Disclaimer: Not mine.
It was strange having a child at Hogwarts. I heard around that he was taken out of his relative's care after being hit one too many times. Poor baby. Only three years old and already traumatized. How could anyone hate such an adorable child, especially with such beautiful green eyes?
Though as strange as all that was, it was even stranger who saved him from his family. I remember, being one of the few standing in the Entrance Hall (late to dinner). I was just about to go eat when the large oak doors were flung open and in stepped our own snarky professor, wearing a determined expression and holding a bundle in his arms. He took a split second pause, enough to look around and call to me.
"You," he said. "Get the Headmaster. Tell him to come to the infirmary immediately." Then he stormed off in that direction, robes billowing, looking more like a dementor than usual. I entered the Great Hall, ran up to the Head table, and accurately relayed what had happened and what had been said to Dumbledore. After he and McGonagall left I snuck out of the Hall unseen and followed.
It wasn't long before I reached the hospital wing and being as thin as I am slipped through the crack in the door. I silently crawled inside a cupboard nearest the door. No one noticed. The adults were too busy with something on a bed at the far end of the wing. Also it helped that I was the sneakiest student in all of Hogwarts. Everyone knew it too. When I was caught, the detentions were usually harsher, unless it's Dumbledore or surprisingly Professor Snape.
Through the crack in the cabinet door I watched as both Snape and Pomprey ran around the room collecting various items and potions, only to return to that bed. The headmaster and McGonagall were looking solemn and talking softly. I couldn't hear. After about twenty minutes the professors slowed down a bit and finally sat down around the bed.
I had lost my chance to leave undetected, for now I'd be spotted for sure with four of the sharpest pairs of eyes in Hogwarts suddenly more aware of their surroundings. Though now that they were sitting, I could see clearly onto the bed and no longer wanted to leave.
There on the bed was a small boy with black hair, sleeping almost restlessly. On his face and small little arms, I could see fading bruises and the last remains of scratches and scars. I let out a slight gasp.
It could barely be called a sound but then again, I was also dealing with the four sharpest pairs of ears in the school too. McGonagall and Pomprey were talking and weren't paying attention, but Snape seemed to flick his eyes in my direction before going back to the conversation and Dumbledore seemed to tilt his head slightly, but thankfully the mistake was ignored.
After an infinite amount of talking on their part and a tired drifting mind on my part, the conversation died down and everyone stood to leave. They said their goodnights. Dumbledore left talking to McGonagall saying something cryptic along the lines of, "wouldn't want anyone to think we've gone missing." I wasn't surprised. The headmaster always knew. I looked back to the wing, empty except for Pomprey who had just turned out the lights and was now returning to her office.
After a moment of silence I made my decision to leave my hiding spot and was pushing open the door when it was suddenly pulled open and I stumbled onto the floor. Then someone took my arm and gently lifted me from the ground and I came face to face with the Potions Master's stern look.
"Young lady, Shouldn't you be in your dorm right now. It is far past curfew."
I dropped my gaze and could feel my face warm up.
Professor Snape of coarse favors our house. Even we can't refute that. He even seems slightly impressed by me and my 'spying' abilities (not sure why though) and while most of us Slytherins would take advantage of that, I didn't. I respected him and felt guilty when I get in trouble with him or even if I don't work as hard in his class. I've always tried harder when those I respect are concerned (Professor Dumbledore's another).
"I was only curious," I said quietly.
"And reckless," he replied as he walked back to the bed. "I think sometimes you were meant to be in Gryffindor."
I followed him over, slightly surprised he spoke as much. He must be exhausted.
"That is," he said silkily, "until you catch me at unawares." He gave me an amused look.
"The Sorting Hat said I had the traits to be good in any house. It asked me where I would like to go," I told him.
We sat down on either side of the bed. The little boy was sleeping more peacefully now.
The professor watched the child as if studying him. "Oh?" He said distracted, "And why did you choose my house."
I chose my words carefully. "I wanted to prove you wrong."
He looked up then but it was the only sign that he was surprised. "About what?"
I gathered my thoughts and said, "It was when you came to formally introduce me to the wizarding world. You were very formal and emotionless. Very precise. You understand people better than most others, probably was necessary fighting a war an all, but that day you only took one look at me. You glanced at my muggle parents, although I don't believe you to be prejudice, and looked at my more open, bolder, though quieter disposition and assumed that I wouldn't be in your house. You tuned up the cold shoulder after that probably imagining me melting cauldrons on my first day or something and didn't think to look closer." I settled back in my chair in a matter-of-fact manner and stared at him.
