Harry Potter was in the Infirmary. Again. And as with all the other times in the past 5 years he wasn't ill. He had faced down Voldemort for the final time and had succeeded in turning Voldemort to ash but that success had come with a price.
Whilst the showdown between Harry and Voldemort had been alone many people had been fighting on the battlefield against the Death Eaters. The loss of lives from both sides had been huge. The ministry had however collected the rest of the death eaters that hadn't died and Sirius was now free as Peter Pettigrew was caught. The Dursley's had died as well leaving Harry with no relatives to look after him but nobody but the teachers and Harry knew this.
That was only from the final battle. Many wizards, witches and muggles had lost their lives in the year beforehand. Most of the people at Hogwarts had survived these wretched times however and life could get back to normal now. Which Harry had come to learn was always abnormal.
Harry had been in the Hospital Wing for almost 2 months now. One and a half he had been unconscious for but he was still bored with being cooped up. Tonight was the last night and he was finally being released so he could go to the end of term feast. Before he could go however Dumbledore, Snape and McGonagall came to speak to him.
"Hello Harry. Are we feeling any better?" the kindly old wizard asked.
"Yes sir. How are you sir?" Harry asked back respectfully.
"Very good thank you," Dumbledore replied.
"Can we just get on with it Albus!" Snape asked impatiently.
"Yes my dear boy, of course. I do not think that it is right for you to go to an orphanage. I am sure that the press will be bombarding you so Professor McGonagall and Professor Snape have kindly agreed to let you stay with them. I will leave you now to get further acquainted," Dumbledore said and he breezed out of the room.
Harry's mind was reeling. McGonagall and Snape. Together?
"When Dumbledore you offered to let me stay with you. What did he mean?" Harry asked.
"Are we married do you mean?" McGonagall asked. When Harry nodded her head she continued, "No we aren't. We just live together. It works quite well. And saves on rent,"
"We live in the muggle world during the summer and other holidays. We pose as a muggle couple in our neighbourhood. Our story is that we are fostering you," Snape said looking disgusted by the thought of it.
"Well if you are going to be our son you will have to stop calling us professor. I doubt a normal teenage boy would call their parents that. You can call us Minerva and Severus or Mum and Dad whichever you prefer to do," McGonagall said.
"Thanks," 'Harry answered hesitantly.
"You're not to tell anyone however," Snape said fiercely causing Harry to wince.
"Yes sir," Harry replied in a small voice shrinking towards the end of the bed away from Snape.
"Well we'll see you at the feast Harry. Tomorrow morning we'll accompany you to the station in Hogsmeade so you can say goodbye to your friends," McGonagall said and she dragged Snape out of the Hospital Wing.
Because of Madam Pomphrey's fussing Harry was late to the feast. As he hadn't been allowed out of the Infirmary or allowed any visitors this was the first time that people had seen him in 4 months as he had been busy preparing for the battle before hand.
When he entered the hall people were already eating but the normal chatter and noise stopped. The silence was almost painful. Harry rushed over to his place next to Ron and Hermione. Albus Dumbledore stood up before he reached it however.
"The ministry has asked me to present to Mr. Potter the Honour of Merlin first class and the Golden Phoenix," the hall all ooed and Dumbledore continued, "Would you like to come up here and receive it Harry,"
"I don't want it," Harry said softly but because of the silence it echoed around the hall. Harry went and sat down at his place on the Gryffindor table and started putting food on his plate.
Dumbledore sat down slowly and the hall watched the scene unfolding before them.
"Why did you do that mate?" Ron exclaimed, "Even Dumbledore didn't get a Golden Phoenix!"
"Exactly Ron. I don't want to be a hero. I just want to be Harry. A normal teenager without having the world on my back always judging me and turning away from me over the slightest little thing but always dumping their problems on my shoulders," Harry exclaimed loudly enough for the whole hall to hear which wasn't very loud at all.
