Author's Note: This is a re-posting of this story, following several requests from different people that I do so. Some scenes were re-written due to having be deleted, and so shall be slightly different from what you might remember. Is SLASH! No like? No read. Simple, isn't it? Harry is slightly dark in this, so be warned. Also, I tend to make my Harry a bit more intelligent that he is in cannon, so be warned about that too. This could be construed as a Severitus, but it doesn't exactly meet the requirements for that. With that said, enjoy!
A Fan Fiction Novel
A sixteen-year-old boy sat on the bench in the back garden of number 4 Privet Drive, doing his holiday homework. The book on his side was very large and
old-fashioned and he was writing on a large roll of parchment rather than in a notebook. You see, the boy on the bench was Harry Potter and he was a wizard-in-training.
"Boy!" a man's voice called from inside the house. "Get in here!"
Harry sighed, gathered his things together, and went into the cool kitchen. "Yes, Uncle Vernon?" he asked politely.
"If you insist on studying that filth," Uncle Vernon said venomously, "then do it where the neighbors can't see you!" Uncle Vernon was a large, beefy man with dark hair, a bushy mustache, no neck and red skin. He, along with Harry's aunt and cousin, viewed Harry's magical abilities as an abnormality, and they all lived in fear that the neighbors would discover their secret.
"Sorry, Uncle Vernon," Harry replied. "I just wanted to get some sun."
"Go finish that rubbish in your room!" Uncle Vernon snapped.
Harry sighed and ran his hand through his short, messy black hair. "Yes, Uncle Vernon," he said. He went up the stairs and entered the smallest bedroom. He sat down at his desk and took out his homework again, trying his best to concentrate on the assignment. His mind was swimming with memories from a nightmare the previous night. He couldn't push the thoughts of his godfather, Sirius Black, out of his mind. Sirius had died at the end of the last school year and Harry was consumed by guilt due to the circumstances of the event.
"I can't do this now," Harry muttered, setting his quill on top of his parchment. "I can't concentrate, Hedwig."
The snowy owl by the window hooted sympathetically. She was sitting quietly in her open cage, napping lightly.
"I wish I were someone else," Harry told her. "Anyone but who I am. It would probably even be better to be a Snape!"
Hedwig hooted again and shifted her position. She opened one amber eye and glanced at Harry.
"Yeah, yeah," Harry mumbled. "So maybe that's a little extreme, but you see my point."
"Boy!" Uncle Vernon yelled up the stairs.
"Yes, Uncle Vernon?" Harry called back. He moved out into the hall and looked over the banister at his uncle, who was standing at the foot of the stairs.
"Who are you talking to up there?" Uncle Vernon snarled.
"Hedwig," Harry replied with a shrug.
This answer seemed to enrage Uncle Vernon further and his face turned an unattractive shade of puce. "You can't hold a conversation with a bloody bird!" he snapped. "If you don't stop acting crazy, that pigeon will have to go!"
"All right," Harry replied. "But then I won't have a way to send letters to the Order. If they don't hear from me, they might start to think something was wrong."
Uncle Vernon seemed to have an internal debate before replying. "Just stop talking to the infernal thing!"
"Yes, Uncle Vernon," Harry replied, moving back into his bedroom. He gave Hedwig an owl treat. "Uncle Vernon doesn't like it when I talk to you."
Hedwig hooted and moved closer to Harry, snuggling close to him.
"He doesn't understand," Harry said, stroking her feathers lovingly. "He doesn't know what it's like to be so alone. You're the only friend I have here, Hedwig."
Hedwig nipped Harry's ear.
"I love you too, sweetheart."
Harry had never had such a boring summer. Aunt Petunia spent most of her time peering out of the windows nervously, as if expecting a Death Eater attack at any moment. Harry often wondered just how much Aunt Petunia knew about Voldemort, but whenever he asked, he'd simply be told off and then ignored. Dudley did his best not to provoke Harry, and as Harry was rather depressed most of the time, Dudley didn't have to try very hard.
Harry was finishing his last essay the day after his birthday, that is 1 August, when the doorbell rang.
"Boy!" Uncle Vernon shouted up the stairs. "Get the door!" The bell rang again.
Harry got up, grumbling under his breath, and moved down the stairs to open the door. He swung the door wide just as the visitor dropped a stack of books and folders all over the front step. She was a tall woman with flaming red hair, milky skin and long limbs.
