Author Note: OMG, how hectic could things be??? First there was the bridge collapse, and so I didn't take time to update on my days off then. And now lately I've just been working non-stop. I finally have a couple days off and time to update.
Oh yes… I disabled anonymous reviews. Sorry people. I was getting a couple that had some comments that put me on the defensive, but since I can't reply to anonymous ones… I couldn't actually defend my writing and tell the reasons for certain things. So I just decided to not allow them. If people want to ask questions or criticize, I would like signed reviews please so I can explain myself to these people.
Disclaimer: This story is not authorized, prepared, approved, licensed, or endorsed by J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any other individual or entity associated with the Harry Potter books or movies.
Chapter Thirteen- 1 Samuel 16:7 (part of it)
People just by outward appearances, but the Lord looks at a person's thoughts and intentions.
There were no more tales of history told to Harry that day, as Severus knew that he had much to absorb already.
Severus fire called Albus and asked him to check the pensieve to find all the spells that James had used on Harry. He knew that he would not be able to watch that particular memory again. An owl arrived at dinner with a list of spells and all of the counters for them.
He looked up from the message to see Harry's questioning eyes upon him.
"If you'd still like, I now have the means to reverse the spells on your appearance."
"Oh yes, please!" Harry dropped his fork in his excitement.
"Very well. Finish your dinner and we'll adjourn to your bedroom."
"Sir- er Fath-… sir… I don't think I could eat more now. I'm too excited and nervous."
Severus nodded with understanding.
"Head upstairs then and put on some comfortable, loose fitting pajamas so the change can take place with as little discomfort as possible. I'll clean the dishes tonight.
"Oh, but that's my chore to-"
"Harry, please. Many of the counter-spells work with your magic. The process will be quite draining for you. Just make sure you are ready when I come upstairs.
"Alright. Thank you, si-… Fa…thanks." Harry sighed at his own inability to settle on a title for Snape and then excused himself from the table and went to his room.
He dug out a flannel pajama bottom from Hogwarts and one of Dudley's old shirts. They make for great pajamas. He settled on his bed and then sat at attention when he heard a soft knock.
Snape entered the room slowly, hands full with phials of potions that he set on Harry's nightstand.
"These are only precautionary. I don't think you'll need all of these," he said.
"Why do I have to be in bed for this? It's still light out and everything. It's not like I'm tired." Harry half-complained, not really minding as long as it worked and he could see what he really looked like.
"As I said before, this will likely be very draining for you. Many of the counter-spells require interaction with your own magic to repel the glamours. Since these spells have been on you for your whole life, they have bonded with your magic and will be quite difficult to tear away. Also… it is illegal to use magic directly on an infant because it is very dangerous and can be damaging. James used these spells on you just minutes after you were born. There may be complications that we are not aware of as long as the spells remain intact."
This frightened Harry and little bit and his stomach twisted nervously.
"So I might be hurt by doing this? Would I be better off if I just left it all alone?"
Snape shook his head.
"Just because we can't see something or you can't feel it, doesn't mean there is nothing hurting you. It's better to get rid of what's hiding you so that we can see and fix anything that might need fixing. Do you understand?"
"Yes…. I just wish that didn't make me so nervous." Harry smiled shakily.
"Well, I am prepared and I'll be with you the entire time. I won't begin the counter-spells until you are ready."
Harry took off his glasses, setting them aside, and took a few breaths. Then he laid down and nodded to Snape.
Snape lifted his wand and began to incant. The effects felt immediate to Harry and he gasped.
"What's wrong? Do you need me to stop? We don't have to remove all the spells in one night." Snape looked so scared that Harry almost laughed.
"No, I'm fine. It just surprised me. It feels like I'm being tugged at from all sides, but it doesn't hurt. Keep going." Harry encouraged.
Severus watched his son critically, noting that Harry's breathing was slightly faster and shallower than before. He almost wanted to stop. He could see no changes yet and he still had several spells left to counter.
"Please…. Keep going." Harry asked with a small smile. And so Severus continued, watching for any dramatic declines in Harry's well being as he did.
Twenty minutes later, Severus dropped his want arm to his side. Harry had fallen asleep not long after the third counter-spell, but not before he had pressed the heels of his hands to his eyes and informing Severus that they hurt like when he tried to read without his glasses.
Severus was exhausted also. The counter-spells took a lot of energy to cast. He knew James must have been working on pure adrenaline to put all the spells on Harry and not seem affected at all.
Severus brought the chair he'd used when Harry was sick back over next to the bed and settled in for a night of watching over Harry to make sure no serious complications occurred.
Finally, sometime in the middle of the night, the spells had finally separated from Harry's magic and Severus could feel a breeze brush passed him and he flinched his eyes shut. Harry's breath hitched and then stopped and Severus set into motion. He grabbed a light blue potion, The Breath of Life, from the nightstand and gently lifted Harry's head. He poured the potion slowly and caressed the boy's throat, making him swallow.
