Promises Broken, Promises Kept
Summary: written for an exchange, Snape willingly takes in Harry Potter. Contains spanking of child
A/N: My first HP fic!! I hope you like it!!
Hogwarts Headmaster Albus Dumbledore stood in front of the younger wizard and issued a small, almost inaudible sigh.
"It's time," he said softly. "You must let him go Severus."
Severus Tobias Snape met the headmaster's eyes and nodded. He slowly released the grip he had on the baby. He watched as the headmaster handed the child to the groundskeeper Hagrid.
What Dumbledore said to the groundskeeper, Snape would never know, and truth be told, he didn't want to know. He wanted to forget where he was. He wanted to forget what had happened this night… the night he failed the one he loved, the one whose life he'd sworn to protect.
Hagrid vanished without another word. Snape stared for long moments at the space he had occupied before Dumbledore led the way to the apparation point. Before apparating, he once again turned to the younger wizard.
"You understand, don't you Severus?" he asked.
"I shall never understand headmaster," Snape glared.
"It's just not safe. Not with death eaters still out there." Dumbledore sighed gently.
Snape stood up straight, gave a curt not to the older wizard, and stormed back the castle, his black robes billowing behind him. It didn't take him long to reach the castle and he knew instinctively that Dumbledore was long gone to wherever he was taking the baby… not just any baby…Lily's baby.
Snape entered his private quarters, and 'accio'd' a bottle of fire whiskey and a glass. As he drank, he allowed himself to drift back to a time of innocence… A time when there was nothing in the world that could do him harm.
The first time Snape met Lily Evans, he was nothing more then a little boy who was being raised to know the difference between a 'pure blood' and a 'mud blood'. Of course he was also young enough to know that none of the mattered… at least not yet.
The pair had met when Snape saw the little girl crying on the swing set in the local park. He'd gone up to her to ask what the matter was. She'd turned red, but had told him how she'd accidentally broken her mum's favorite vase and how her older sister had sworn she was going to tell and say that Lily had done it on purpose.
"What did your mother say?" Snape asked intrigued.
"I don't know, I left before she got back," Lily sniffed.
Snape had walked her back home and waited in the yard until her mother returned home. He stood by her side as she explained what had happened. Mrs. Evans had been understanding and bade her daughter go play.
And so began a friendship between Lily and Severus that would last until the day of her death. They would have only one tough spot but even then they would come out victorious.
The two talked about everything; including some of Lily's 'powers'. It came as no shock to them, when at age eleven Lily got her acceptance letter to Hogwarts.
"It came Sev, it came!" She'd squealed with delight.
"I got mine too," Snape had grinned, showing her his own cream colored envelope with the Hogwarts seal.
The two sat, side by side on the swing set talking over what they expected the school to be like. Snape explained everything he knew about the houses, who went where and why.
"What house will I be sorted into?" Lily wondered.
"More then likely Ravenclaw since you like to learn things," Snape explained.
"What about you?" Lily asked.
"The whole Snape line has been in Slytherin," Snape answered.
"Will we still be friends?" There was fear in Lily's voice.
Snape looked over at his friend and nodded his head. He didn't want to lie to her, but he knew he didn't want to say good bye to the only person who ever bothered to try and learn about him either. How was he supposed to tell her about the house rivalries?
"Sev, promise we'll be friends no matter what." Lily demanded gently, sensing the boy's reluctance to commit to an answer.
"I-I promise Lils," Snape replied.
Snape had been both wrong and right… Lily had been sorted into Gryffindor while he had been sorted into Slytherin. It was a friendship that should have been doomed but instead it grew stronger. Snape had explained his need to keep their friendship a secret shortly after they'd met, so when nothing had changed, Lily hadn't been upset.
In fact by the end of their first year they were dating. Snape had finally found the courage to ask her during one of their late night meetings. The first time they'd kissed they'd felt sparks.
Those sparks were there every time over the next five years. The sparks should never have died out but for an unfortunate incident that should never have happened… an incident that ended a relationship, and broke two young people's hearts.