"Oh my goodness," she said, bending to pick up her things. She had an extremely thick Irish accent.
"Er, may I help you?" Harry asked, watching her scramble around picking up her mess.
"I… er, oh dear, look at this mess," the woman said. "I'm just the clumsiest person you'd ever meet. I'm, ah, I'm looking for… oh look at this." She picked up a sheet that had landed in a pool of water.
"You're looking for…" Harry pressed.
"Oh!" She got the last of her things and stood up, pushing her messy hair out of her expressive brown eyes. "I'm looking for… you, actually."
Harry's eyebrows went up. "Me?"
"Well, you are Harry Potter, aren't ya?" the lady asked. "You've go the scar, and you look just like James."
"Boy!" Uncle Vernon said, pushing Harry aside. "Who is it?"
"Oh, I just forget everything if I'm not reminded, so I do," the odd lady said. Harry was slightly amused by the way she talked so fast, you'd think she was running out of time. "I'm here to see Harry."
Uncle Vernon went from red to purple so fast; Harry thought the man might explode.
"Er, it's all right, Uncle Vernon," Harry said quickly, stepping outside. "We'll just go out back, okay?" He pulled the door shut and quickly ushered the woman to the back yard. "Who are you?"
"Me? Oh, I'm no one important," the woman replied. The night was very dark because there was no moon. She sat on the garden bench and looked up at the stars. "Oh, you could say that someone might find me important, so you could, but…"
"Excuse me?" Harry interrupted. "I just meant, what's your name."
"Oh, how silly of me!" the lady exclaimed. "Arêthüsa Bennet." She held out her hand.
Harry took the offered hand and then sat next to her. "And, er, why are you looking for me?"
"Oh, I was Lily's best friend, so I was," Arêthüsa replied. "She made me promise to keep her secret, but you deserve to know the truth."
"The truth about what?"
"The truth about who you are, Harry! Oh, Lily never wanted to tell you, but that would be wrong, so it would. No, I know I had to find you and tell you."
"So tell me then. What was so important that you couldn't just send me an owl?"
"I don't trust owls, Harry. They can be intercepted, so they can. No, it's safer for me to come tell you in person. Oh, but Lily would have a fit if she knew that I was telling you. Mind you, we fought about this very thing for a long time, but she never agreed with me. I'm beyond caring about that now, because I think you ought to know."
"Know what?" Harry was starting to become aggravated by Arêthüsa's ranting.
"About your mum and da, of course!" Arêthüsa exclaimed. "Oh, but they were so in love, so they were, but everything was against them. They couldn't stay together! Oh no, but that would have been dangerous."
"What are you talking about?" Harry asked. "Mum and Dad did stay together!"
"No, no, no," Arêthüsa said with a dismissive wave. "Not James, Harry! Severus. Severus is your da, not James Potter. Everything…"
"Snape!" Harry yelled. "You're completely mad!"
"No, I'm not, Harry," Arêthüsa said patiently. "You don't know the whole story, so you don't. Will you listen?"
Harry sighed in exasperation but gave a curt nod.
"Lily and Severus were friends from about second year and on," Arêthüsa began. "Severus was a good kid, so he was, but he had to keep his thoughts hidden because of his family. Oh, but they would've had a fit if they'd known he'd befriended a Mudblood, as they called Lily.
"Severus put up his act around the other students, but he couldn't fool Lily. They became fast friends, and they started dating in their seventh year, so they did."
"Hang on," Harry interrupted. "Sirius told me that Mum and Da… er, James started dating in seventh year."
"Oh, so you've met Sirius, have you?" Arêthüsa said, looking slightly surprised as her mood turned suddenly sour. "Yeah, that's what the rest of the school thought as well. No, Lily and James were good friends, and James was covering for her. No, James had a broken wrist, so he did, and he wasn't interested."
"Broken wrist?" Harry asked, confused.
"He was fey, boy," Arêthüsa said.
"Fey?" Harry asked, shaking his head slightly.
Arêthüsa looked at Harry in astonishment. "He was homosexual, Harry! He liked boys! My goodness, have you been living under a rock?"
"James Potter liked boys?" Harry asked in bewilderment.