The potion worked instantaneously and Harry gasped and settled into a regular breathing pattern. Severus settled back into the chair with a relieved sigh. With the immediate danger out of the way, Severus took the opportunity to really look upon his son for the first time.
Harry's hair was still just as wild as before, but a shade darker. The texture he'd obviously inherited from his mother, but it was Severus's own midnight color. Hid face was a little longer, but he still kept his full lips and Potter nose. Severus could tell that Harry's eyes were more almond shaped like his own and he couldn't wait until he saw the color of them when Harry awoke. Harry's skin color also changed to a more olive tone and it was obviously the color that Severus's own skin would be if he got out in the sun a little more.
Severus's gaze followed down Harry's body and he noticed the loose clothing was even baggier on the small form than it had been before. He'd been hoping, for Harry's own sake, as he was already quite short, that he would be a little taller like Severus. Unfortunately, it was obvious that Harry's stunted growth was a combined effect of malnutrition from the Dursleys and from having numerous spells over his body from the moment he was born.
As he ran a hand through Harry's unruly hair, he couldn't help but smile. His son was beautiful. A perfect mixture of Severus and Marguerite, and still Harry. He leaned in and kissed Harry's head, wanting to remember forever the first time he truly laid eyes on his son.
Morning came quickly and Severus realized he'd fallen asleep during his bedside vigil. He chuckled to himself as he hoped he wouldn't need to make a habit of spending his nights there. At least he'd woken up first this time.
He briefly thought of leaving to freshen up, but he promised Harry'd he'd be there and he wanted to be around when Harry woke up and finally saw his true self.
He didn't need to wait very long for as he was stretching to crack his back, Harry began to stir. Severus stilled until he saw Harry's eyes flutter open. Deep and dark eyes of brown with darker, almost black, flecks looked up at him.
"Did it work?" Harry asked, his voice distorted by a half concealed yawn. Severus nodded and then jumped back as Harry hopped out of bed excitedly. There was a small yelp as Harry tripped over his pant legs. Harry glanced at his feet with a frown.
"Yes… I did tell you there might be side effects from having the spells on you for your whole life. The spells interfered slightly with your growth."
"Bugger," Harry muttered, picking himself back up.
"It's beneficial that the spells were removed now. You still have growing years left. You won't be this size forever." Severus smirked. He motioned for Harry to continue to the bathroom so he could look in the mirror. When Harry paused, Severus put a hand on his shoulder.
"Close your eyes." He gently guided Harry into the bathroom and stood him in front of the mirror.
Harry took a deep breath and let it out slowly before he opened his eyes.
Harry's mouth fell open and he reached up to his eyes. Then he grabbed a tuft of hair and examined it closely. He ran both hands down the sides of his face, feeling the slightly different bone structure that made it longer.
When Severus noticed a tear falling down Harry's face, he flinched.
"Are you quite alright? I realized my genes aren't the best looking ones to inherit, but-"
"It's great. I'm great." Harry sniffled, looking up at the reflection of Severus standing behind him.
"I'm still… it's still me, but better. I mean… it looks like I'm supposed to look this way."
"You are, child."
"I know! Isn't it great? I'm myself now instead of just being a copy that reminds people of someone else." Harry grinned. Severus's smile dropped despite his happiness for Harry.
"Is that how you saw yourself before?" His serious tone caused Harry to stop marveling at the mirror and turn away as if ashamed.
"Well yeah… nobody ever let me forget that I was the spitting image of my- of James Potter. Everyone expected me to be just like him. If I did anything good, it was him that everybody praised… 'must've gotten it from James'… but if I ever did anything wrong, it was all 'I don't know where that boy gets it.'. He was so bloody perfect and I couldn't measure up and everybody constantly reminded me of that. I hated looking like him." Harry scowled, looking more like Severus with his narrowed almond shaped eyes.
"You've really been so disquieted with your own appearance?" Severus asked, hear breaking as he listened to his child's lament.
"It never felt… right." Harry shrugged, turning back to the mirror again and waving at it. "This does."
He turned back again and walked back to the bedroom, glancing back once more into the mirror and grinning. Severus followed and then swept passed to pick up all the potions that were still sitting on the nightstand.
"What was in that one?" Harry pointed to the one empty phial.
"Breath of Life. You stopped breathing when the spells finally broke. Your body needed that bit of help to adjust. I imagine your body and magic had grown accustomed to the constant presence of the spells and incorporated them and used the magic. Your body may still need time to adjust… I will be keeping an eye on you and I expect you to inform me of any changes you feel, good or bad."
"Yes, sir." Harry's eyes were wide as he brought a hand to his throat, still thinking on the fact that he'd stopped breathing.
"Mmm…" Severus nodded absently, shoving the phials in the numerous pockets of his robe. "Come down to the lab as soon as you dress. I'd like to examine you before breakfast."
He left his son and went to prepare for an examination in the potions lab.
Next Chapter- James 5:16