He gave me an analytical look and said nothing at first. Then, "As I recall, you did melt your cauldron on your first day."
I blushed, "That was my partners fault," I mumbled.
He nodded. "It is a rare occasion when someone can surprise me though." I of course was proud of myself.
After a few moments silence, I asked a question. "Sir, what did the hat say to you?"
He looked up and sighed, "I think it's time for you to return to your common room.
"Yes sir." I stood and walked past him to the door then turned around. "Sir, who's the boy?"
He didn't move just said, "Oh I'm sure you've heard of him. This is Harry Potter. He is for the moment under my guardianship"
I had a lot to think about that night.
And so it was that the little boy started to be seen around school and always in the company of Severus Snape.
The child seemed shy, never speaking and he didn't stare unless he was sure no one was looking. Poor little kid. I'd be afraid too with all the attention.
It was also known by the students just who the child was, although it was never announced. Snape seemed to never say a word to the boy, but he was always there, behind his robes or sitting a few from him or even following along behind him in the corridors.
Everyone was shocked the day after the infirmary incident. It was first class of the day Potions and I was conveniently in it.
The door to the classroom was opened so of course everyone filed in and sat down. Though there was no Snape. The bell rang and still he didn't show up. Some students went over to other desks to take part in the latest gossip and to discuss the newest situation. I sat quietly in my chair and resisted the urge to smile knowingly, less I get interrogated.
Just as the noise reached a new level a dangerous voice said from the door, "I don't believe my absence warranted utter chaos!"
The class froze.
"Get back to your Seats!" he said menacingly glaring at the students. "Ten points from Gryffindor."
The class dashed back to their desks but for all the fear that he had built up in the students, the effect was lost the moment he entered the room.
Trailing behind, holding on to the material of Snape's robes and a stuffed toy was a tiny boy with black hair and bright green eyes. The little child looked down quickly being faced with the stares of the class and hurried to keep up with the older man. Gasps and whispers immediately rose from the sight.
"QUIET!" Snape yelled. The boy flinched and looked up. The professor seemed to notice for he lowered his voice and said, "Get out your books." Then as an after thought, "Ten points to Slytherin for Miss Terren being the only one with any sense."
The rest of class past uneventfully with little Harry seated and watching with wide eyes from behind a stack of books by Snape's desk. By lunch though it seemed the whole school knew he was there. It wasn't long before someone noticed the scar and put two and two together. That was spread around by Dinner and brought even more talk.
After that I heard many things. Rumors that the people Harry was living with before died, that Voldemort had returned and Harry was being hidden at Hogwarts, that Professor Snape was corrupting the-Boy-who-Lived. The last one really got on my nerves. Everyone only needed to look harder to know it wasn't true. When the two walked down a corridor together Snape is always slower than normal so Harry could keep up. In class he took on a lower dangerous tone instead of yelling which was his usual preference just so Harry wouldn't flinch.
When the boy did flinch or withdrawal from others (which he did with everyone except Snape and the Headmaster) I would always wondered the extent of abuse he went through. When others saw how scared he was they assumed it was the Potion's Master's doing. The insults he usually got increased almost ten-fold, even from some kids in his own house. I, of course, put in my own opinion when the opportunity presented itself but no one really started to believe me until the day they saw it for themselves.
A few months had past since Harry had gotten here and he had started getting braver. He still didn't talk to anyone or look anyone in the eyes but he gradually allowed himself to be farther and farther away from Snape and allowed the distance between others to be closer and closer. It was on one of these more bold days during a free period that he and Snape were in one of the corridors. Snape was discussing one of his student's behavior with McGonagall who insisted the student get a week's worth of detention for pulling a wand on another student. Snape would have none of that.
Harry was, at the time, about fifteen feet away staring at a pair of students around the corner who were having a heated argument.
"I told you to stay the bloody Hell away from her."
"I didn't touch her. Your stupid friends lied to you!"
"No they said..."
After a second both boys left in opposite directions. Now to this day no one's quite sure what he was doing but little Harry started walking up behind the first boy, and in most likely an act of bravery he reached up and pulled on the boy's robes to get his attention. Now the boy still angry and probably thinking his enemy had come back for some more he turned around fist flying through the air. Of coarse when he hit nothing but air he was knocked off balance and stumbled right over Harry. His knee went straight into little Harry's face causing him to give a started yelp and go crashing into the ground. His head slammed into the stone floor and he shrieked.