"Yeah, he did! He liked Sirius, in fact, and Sirius liked him back, so he did. They covered for Lily and Severus, and you know Severus never knew that they swung that way. Oh dear, for an intelligent man, Severus was always completely clueless."
"Can we get back to the story?" Harry asked irritably.
"I'm rambling again, aren't I?" Arêthüsa asked with a chuckle.
"Yes," Harry replied shortly.
"Well, Lily and Severus stayed together for years, so they did. They were two years out of Hogwarts when they separated. Albus Dumbledore finally talked Severus into joining the Death Eaters and spying for the Order. Severus broke off his relationship with Lily because they both would have been killed if old Voldemort found out about them. Lily was heartbroken, so she was, and she decided never to speak to Severus again."
"So if they broke up, how can I be Snape's kid?"
"I'm getting there, you little impatient Ivan. Now, where was I? Oh! So, two weeks after they broke up, Lily found out she was pregnant. Oh, it's a great disgrace for an unmarried witch to be pregnant, so it is, and Lily started to panic. Sirius was the one who had the idea that Lily and James should marry. The world thought they were together anyway, and it would be easier for all of them. So, Lily and James married and named Sirius your godfather and… everyone was happy. When you were born, I helped Lily perform the Dëlîgo Sanguis to make you look like James."
"What's that?" Harry asked. He had a suspicion that she was leaving something out, but he ignored it.
"The Dëlîgo Sanguis is a complicated spell concerning paternity," Arêthüsa explained. "It makes a child look like a man who is not the biological father, so it does. Once the child is told the truth, if he fully accepts his true parentage, the spell cancels itself."
"So, if I ever believe this codswallop you're feeding me, I'll look like Snape?"
"No, boy. You're misunderstanding me. The spell will cancel itself so you'll look like you, instead of looking like James."
"What do you mean, I'll look like me?"
"Every child is a unique blend of his mother and father. It's difficult to find a child that is an exact copy of one parent. No, you would look like you would have looked without the spell."
"But I'm not an exact copy of Da… James! In the Pensieve…"
"Erm… last year I sort of snuck a peak inside Snape's Pensieve. I saw my d… er, I saw James when he was fifteen and some things were different."
"Well, of course some things were different, Harry. Glamours and Transfiguration were always Lily's best subjects, so they were. She left some of the things that resembled her, like your nose and eye color."
"So what happens if I never accept Snape as my father?"
"Then you'll look like James until the day you die. The spell cancels if you die, so it does, so you'd look like you in your grave. Lily wanted just that, but I didn't think that it was a good idea. You're a good kid, by all accounts, and I won't let old Dumbledore keep you in the dark."
"Dumbledore knows?" Harry asked incredulously.
"Of course he knows, Harry," Arêthüsa replied. "Dumbledore knows everything, doesn't he?"
"Not everything," Harry muttered bitterly, thinking of Peter Pettigrew. "Look, that was a great story, but I don't believe for a moment that Severus Snape is my father. I mean the man is the quintessential insufferable greasy git. I would shoot myself if I turned out anything like that bastard!"
"You don't know him like you should, Harry. Severus is a good man with a big heart. He sought me out after Lily died, but it was still dangerous for him to know that you were his. He would have been angry and he would have taken you with him. There were still Death Eaters around that would have killed you both."
"Snape's heart is about as big as a walnut," Harry spat. "He hates everyone, especially me, and he'd probably die of a heart attack if you told him that the insufferable brat, Harry Potter, was his kid. He takes pleasure in punishing people, and he loves nothing more than humiliating me every chance he gets."
"He's bitter, Harry. He doesn't know you're his. He thinks that Lily forgot about him right away. In his mind, you should have been his and not James'. He treats you badly because he's angry that he lost his chance to have a family with Lily. Every time he sees you, it's like a reminder of what he gave up to help Dumbledore."
"How do you know what Snape is thinking?" Harry asked, looking at the ground.
"Because he's as much my friend as Lily was," Arêthüsa replied gently. "I'm on my way there after I leave here, so I am. I've got to tell him—"
"Please don't," Harry interrupted.
"What? Why not?"
"I just…" Harry couldn't put the dread he was feeling into words. "Just, let me tell him. I don't know that I'm ready for that much change yet. I'll tell him myself when I'm ready."
"You've got to tell him, Harry," Arêthüsa said uncertainly. "If he still doesn't know by the end of this school year, I'll tell him myself, so I will."