The day had started like any other, Snape had met up with Lily shortly before breakfast and had hopes that his day was looking to be a great one. He never counted on having a run in with the marauders… He never counted on being held upside down and humiliated in front of what felt like the entire school.
In his anger he never stopped to think… never stopped to use the brain Lily often teased him about having. Severus Snape was livid, and anyone in his way was going to get burned. He just never counted on it being Lily. She had come over to him, breaking all the 'rules' they'd had in place since childhood. She had to make sure he was alright. He wasn't alright, his hurt and hatred burned bright and the feelings became too much for him to handle… and then he did the unthinkable…the inexcusable.
He looked Lily straight in the eyes and snapped, "Keep your filthy hands off me mudblood!"
By the time he'd realized his mistake, Lily was gone, and there was nothing he could do. He went to her that night, knowing instinctively that she would be there waiting for him. She was, but she didn't give him a chance to say anything.
Lily walked over to Snape and gave him a sad kiss before pulling off the ring that Snape had charmed so no one could see. Snape stood there shaking his head, trying his hardest to get a word, any word; to come out of his mouth, but nothing came. It wouldn't have mattered if he could anyway; Lily had made up her mind.
"I'll always love you Severus, and I do forgive you," she whispered in his ear before walking away. She never looked back.
Snape had been devastated, but kept his focus on his schoolwork where he excelled. Often times he'd look over at her and she'd look up at him and smile. The spark was still there, but it had changed.
Snape hadn't understood Lily's decision, she had always forgiven everyone and had never turned her back on them, but over time he'd started to understand. He understood that a secret relationship was hard to handle. He understood even more when on the day of graduation he took the dark mark.
Clear comprehension dawned when he saw a death eater's family tortured and killed because the man failed in a mission. He suddenly realized that he would never have been willing to bring Lily into that life.
Lily was pure light... pure good. He never counted on her goodness to come to him, to help him in his time of need. He never counted on her loyalty to him. The loyalty that had her tell James Potter, whom she started dating during seventh year, that if he wished to marry her then he'd have to accept Snape into their lives… James had agreed, albeit reluctantly.
To this day, Snape couldn't remember what he'd done wrong to cause the displeasure of the Dark Lord but whatever it was left him unable to walk; almost unable to move. He remembered that Lily was still living with her parents while going through Auror training.
With no one else to help, he used the Floo Network to call her. When she finally appeared she smiled at him pleasantly.
"Is everything alright Severus?" She asked concerned, not having talked to the man in a couple of years.
"I didn't know who else to call…" Snape started.
"What's the matter Sev? Are you hurt?" Lily demanded to know.
Snape could only nod his head.
"Step back Severus," Lily commanded.
Snape did as she bid and a moment later she was coming through his fireplace. She stayed with him for two days, thankful it was a weekend and she therefore has some time off from training.
With some coaxing, Snape admitted to being a Death Eater and wanting to get out. She held him as he cried for the first time in his life. "James and I will help," she informed the startled man.
Snape tried to tell her no, but she turned the tables on him. "You owe me Sev," she whispered, hating herself for saying those words, but knowing that she had to save the man she still loved, even if that love had changed since they were young.
It wasn't until after she and James had finished Auror training that they were able to persuade a very reluctant Snape to talk with Dumbledore. It was on that day that Snape became a professor at the school he'd once attended, and became a spy… it also marked the beginning of Snape and Lily once again becoming fast friends.
It was a friendship that James hadn't approved of but had, with great reluctance, come to understand. He and Snape had called a truce so that whenever they were in the same room they didn't hex each other. Not that either of them would have tried, especially not in the presence of Lily who would have hexed them both faster than they could have drawn their wands.
Snape was in the castle when Lily was brought to the infirmary with contractions. He stood outside the door and waited until he heard the baby's first cries. He slid out of sight as Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, and Peter Pettigrew walked out of the room. Only then did he enter.
James saw him and stood back, giving his wife and her friend time to talk.
"It's a boy Sev, a boy," she squealed with delight, sounding so much like her eleven year old self that Snape actually smiled. "Do you want to hold him?"