"Nobody has ever done that Harry!" Hermione exclaimed. It was very rare for the trio to fight and when they did it was always a spectacular display so most of the people in the hall were watching intently.
"Think. What happened last year at the Triwizard tournament? Why was I the one who had to kill Voldemort? I'm only 15 years old! Why did I have to kill him? Why couldn't an adult have done it? People who make a 15 year old solve all their problems instead of sorting it out themselves when they are much more grown up are disgusting. I'm sorry I'm a wizard and I wish I could go back to the muggle world," Harry screamed knowing he had the whole halls attention so he didn't bother to be quiet.
"What made you start thinking those things Harry? They aren't true and you know it!" Ron argued back.
"What made me think them? Snape did. And he is right!" The hall gasped. Harry was paying Snape, Harry's (and the school's) most hated teacher, a compliment, "I'm very thankful to him that he opened my eyes to what a despicable world this is! And I didn't only start thinking this now! I have known this for ages. When people want something out of me they are my friends but the one piece of controversial news and they all turn their backs. I'm fed up with the pointing and the staring and the hero worshiping!" Harry stood up and ran out of the hall and out of the castle on to the grounds.
The Hall sat in stunned silence except for Snape who was already following after Harry out of a side door. Even Dumbledore had lost the almost permanent twinkle in his eye.
Snape found Harry curled up in a ball on the edge of the Quidditch pitch sobbing. He sat down next to him and put a comforting arm around him. Harry leaned into it.
"Why are you here sir?" Harry asked when he had recovered from his crying fit.
"Looking out for you. I'm glad you saw what this world is like at last," Snape said quietly still hugging the shaking boy.
"I saw before but I was the only one who was going to defeat Voldemort so I just had to carry on," Harry replied quietly.
Severus felt a twinge of sympathy for just a moment.
"I won't sympathise with you and fawn over you and baby you but I will be there if you need to talk. I'll be there for the whole summer as you aren't going to get away with not staying with me and Minnie that easily," Severus said. Harry promptly started laughing. Snape scowled.
"What?" he asked indignantly.
"Sorry but I just never imagined you having a pet name for Professor McGonagall," Harry explained.
"You try living with someone for the past 15 years and not abbreviating their name to something simple. Plus if you don't then you can't yell it when you're angry with them. It just doesn't work," Severus explained trying to get some of his dignity back.
"So I can still stay with you then?" Harry asked eagerly.
"Whether or not you want to leave the wizarding world you are staying with us over the holidays and you will have to finish your education here at Hogwarts. After graduation you are free to do what you like," Severus said, "And no doubt after you have slept on it some of the things you said in the hall you will realise where spur of the moment things that you didn't mean,"
"Sometimes I do want to leave the wizarding world. I don't like being made an exception to the rules. Though sometimes that is a good thing because otherwise I would have been expelled a million times over," Harry said.
"Especially if I had anything to do with it?" Snape asked knowingly. Harry flashed a guilty smile before continuing.
"Oh God! I should really apologise to Hermione and Ron," Harry said urgently and went to stand up.
Severus stood up as well and held him in his arms tight.
"Let them sleep on what you said and give them a chance to calm down. You can apologise tomorrow. You can sleep in my quarters for tonight if you wish," Severus offered.
"Thank you. That would be great," Harry whispered after a while, "I don't think I want to return to the common room tonight,"
"Well you had better run along. I wouldn't want to take points for you being out after curfew," Snape sneered but his hate had disappeared and was replaced by playfulness. Harry couldn't help but laugh.
"Are you laughing at me Mr. Potter?" Severus said dangerously.
"Why yes professor," Harry replied in between laughs. Severus smiled and started guiding Harry to the dungeons.