Within a second the boy was off him and silence reigned down the corridor. Students were frozen in shock. Another second and footsteps were heard and Professor Snape came around the corner looking like the Grim Reaper. His eyes were on Harry immediately. Harry lay on the ground not making a sound although tears flowed freely down his face. A bruise was forming on his cheek where the knee had connected but thankfully there was no blood on the floor.
Snape was next to him in two strides and knelt down. He looked at the bruise and gently lifted the boy up and placed the boys head on his shoulder. Everyone in the hall could hear him whispering the child.
"It's all right. You can cry," he said softly feeling the back of the boy's head for blood or swelling. Harry then started to sob quietly into the professor's shoulder. Snape stood up while Harry cried and his eyes fell on the boy who caused it and narrowed dangerously. The boy paled. Before Snape could do anything rash McGonagall interfered.
"Mr. Michaels, follow me to my office. Now." She gave Severus a soft look before she left.
Ignoring the rest of the students 'stares, Snape walked back towards the dungeons gently speaking to Harry who was now only whimpering.
Within the hour the entire school knew of what had happened and the rumors about the Potions Master's real motives stopped instantly, for the moment. It was strange how everyone suddenly claimed that they knew all along. I didn't say a word.
Soon the Christmas Holidays were upon us. I was one of the first to sign up to stay, (My family went crazy during holidays) though I was one of the few. I spent most of my time walking the grounds, reading and sneaking until a rather unlikely circumstance occured. I was making my way to the grounds finally getting the nerve to have another go on a broom (the first few times were...unfortunate) when I came around the corner and there was little Harry. He was just staring at one of the portraits like in a trance.
"Hey little one. Whatcha doin'" I called out. I started looking around for some sign of the Potions professor. Nothing. Harry had looked up and was giving me a curious look. I knelt down and held out my hand. "Why don't you come here."
He gave me a blank expression.
"Don't worry," I say reasuringly, "You're safe." I looked at him expectantly.
Finally after a pause he slowly walked over. Very cautious.
I nod once he's standing in front of me. "Good."
I stared at him. He was so tiny. just a scared little child. It made me want to hug him. I resisted. He would probably flinch or something. Then I got an idea.
"Do you want to go outside?" He perked up a little. "I'll take that as a yes." I stood and held out my hand.
After another moment of him staring he hesitantly reached out and grabbed my hand.
"Good. Before we go out we need to make one quick stop." We started off down the hall.
Harry stood next to me as I stuck the note to Snape's office door. It said:
Found Harry in a hallway. Took him out to get some air.
Your favorite sneak
Now I didn't actually check to see if he was inside. It was so much better this way.
"Well," I whispered, "Let's go"
When we stepped outside, Harry's eyes widened considerable. I had of coarse conjured him all the necessary atire and even added a warming spell just in case. We then started making our way through the snow towards the now frozen lake.
"So, Harry, do you like living at Hogwarts?" I had to break the silence. He looked up.
For a second I thought he didn't understand but then he nodded. Good we were getting somewhere.
"What about Professor Snape? Is he nice to you?" Surprisingly he actually smiled as he nodded. It was one of those contagious inside joke sort of smiles. I knew what he meant. Nice was probably not the right word. Concerned or dedicated would have worked better.
We then sat down by the lake and Harry proceeded to touch the surface, amazed. I layed back and watched him touch everything and eventually start playing in the snow.
Though there was a question at the back of my mind. "You understand everything. Can you talk?" He looked up from the snow thing he was building and studied me. Then he nodded.
"Why don't you then," He fingered the snow and shrugged.
I layed back and spoke absently, "You're a sweet kid. I've always wanted a kid of my own..."
Thirty minutes later when we decided we were good and cold they headed back. We walked into the Entrance Hall and found ourselves face to face with three professors. McGonagall looked angry and exasperated at the same time. Snape had a stern analysing expression and in the backround was Dumbledore. Though I found my courage when the headmaster gave me a secret smile. I nodded resisting the urge to smile. He always did seem to like me.
"Miss Terren," said McGonagall, "Do you even realize-"
Snape cut her off, "I don't appreciate the fact that you took it into your-"
I cut him off, "Professors, why did I find Harry in the hallway by himself?"
