The silence in the room was what initially woke Harry up, oddly enough. He was expecting to hear his aunt yelling at him to get his lazy self up and make breakfast, or some other such chore. He kept his eyes closed and waited for the inevitable. It was a moment before he realized he was lying on a soft bed. That's not right, he thought. Where was the hard, extremely uncomfortable, mattress? He dared to open an eye and practically sighed in relief. He was in the Infirmary.
Then he was struck with another problem. How'd I get back here? After searching the room with his eyes, he came to the conclusion that he was alone in the room. A million questions were running rampant in his head. He vaguely remembered seeing Severus, but that memory was very fuzzy to him. Speaking of the devil…he thought as the door creaked open and in walked none other than Severus Snape.
He watched in slight amusement as the man walked over to his bed without realizing he was awake yet. Severus looked up and his eyes widened. "You're awake." he stated.
Duh, but he would never say that out loud. Especially not to Snape.
"Yeah." he said, instead. "How'd I get here?" His confusion was evident.
Severus looked concerned, which actually made Harry's heart flutter. "Don't you remember?"
If it was possible, Snape's concern became palpable. What is going on?
"Harry, what's the last thing you remember?" asked Severus.
Harry's eyes narrowed in concentration. "Well, I remember trying to find you, or anybody for that matter, and running into Professor McGonagall. And then…and then…I went home." he said, and brought his hand up to rub his forehead. Where'd this headache come from? he wondered. Then everything that happened after he'd gotten home came back to him, in one big rush. The Cupboard! "Oh shit." he said, not caring that he had just cursed in front of a Professor. This time he brought up both hands, covering his face. How could he have forgotten something like that?
"Harry?" asked Snape, and the teenager felt him place his hand on his back, and he flinched in spite of himself. The hand was removed.
Harry sighed. "I'm sorry." he whispered. He was sorry for so many things. He thought he had definitely kicked the man at some point last night. And flinching just then.
"There's nothing to be sorry for." Snape stated emphatically. Harry raised his head and looked Severus in the eyes. The older man didn't blame him for anything. Harry didn't know why he had thought he would. Must be the joys of being raised by the Dursley's. The mere thought made him cringe.
Snape sighed. Harry felt the depression in the bed as his Potions Professor sat down beside him. "Here, I need to put this on again." Harry looked up and recognized the healing ointment.
"Okay." he muttered, and sat up straighter. Severus quickly but gingerly applied the ointment to the boy's back, which was still incredibly bruised, and then his front. He then started on the new one, which had appeared on his face. He knew this one was courtesy of Vernon Dursley. Harry flinched once again.
"Are you okay?" asked Severus.
Harry merely nodded. He could tell his teacher was eyeing him in concern.
"Listen Harry, I need to go get something, but then I'll be right back. Is that alright?" he asked.
Harry was surprised when the thought of being left alone seriously freaked him out. But the man promised to come right back. "Promise?" he asked, anyways.
"Yes. I'll be right back. You have my word."
"Okay." Harry consented, and Snape quickly left the room.
Severus was angry. The boy had finally stopped flinching, but now it was occurring with his every touch. He never intended on getting this close to the boy, but now that he was, he couldn't help but be upset when the boy flinched at his touch. He wasn't angry at Harry, but at the ones who had done this. How could they even want to hurt someone like Harry? He just couldn't fathom it, not anymore. He could hardly believe he had disliked the boy before. What was his reasoning? It had been purely based on his father. But the boy was nothing like his father, something he wished he had noticed a little bit earlier.
Now, he was on his way to get the Guardianship papers. He didn't know if this was exactly the best time to spring them on the teenager, but he hoped that once Harry saw he was serious when it came to taking care of him, he would be able to trust his teacher again. He only hoped.
He quickly entered his chambers, and before he had even closed the door, was spouting the different languages which unlocked the secret drawer. As soon as he got there, he merely touched it and it sprang open. Grabbing the papers from their hiding place, he swiftly removed the adoption papers, no need to give him heart failure just yet, he thought, and placed them back inside. Guardianship papers in hand, he fled back to the Infirmary.
He was so intent on getting there, that when he finally did, the doors sprang open of their own accord, probably trying to get out of his way, and banged against the walls, causing quite a noise.
Harry flinched violently. Snape cursed. He'd have to be careful with what he did.
"You okay?" he asked.
Harry nodded slowly. "Are you?" he asked, curious as to why the doors had slammed open like that.
Snape, following the boy's line of sight, realized he had been looking at the doors. "I suppose they realized it would be in their best interest to get out of my way…I was in quite the hurry."
Harry laughed lightly. "I suppose." he said. "What are those?" he asked.
Snape looked down. "Oh, these…they're some papers I wanted to discuss with you." he said, and approached the bed slowly. He took at seat in one of the uncomfortable bedside chairs and pulled it closer to the bed. He realized Harry was looking apprehensive about what this conversation could possibly be about, and decided it was best to quell his fears. He just hoped he wouldn't fear living with him more than anything else.
"Harry, I went to see Albus last night." he started, but was quickly interrupted.
"That's where you were?" asked the teenager. The boy seemed relived.
"Yes, where did you think I was?"
"That's just it; I didn't know where you were. I thought you had…left or something. And when Professor McGonagall sent me home, after you had…you know…promised…I didn't know what to think." he ended.
Snape felt his heart do a weird flip flop kind of motion. The boy thought he had left him, maybe not purposefully, but that he had left. "Harry," he began, "I never break my promises. I told you that you weren't going back, and I meant it. I wish now that I had just waited to go speak with Albus. If I had known what was going to happen, I would never have left your side. But believe me, I gave Professor McGonagall a piece of my mind. She truly regrets sending you back, Harry. She didn't know."