Snape hesitated, but Lily didn't seem to care. She thrust her son into the older wizard's arms. Snape held the boy delicately, looking nervous and out of place with the tiny bundle squirming in his arms. Finally out of pure desperation he looked at James, pleadingly. James complied with the look and took his son.
"What did you name him?" Snape asked, turning back to Lily.
Lily beamed up at James who answered, "Harry James Potter."
Snape swallowed deeply and gave Lily's hand a squeeze. Harry had been a little boy the two of them had played with for a year before he'd succumbed to a childhood illness. Lily and Snape had never forgotten the boy and Snape had once told Lily that he would name his first born after him. Of course he'd recently told Lily that he had no plans on having a wife let alone a child while being what he was. Snape let the two new parents alone to rest and enjoy their baby.
For the next year Snape saw the Potter family sporadically. One day when he visited he found Lily obviously upset.
"What's the matter Lils?"
Lily shook her head as she put her baby down for his nap, and led the way to the kitchen. She poured them each some tea and the two began to talk. It wasn't until Snape was getting ready to leave that Lily confided in him.
"Something's not right Sev."
"With the baby," Snape asked concerned.
"No, Harry's just fine. Sev, if anything happens to me, James, and Sirius will you take Harry?" Lily inquired.
"Nothing's going to happen to you Lils. Dumbledore and I won't allow it," Snape said, his voice firm.
"Please, will you take him?" Lily demanded to know.
Snape nodded not trusting himself to talk. Lily looked at her long-time friend and walked over to him. As Snape was sitting Lily was only slightly taller than him. She took his chin in her hand.
"Please Severus, promise me that if we should die you will stop being a spy and raise my son."
"Lily…" Snape started.
Tears filled Lily's eyes. "Sev, promise you'll take care of Harry."
"I promise Lils."
Lily gave him a kiss on the cheek and moments later he left. Severus Snape never realized that that would be the last time he ever saw Lily Potter. One week to the day after that visit, Lily and James were killed and Sirius was taken to Azkaban.
Snape felt someone shake him awake, and he sat bold upright. He looked down at a house elf with a scowl.
"What do you want?"
"Master Dumbledore wanted Pinky to make sure Master Snape goes to bed."
Snape mumbled under his breath as he made his way to his room to lie down. He had to be up in a few hours and he knew he'd never get back to sleep. Pulling open a drawer he looked down at a picture of himself and Lily holding a baby Harry.
"I'm so sorry Lils," he whispered as he cried for only the second time in his life. He cried for the loss of his friend, his love, and he cried for the promise he'd broken.
11 Years Later
Snape stalked down the hallway, glad his last potions class was over. His last class was always the most stressful as it contained both Gryffindor and Slytherin.
Snape was halfway down the corridor when he heard raised voices; one of them sounding awfully familiar. He quickened his pace but before he could interrupt he saw one of the quarrelers, Harry Potter, storm away.
Snape slid into a shadow, a scowl on his face. He could still remember the first time he'd seen the boy. There were too many emotions for Snape to process so he settled for the on that had sustained him for all these years… anger.
He was angry at himself for not being there to protect Lily. He was angry at Dumbledore for not only failing to protect Lily but for taking Harry away. Even thought it was irrational, he was angry at Lily for dying, and at Harry for staying with the Dursley's.
Unfortunately for Harry all that anger Snape felt was directed at him. It was not anger bred out of hatred, like Snape made people believe. It was anger bred out of frustration, fear, and failure.
Snape was brought of his thoughts by two voices, slightly hushed.
"Maybe we should talk to a professor," Hermione suggested to her red headed friend.
"But who," Ron asked. "You heard Harry. Dumbledore doesn't care and McGonagall was too busy."
"There has to be someone Ron. We can't let Harry go back to them especially if you are right." Hermione argued back.
The two stood where they were, thinking. So intent were their thoughts that they never saw Snape stalk up to them until it was too late.
"Ten points for loitering in the halls," Snape said icily.
Hermione jumped at the professor's voice while Ron turned red. He glared up the potions professor, clearly upset.