McGonagall looked flustered, "Miss Terren, That is not the-"
Dumbledore cut her off, "Well Miss Terren," his eyes twinkled, "a small misunderstanding occured about who was watching him."
"Miss Terren," McGonagal said, "I believe this calls for detentio-"
Shockingly she was cut off by Harry who had walked out in front and pronounced, "Sorry."
Everyone looked down. Dumbledore's eyes twinkled even brighter.
Harry reapeated, "I sorry"
McGonagall was shocked. Snape even looked surprised but then he got a thoughtful expression. After a moment he spoke, "Yes, you will serve detention with me."
He then took Harry's hand and started walking toward the dungeons and said without turning around, "I'm in need of a babysitter."
The transfiguration professor seemed to have forgotten her anger and was beaming as she walked towards her office. Dumbledore was also smiling he turned to me and said, "Good job Miss Terren. That's the first word he's spoken since he got here." He then walked off and I swear he was humming.
And so everyday for the rest of Christmas break I would make my way down to the Professor's office to watch Harry. We would play games, color, I would tell him stories, and little by little he started talking. At first it was just a few words like hi, yes, no, and sorry. He apoligized a lot, until Snape broke him of that habit. He then moved on to more and soon was telling me stories. Although he never talked about his other 'family'. Whenever I asked he would go silent and lose intrest in playing, though I probably shouldn't have pried.
It wasn't until he was taking a nap one afternoon that I found out anything. He got exhausted from our game and practically fell asleep in his lunch. So I put him down and started reading a book I had brought. About a chapter or two later I started hearing a small sound. I walked over to the small bed where Harry was. He was whimpering caught in a dream and had twisted his covers around himself. I smoothed my hand over his head and tried to untangle his blankets all the while whispering softly, "Harry. It's okay, baby."
Then in an instant he had sat up and screamed, "Mama!" His little arms started flailing and he took deep gasping sobs crying out for his mum.
I immediately picked him up and put him over my shoulder and rocked him while he cried. He seemed to sob forever and I could feel my own eyes get watery. Poor baby.
Then the sound of the door closing caught my attention and there was Snape.He had charged into the room. His face softened at the sight of me holding a crying Harry and me crying myself. I couldn't help it. My heart felt like it wanted to break.
"He had a nightmare." I say through my tears, "He was calling for his mum."
Snapes brow furrowed in thought. He walked over and gently lifted Harry from my arms and transfered him to his own shoulder. Harry had calmed down to a soft whimpering. "Shhh. I okay," Snape whispered. He then kissed the child on the head.
After a moment of him rocking Harry, Harry soon fell back into a restless sleep. Snape then sat in a chair still holding the two-year-old. I found a seat across from him and asked, "Does he always have nightmares?"
Snape just looked at the child for a moment and then replied, "Yes."
"Are they always this bad?"
"Usually they are about his relatives so yes. This is the first he's had about his mother, so in a sense this is almost worse."
Another moment of silence and then, "What were his relatives like?"
Snape let out a sigh, "When I went to check on him I found him in a cupboard that looked to be his bedroom. He had bruises and scratches all over his face and body and the nappy he had been wearing hadn't been changed in at least a week."
I was horrified. Who could do something like that? He was just a baby!
Snape spoke again, "I don't even want to think how he got all those injuries."
I was all of a sudden more protective of Harry than I thought possible.
Christmas eve was here and I went out with special permission to Hogsmeade to buy Harry a present. I ended up getting him a kitten. He needed a pet. It was black with green eyes. I couldn't not buy him. It was practically fate.
As son as he was lose in my room he proceeded to climb on every available surface. Snape was going to have fun. Now all I had to do was make sure Harry saw him first. No one would be able to get rid of it then. I kept it in it's box overnight.
Christmas morning I put a silencing charm on the box and rushed down to the Great Hall. My presents could wait for later. I had already slept in.
In the Great Hall the smaller table held a breakfast feast. Under the giant Christmas tree was a pile of presents. I could see from here that most of them were for Harry.
Snape and Harry hadn't arrived yet, but Dumbledore, McGonagall, Hagrid, Sinistra, Flitwik, and various other teachers were sitting around the table. The few students who had stayed were scrunched up together on on side. I went and ended up stting on the other side of Hagrid and kept the box on my lap. Every minute or so I opened the box and gave the kitten a peice of food. At one point the cat let out a tiny meow, but most of the teachers were laughing at the time so it seemed no one noticed. Though it was no surprise when Dumbledore looked over and gave a knowing smile.