Harry nodded. "I knew she didn't. So, what are these papers about?"
Snape grew more and more nervous. Something he was accustomed to feeling. "Harry, these are guardianship papers." he began, but was once again interrupted.
"Guardianship papers!?" asked Harry, clearly worried. "What does that mean? Who wants guardianship?" Severus realized that the boy knew Sirius couldn't get legal custody of him, due to his current problem of being a supposed escaped convict.
"I do." he stated, rather bluntly. He watched as the boy's huge eyes grew wider than he had ever seen them grow.
"You do?" he asked. "Really?"
"Yes, would you mind that, Harry?" he asked, hoping and praying that the boy wouldn't say no to the offer.
"You'd be like my legal guardian? No one could take me away from you? Not even the Dursley's?" he asked. Severus thought he saw a tinge of hope reflecting in the boy's eyes.
"Yes, Harry, I'd be your legal guardian. No one could take you away, and especially not the Dursley's. Would you like that?" he asked again.
"Yes, I'd like that a lot." he said, shyly picking at a loose string of thread from the overly used blanket.
"Good. I'm pleased you accepted, Harry. Now, in order for these to be official, you need to sign them, which merely states that you agree to me being your legal guardian, okay?" he asked, handing the right paper over to the boy.
"Sure." said Harry, and took the pro-offered quill. He quickly scratched down his name and handed the official papers back to his new guardian. It was at that moment that the doors opened again, with a rather large bang. Harry jumped once again, but Snape put a reassuring hand on his shoulder, one that gratefully wasn't shrugged off or flinched from.
"Del!" yelled Harry, clearly happy and surprised to see her. He assumed she would stay on the island, as Severus hadn't gotten the chance to tell him about their previous plans. He'd been asleep.
Severus watched as his older cousin rushed into the room, heading straight for them like a woman on a mission. "What's happened? A strange woman named Minerva led me here, but wouldn't come in. She said Harry had been hurt again. Are you alright, sweety?" she asked, looking at the boy intently.
"I'm alright now." he said, once again examining the blanket as if it were the more interesting sight he'd ever seen.
Severus quickly pulled Del aside and explained what had happened in the past day and a half. He wasn't surprised when it appeared as if she would go to the boy's relatives herself and beat them with her rarely used cane, the one which she was carrying with her now. She was old, for goodness sakes, and had to lean on something every now and again.
"Are you sure you're alright, Harry dear?" she asked, approaching the bed once more.
"Yeah, I'm fine. Did you know that Severus is my new guardian?" he asked. Snape knew a diversion tactic when he saw one, but didn't think he'd have to let Del know that. She was too surprised with the news.
The older woman turned surprised eyes onto her younger relative. "Really, Sev? Oh, that's excellent."
"Stop calling me Sev, woman, and yes, I really am. Harry's already signed the papers, so it's official." he said. Snape had sent the papers with a house elf to the Headmasters office. He wondered how this would all go over with the Ministry of Magic and the press. He definitely hoped they didn't get wind of it anytime soon. However, he knew Dumbledore would pull some strings of his own to keep this quiet, at least for most people.
The Professor saw a familiar twinkle in his cousin's eyes, and knew the 'Sev' calling wouldn't be going away anytime soon.
The rest of the afternoon was spent in relative peacefulness, with Harry taking a short nap, as he was still incredibly tired, and Deliverance and Snape talking quietly by his bedside.
"Will you be taking him to the Manor for the rest of the summer?" asked Deliverance.
"I doubt it. There's only a few weeks left until school is back in session. I might take him by for a weekend before classes begin, just so he can get a feel for the place, and perhaps pick a room. The house elves will undoubtedly want to get started on decorating it, with Harry's advice, of course." he explained, sighing.
"Is something wrong?" she asked, taking a quick look to make sure Harry was still asleep. He was.
Snape looked at her in surprise. How could she tell these things? "I have one worry." he began. "Those blasted Gryffindor housemates of his better not give him any trouble over this." he said, though it came out as more of a threat.
"Severus, if they're his friends at all, they'll get over it and support him. If not, well, you have my permission to give them detentions until they're eighty." she said, smiling.
Severus gave a small, very small smile in return. "You'd better be right. But if not, I can always make their lives a living hell."
A/N: Alright, this chapter is slightly shorter than normal, but that's only because there was nothing else to write. This part of the story is finished. I can't believe that, it would almost be sad, except this story is NOT done! The next chapter will take up where I've left off, kind of. It will be the first day of school in the next chapter, and I'll rehash the past two weeks if you want me to in the story. It will just be what Harry did, and that he's seen the Snape Manor!
Also, there is much more HARRY ANGST in the sequel. I actually had a particularly angsty scene I'm dying to write, but it will have to wait until I can think up a suitable reason for Harry to be punished for. He'll just be sent to his room, but things will go haywire. And it'll be during Christmas Break. Maybe… Oh, and sorry that I forgot to mention the In The Next Chapter last chapter. I was too occupied with writing about the sequel and the new story. (Which has gotten quite a few reviews. I'm very happy about that, to those of you who reviewed it.
Sequel will be called Somewhere I Belong II
In the next chapter (Sequel)
School begins (Obviously)
Harry does get slack for the Snape guardianship from his friends. (Especially Ron)
Harry has a violent vision (guess what it'll be about)
*Anything you guys might want to see happen???? Tell me!
I'll try and have the sequel up soon. If you guys review A LOT perhaps next week. Get on the ball peeps, I'll love you forever!
Jade Caminus, email me girl!