AN: Hey readers!! Sorry I have taken so long to get this chapter out. I have just been down lately and haven't had the inspiration to write. I would like to thank you all for all the support you have given to me and I would especially like to give a shout out toNowheretobefound01who encouraged me to keep writing this! Also, I have kind of changed the style in which I am writing this but hopefully, it will make it more enjoyable for everyone. Please let me know what you think of the new format. Now onto the long-awaited chapter...
It had been two days since the 'Incident", as they had begun to call it, had occurred. Harry was still fast asleep. During those two days, Severus, Poppy and Draco had been taking turns to watch over the young raven-haired boy. At times it seemed like he might wake up, he would make a small whimper or turn over. Once his eyes had even fluttered open briefly while Severus had been gently stroking his hair and talking about his childhood with Lily. However, he stayed stubbornly asleep, much to the trio's despair.
They knew that all three of them could not stay with him twenty-four seven. Instead, they decided that Draco would care for him during breakfast, lunch and times he would not be noticed missing and Severus would care for him between teaching classes, no one ever checked on the dungeon bat. This also meant Severus had fewer classes than all of the other teachers', thanks to his students being too scared of him to continue. Poppy was there in the times when Severus and Draco's timetables clashed, and of course when she was due to give the boy a check-up.
On Wednesday, two days after the Incident, Severus was in the potions classroom, teaching a class of second-year Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs. The class was going smoothly, no explosions, which was normal for this group. Suddenly Severus felt a light tap on his shoulder, and he saw a handless glove floating mid-air, pointing to some parchment on his desk. Knowing the old man's signature beckon, he made his way slowly through the halls with purposeful strides, to the gargoyle statues that guard the headmasters' office. He spat out 'pumpkin pastie' and climbed the spiral staircase.
"You summoned me, Albus?" Severus said as he walked into the room.
"Ah yes, Severus, punctual as always I see. Lemon drop?"
"No, thank you, sir," the potion master replied with a small sneer, "what is this about headmaster?"
"My dear boy, what can you tell me about young Harry? I haven't seen him in a few days, and I am starting to get concerned."
'Here we go...' Severus thought to himself before he started, "Well sir, on Monday there was an accident in the potion classroom, Potter was unfortunately hit with the mixture. The potion reacted in a way that would not affect most young wizards, as normally it seems to simulate a wizard flu. However, he has never had any of his immunity potions for wizarding diseases."
"How long will this affect the boy?" 'There goes my plan to get him resorted. It will just have to wait until the brat gets over whatever illness is affecting him.'
"Neither Poppy or I could determine that right now. She has decided it would be best if he is kept isolated in the hospital wing," the professor replied while ensuring his mental barriers were well in place, "was that everything, sir?"
"In a rush, my boy?" the headmaster asked with a twinkle in his eye.
"Yes, headmaster. I have a potion simmering in my lab that needs to be taken off the flame shortly. Otherwise, the consequences would be dire," Severus replied in a bored tone.
"Ah, I see. I will let you go, but there is one more thing. I will be leaving the castle for at least a few hours, maybe even a day. Please ensure you help Minerva run the school in any way she may need."
"Of course headmaster, may I ask where you are going?" the raven-haired man questioned.
"I am going to visit the boy's loving family, it has been a while, and I miss bantering with his Aunt."
Severus refrained from giving a snort and a sneer and instead gave a small, "good luck," stroking Fawkes one last time and walking out of the office.
When the man finally reached his rooms, he breathed out a huge gust of wind and fell on one of his couches in a slump.
"What happened Godfather?" Draco, who was watching over Harry at the time, asked impatiently.
Severus sighed again and explained what had transpired in the old goats' office.
No.4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey:
It was dusk when Albus Dumbledore suddenly at the end of the street. Everyone noticed him, the eccentric man looked out of place in his cherry pink robes with lime green stars. Children who had been playing stopped to look at him and giggle. As did the women pruning their gardens and talking over the fence to one another.
He walked purposefully toward the house where he had placed a young boy all those years ago. He rapped the door knocker three times and stood back to wait. After two minutes, he heard a quiet click from the other side of the door.
A blond, horse-faced woman opened the door and exclaimed, "YOU! What business do you have here? What will the neighbours think about what you are wearing! GO AWAY! You have the little freak, leave us alone!"
Before she could slam the door in his face, he had pulled out his wand and discreetly pointed it at her, "Petunia dear, you will move aside and let me in, or I WILL force you to."
The woman paled drastically and hurried back several steps, effectively allowing the man into her home. Dumbledore walked around the terrified woman and strolled into the pristine living room.
"Now Petunia, I believe you know why I am here," the old man started in a genial tone, "when I left your nephew here, I had explicit requests of you. Those were the arrangements you agreed to and I gave you plenty of money to see them done. What I want to know is, what happened?"
The woman sneered at the great Albus Dumbledore then started to screech, "How dare you! I did everything you ordered of me! He lived in the cupboard until his letter came. He was beaten by Vernon whenever he did accidental magic, or if Duddy-kins did something naughty. We never told him the truth of his parents deaths, only that they died both drunk in a car crash. He wasn't allowed to get better grades than my baby boy. He was only given the bare minimum of food to keep him alive. I did everything and more than you asked of me. If he didn't turn out the way you planned for him too, that is your fault! Not mine!"
Little did the woman know that the whole time she had been talking the man had been prying through her memories and seeing that she told the absolute truth. By his predictions, the brat should have been as he had planned. 'Something else must have gone wrong!'
Dumbledore stood up and began pacing around the room, trying to determine what else could have ruined his plans. Finally, he noticed Petunia Dursley was still standing with her hands clenched, panting. He sighed a heavy sigh and pulled out his wand, discreetly casting "obliviate," at the woman and apparating back to Hogwarts.
Once he arrived, he sent his Patronus to Minerva McGonagall, summoning her to his office. Five minutes later, he heard his door open and saw his deputy walk in and take a seat opposite him.
"What happened Albus? Did you convince Severus to get the knave to swap houses?" she asked excitedly.
"Huh? Oh no, it turns out the idiot managed to get hit with a potion on Monday and has been ill since. I won't be able to do anything about that problem until he is available for the resort. No, I called you here about something else. I went to visit Petunia Dursley."
"Oh? And what did you discover there? Anything useful?"
The headmaster heaved another sigh, and the woman noticed his eyes lacked their usual twinkle.
"No, not really. I thought maybe they had been too kind to him, or even pushed him to succeed. It would have made sense as to why he was in Slytherin at least. But alas, no. They treated him just as I asked them too, maybe even worse. I think something else must have shaped him into what we see today."
The two discussed what could have caused Harry Potter to become the boy he was late into the night, neither getting any closer to the truth. Nor would they, not for many years...
So... there you go. I hope you liked the chapter, I am already starting on the next one but I am not sure how long it will take me to write. Harry should be waking up... but will he be the same?
WC: 1,400 (not including authors' notes).