When Severus and Harry walked into Severus' room all Harry could do was gasp. They were very cosy, something that you wouldn't normally associate with the cold, mean potions master. The room's walls were bare stone but most of the walls were covered in books. In front of the fire was a long dark red sofa. Next to one of the walls was a desk piled high with paperwork and books. 2 doors led out from this room. One was to a comfortable bathroom and the other to an equally comfortable and cosy bedroom. In the bedroom was a large four poster bed covered in emerald green silk covers. A wardrobe, made from the same deep red wood that the bed was made from, was against one wall. A thick plush green carpet was on the floor. In the grate a fire danced, identical to the one in the lounge.
Severus let Harry go to the toilet and lent him a nightshirt which Harry got changed into before he was tucked into bed by Severus.
"Where are you sleeping?" Harry asked.
"On the couch. It is very comfortable I assure you," Severus replied to the half asleep boy.
"Why don't you sleep in here? The bed is big enough," Harry said pulling Snape into the bed. Severus snuggled under the covers as Harry rolled over and curled up next to him.
"G'night professor Snape," Harry yawned sleepily.
"Goodnight Harry," Severus murmured. Harry nuzzled into Severus' arms and fell asleep.
Harry awoke to the sound of a shower running. He sat up and found his glasses. He looked around and wondered where he was. Suddenly he remembered what had transpired last night and smiled before frowning. He had to apologise to Ron and Hermione.
Severus exited from the bathroom wearing only a towel around his waist.
"You've finally decided to grace us with your presence then Mr. Potter," Snape sneered, "The showers through there. I'll meet you in the living room for breakfast in 10 minutes. Then you can go and find you little cronies," Snape continued without waiting for a reply.
"Thank you sir," Harry replied before heading in the direction of the bathroom.
The bathroom was decorated in red and gold. It had a big bath tub in the centre of the room and a large shower in a corner as well as a great mirror and sink.
Harry had a quick shower before heading into the bedroom wondering what he was going to wear as he didn't have any clothes. On the bed were black trousers, a robe, and a white shirt. On top of them was a note.
'Your stuff has been packed by the house elves. You can borrow these until we get home,
"We will go down to the station and you can say goodbye to Ms. Granger and Mr. Weasley. Then we will be apparating to our house in London," Severus said as Harry came through to the kitchen.
"I can't apparate though?" Harry asked.
"I can and so can Min. You just help us with the magical energy and we'll get you there," Severus replied putting down the newspaper he had been reading.
"Sure. Can we get going now? And can I tell them that I'm going away for a little while?" Harry asked taking the piece of toast that Severus had just held up to him.
"Very well. Just make sure you eat that," Severus said exasperated even though Harry hadn't done anything.
When Harry met up with Hermione and Ron it was on the Platform at Hogsmeade. Ron and Hermione stuck their heads out of the train window.
"I'm sorry I said those things to you lat night guys," Harry said apologetically.
"We knew you didn't mean them Harry," Ron and Hermione said.
"Have a good holiday then," Harry said.
"Aren't you getting the train?" Hermione asked.
"No. Dumbledore found someone to look after me this summer. It looks like I'll be getting a lot of publicity after this and he didn't want me to be around muggles," Harry said not wanting to let on about his 'family'.
"That's a very good idea," Hermione said.
They said their final goodbyes and the train pulled off.
"Are you ready Harry?" Minerva asked.
"Sure," Harry replied looking into the distance.
Severus and Minerva each grabbed an arm and they appeared in a garden. In front of them was a Victorian detached house.
"Welcome to our home Harry," Severus said with a smile.
Hey. Enjoy? If so then please comment. I may consider posting the next chapter then.
Snape's a little OOC for the book's but in this he is meant to have spent some time with Harry before the war training and the like. Also he hates students so surely getting away to his own house must be a good thing?
The thing with Snape and McGonagall is probably going to annoy some people but I feel that if they really hated each other then Hogwarts would have seen a bloodbath a lot earlier. As Heads of Houses, they would both have a lot to do each other in the running of the school so I made them close friends. And it works for this story! I beg artistic license!