done in time, or my uncle had a bad day at work then he would stop off at the pub near work and get pretty drunk before he caught the bus home. The penalty for not doing my chores right was three days without food and if he was drunk it could also mean a beating as well" Lauchlan shrugged as though he didn't see anything wrong in his treatment, but his dad was seeing red with anger at the blatant abuse. "those MONSTERS!" He roared slamming his empty cup down on the table. This caused Lauchlan to swear in shock and drop the glass bowl he was holding which shattered upon impact with the floor. Freak took over and backed into the corner of the kitchen want trembling, his eyes fixed on his dad as though perceiving the threats around him. Professor Snape inwardly cursed himself when he saw freak staring at him with a wary expression. He got up and slowly walked over to Freak, kneeling down in front of the terrified child

"Freak sorry! Freak didn't mean to break it honest! Freak knows his place, Freak be burden and no one love freak!

"I love you child!" Professor Snape responded softly "and i was not angry at you just your aunt and uncle"

Freak blinked and looked at him curiously "you mad at Aunt and Uncle?" He said slowly as if unsure of how to speak, and that instant Professor Snape realised that Freak was his son's primal side, essentially Harry's survival instincts manifested in a person. Which is why the child probably couldn't talk well, he would have had very little exposure to normal conversation and probably taught himself to say what he was able to. He realised that he would have to treat Freak with slow and simple speech to make sure that he could understand with his limited vocabulary. "Yes, I am mad at them. Not you. I will not hurt you" the professor said as Freak tried (and failed) to stifle a yawn. "come on back to bed" the Professor said pulling his Son to his feet. Upon seeing how skinny Freak was he lifted the child up and carried him into his room, spelling on his pyjamas and tucking him under the duvet. As he looked at his sleeping son he whispered "I will get us all through this son. Whatever it takes."