"I'll tell him, okay? Just not yet."
"Okay, but take these to show him," Arêthüsa said. She passed Harry the great stack of folders she was carrying. "Severus never believes anything without some kind of proof. These are all of your original birth records, as well as the legal documents allowing us to alter your physical appearance for an extended amount of time. If Severus doubts any of those papers, he can verify them with the Ministry of Magic, so he can." She stood up.
"Well, thanks, I guess," Harry said, also standing.
"For telling me all of this. For taking the trouble to come all the way here to tell me in person."
"Ah, don't thank me for that. I've really go to go, so I do, but I'll be seeing you around, I expect." With that, she Disapparated with a loud crack.
Harry took the folders up to his room and sat on his bed, the folders in front of him. He wasn't sure that he believed a word Arêthüsa had said, but he decided to see the proof. The papers were all jumbled together where Arêthüsa had dropped them on the steps. Harry read the titles only and organized the folders into birth records, transfiguration applications and approval forms, and child welfare forms.
The birth certificate was a shock on its own, and Harry decided to obtain a copy from the Ministry before he believed what he was seeing.
Child's Name: Harry James Evans
Father's Name: Severus Austerus Snape
Mother's Name: Lily Evans
Time of Birth: 3:25 a.m.
Date of Birth: 31 July, 1980
Birth Weight: 8 pounds 3 ounces
Length: 43.18 centimeters
Birth Place: Saint Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries
Country: England (United Kingdom)
Harry's jaw dropped when he saw that no father had signed his birth certificate, making his legal name at birth Evans, not Potter or Snape. He flipped to the next page to find adoption papers. According to the legal documents, Snape's parental rights were removed for Harry's safety. James then adopted Harry, thus legally changing the child's name from Evans to Potter.
The adoption records consisted of James' entire life story, or so it seemed to Harry. It included James' employment records, how much money he made per year (in Galleons); his legal records, or lack there of; his grades from Hogwarts; and character references from several people, including Albus Dumbledore.
The next papers he looked at were the Long Term Transfiguration Forms. There were results from medical exams stating that Harry was healthy enough to undergo the 'procedure'. There were tests on Lily and Arêthüsa (called 'the casters') to ensure that they could perform the spell for which they had applied. There were photographs of James from the front and sides, and pictures of Lily. There was a composite sketch of an estimated look for 'the subject' (Harry) that wouldn't be too obviously magical.
In the next folder were long, complicated legal documents explaining Lily's rights and responsibilities in doing the spell. Lily had signed the last page. There were similar contracts for James, who had also signed them. The next thick packet was legal agreements between Lily and James to raise Harry in a stable family unit, James acting the part of father and benefactor. After the legal contracts, were documents stating the final approval of James' adoption of Harry.
The last group of papers was child welfare documents stripping Snape of all parental rights over Harry, stating reasons why he would be endangering 'the minor'. The most often repeated reason was suspicion of Snape's allegiance to Voldemort. The last of the child welfare papers were for complete secrecy and protection of 'the minor's identity. Harry was listed as one of Voldemort's potential targets on 10 February, 1981. The Fidelius Charm was cast on 15 February, 1981 - Secret Keeper: Unknown.
The proof was overwhelming and seemed difficult to fabricate. Harry wasn't certain yet if he trusted this so-called proof, and so he sent a request to the Ministry of Magic for a copy of his birth certificate.
"Boy!" Uncle Vernon's voice carried up the stairs. "Get down here at once!"
Harry collected the paperwork and neatly tucked it away under the loose floorboard under his bed. When he entered the kitchen, Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia were looking stern (more than usual).
"Yes, Uncle Vernon?" Harry asked.
"We've discussed it and we don't want you inviting your freaky friends over here," Uncle Vernon said.
"I didn't," Harry replied.
"No?" Uncle Vernon snapped. "Then who was that Irish wench at the door earlier?"
"I certainly didn't invite her," Harry said. "She just sort of… showed up."
"Well, make sure it doesn't happen again!" Aunt Petunia raged. "What would the neighbors think?"
"Oh, who cares?" Harry snapped, his patience running out. "You know, if you spent less time worrying about the neighbors, and more time thinking for yourself, all of our lives would be easier. She just showed up. I can't control what other people do. Good night." He turned on his heel and stormed up the stairs, leaving Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia gaping behind him.