Just then Snape walked in holding little Harry's hand. Harry had looked around, noticed the pile of presents and his eyes widened. Then it seemed like his face went blank and he turned away and walked with Snape to the table.
After breakfast everyone sat around the tree and someone handed out some presents to a few teachers. Harry looked on longingly but then looked down and started playing with his own hands rather than look at other people opening there presents. Dumbledore noticed also and stood up, gabbed a present under the tree and walked over to Harry. Harry looked up and gapped when he was handed the present. He stared his eyes as wide as saucers, and then ran his fingers over the wrapping paper. He looked up as if asking permission. Dumbledore nodded and said, "Go ahead."
Harry turned back to the present and ripped at the paper like a wild animal. The teachers who had stopped to watch, laughed.
When he finally got through the paper and opened the box, his eyes grew wide again. He pulled out a toy dragon. He set it on the floor and it crawled around before sitting on its haunches and letting out a snort.
In an inhuman blur Harry was up and hugging the old man.
Dumbledore hugged him back and after a moment set him down. He whispered to the child, "You're a good boy. Don't ever think you don't deserve it when good things happen to you." I think I was the only one who heard besides Snape.
After almost all the presents were opened, including a new toddler broom from Snape which was returned with another huge hug (everyone around awwed and I swear Snape let out a small smile), Dumbledore turned to me and said, "I think it's about time to reliquish that present in your lap while all are still here to see it." He smiled mischieveiously and Snape furrowed his brow as if to say, 'What's about to happen here, What did I miss.'
I smiled and called Harry over. He gave me a curious look when I handed him the box. It was a little heavy so he quickly set it on the floor only making Snape look more concerned.
Hesitantly Harry opened the box and looked inside. He gasped and a wide smile covered his face. (Security in place) He reached his hands into the box and pulled out a furry black ball and craddled it in his arms. It let out a mew and turned a tiny face with wide green eyes to look at the surrounding faces.
Everyone with a visible sight of the kitten started laughung hysterically. They laughed even more when they saw the murderous glance Snape was giving me.
I gave an innocent look and said, "He needed a pet."
After that I got more 'detention' but I could tell Snape was at least a little happy because Harry was happy. During my detentions I took Harry out flying. That is, he was flying and I was watching with his cat on my shoulder.
The cat who was named Alistair by Harry was the kind of pet I had intended it to be. He was loyal, following Harry everywhere, he was smart, seeming to understand everything and sifting out potential threats literally preventing many injuries that most likely would have taken place, and Harry did the same for him. The cat was so proper always sitting up staight and surveying the area, becoming dangerous when anything happened to Harry. Soon even Snape came around and liked the kitten. Of coarse it helped the kitten only let very few people touch him which included not only me and Dumbledore and unsurprisingly McGonagall but Snape himself.
As time went on Harry became more confident and reckless. No doubt Snape tried to brake him of that. At least once a week, Harry would find himself in a fix, his cat right along side him. Snape was more exasperated than angry nowadays. If fact his behavior lately took a turn for the better. He still favored his own house but I think even he realized by now that Harry was headed for Gryffindor.
Soon the end of the year came, but before I left I had to wish Harry goodbye.
Everyone was in the Entrance Hall and I found my way over to Harry who was standing off to the side with Alistair sitting on his shoulder. Snape was working on herding the students through the door.
I knelt down, "Hello Harry and Alistair." He smiled. He was a lot bigger than when he first got here.
"So are you going with Snape for the summer?" I absently petted the cat while I talked.
I nod. "Just make sure you don't scare Snape too much."
He smiled slyly, "Sev'us says hes gonna put a...a tracker on me." He then laughed.
"Yes that does sound like him..."
"Where you goin'?"
"Me? I'm going home. But I'll make sure to send you a present for your birthday." His eyes immediatly lit up.
I hugged him then, "Well I have to go, but I'll see you next September."
"Okay, Bye," He waved to me as I walked away.
Snape would take good care of him. I smiled. Dumbledore had already told me one of the presents Harry was getting for his Birthday. Lets only hope they can handle the shock of being an actual family.
A/N: Hope you liked it. Sorry but I don't have spell check.