"Follow me," Snape ordered.
He walked away looking back only once to glare when he didn't hear footsteps following him. The two eleven year olds looked at each other, sighed, and then followed the older wizard.
Snape led the way to his office where he sat down and glowered at his two students.
"Did we do something wrong professor?" Hermione ventured after a couple of tense, silent minutes.
"You mean other then cause a disturbance in the hallway?" Snape growled back.
The young witch flushed at that. She hadn't been aware that anyone had been around while she and Ron were arguing with Harry. Ron seemed to stand taller as his glare intensified.
"While I could care less about your childish dramas I want to know what you were referring to when talking about Mr. Potter." Snape demanded.
The students' eyes went wide as they stared at each other. Ron gave no visible indication of what he thought, but his eyes shouted 'no way in bloody hell'. Hermione, while having reservations, knew that Snape could very well be their last chance for help. She turned to her professor fully intending on spilling what she knew. She was stopped by a strangled cry from Ron, "Hermione, don't!"
Snape sat forward, ready to yell at the red head but the bushy brown haired girl beat him to it.
"Why not; if we don't tell someone and something happens to Harry…" Hermione's voice cracked as she fought back tears.
"We can't tell him," Ron spat. "Besides the fact that he's a greasy git, Harry will never forgive us. There has to be someone else."
Snape was ready to assign the younger wizard a detention and the loss of house points but waited. Whatever was happening to Harry had to be bad, and Snape was determined to stop it; if, for nothing else, then for Lily. Snape's thoughts were pushed aside by the two in his office.
"Who else should we tell Ronald? Harry already tried the headmaster and all of us have tried Professor McGonagall."
Ron opened his mouth… but shut it again. He glanced up at the hated potions professor and glared fiercely.
"Harry's relatives don't like him. They call him a freak." Ron finally ground out.
He turned his glare to the witch standing next to him. Hermione barely seemed to notice the eyes on her as she looked at the professor.
"You have to understand sir, Harry doesn't complain. He's not the celebrity you think he is."
"If he doesn't complain then how do you know what's wrong?" Snape asked smoothly.
"Because I've seen the marks!" Ron yelled.
"What marks," Snape demanded to know. "What marks are you talking about Mr. Weasley?"
Ron looked at Snape closely, gone was Ron's anger. In its place was a look of pleading. "He didn't know I knew at first but there are marks on his back and stomach. He won't tell me what happened but the imprints look like he's been… beaten." Ron finished in a whisper.
Snape turned to Hermione his mind reeling. "What were you saying about the headmaster and McGonagall?"
"We talked Harry into going to the headmaster but he s-said that Harry had to go back to the Dursleys. Harry and then later Ron and I tried to talk to Professor McGonagall but she was too busy."
The two students could see fresh anger in their professor's eyes. They glanced at each other briefly. They were not sure who he was mad at but hoped it wasn't them.
Snape turned his fierce gaze to Ron, "Twenty points for disrespecting a professor. You are both dismissed."
Hermione quickly ushered her friend out of the room before he could stir up more trouble.
Snape sat at his desk stewing. He couldn't stop thinking of ways to hurt both the headmaster and McGonagall for ignoring the needs of a student… especially this particular student.
He stormed out of his office and made his way down to his private quarters. His scowl fiercer then any student ever saw. Any who happened upon him instantly ran in the opposite direction, afraid of being in his way. Not even the other professors, who were used to his many moods, were crazy enough to try and talk with him.
Snape finally got to his quarters and locked himself in. He sent word with a house elf to Dumbledore that he was busy with a potion and would be unable to attend dinner despite the rule that everyone attended the meal.
Snape didn't trust himself to be in the same room with the older wizard and witch and not hex either of them. The anger he was feeling was unlike anything he'd ever felt. He could hear Lily's voice, telling him to take a deep breath and calm down.
Snape made his way into his room and pulled out the picture of her he kept. He stared at it, allowing himself to breathe deeply and calm down. He looked down into her eyes.
"I won't let him go back," He vowed to her picture.
He may have broken his promise once but he was not about to do it again.