Title: Accidental Magic
Summary: Mr. Potter, did you kill your relatives? Harry: Yes
A Snape mentor/child Harry fic (he's six but his growth has been stunted by the Dursleys in more ways than one)
Genre: Alternate Universe, probably out of character-ness (that tends to go hand in hand with AU's…not that I'll purposefully make someone out of character but Snape could hardly be anyone's mentor when he's behaving true to the books)
Warnings: Child abuse, Character Death…that's all I can think of for now
Spoilers: This takes place before the series starts, but will quite likely mention knowledge gained from reading the books
The explosion made the six o'clock news and would most likely make the front page of the paper by the next morning. The incidents surrounding it were bizarre. Some people said gas leak, others were babbling hysterically about terrorists. There was only one witness, one person to survive ground zero, and he had yet to say a word. His survival was probably the most puzzling incident of all.
At nine o'clock on a perfectly ordinary Saturday, number 4 Privet Drive in Little Winging, Surrey loudly turned itself into a black, smoking crater. The house, its front yard, its garden shed and garden were all destroyed. The houses next door ought to at the very least have sustained damage from the raining debris, but there didn't seem to be any. The worst they had was minor smoke damage. Neither was the house behind harmed, nor any across the street. The street itself didn't so much as have a crack in its pavement. In an almost perfect shape of the house's lot there was nothing left but fine black ash, yet the rest of the street was left alone.
This was not perfectly true. Which is to say, the part about the explosion being meticulously contained certainly was, but the part about the house was completely destroyed wasn't. The staircase was still standing. It was while the fire men were investigating, naturally curious about how the staircase still stood and whether it was likely to suddenly fall now and crush someone, that someone happened to notice the door to a cupboard under the stairs. The rescue worker couldn't say what compelled them to open it; as soon as they touched the latch the chief firefighter was already barking at them to back away, yet still they opened the door. And screamed. Bright green eyes were staring from the darkness within.
The medical team rushed in, of course, determined to get the child (for they soon found it was a child, a very small one) onto a stretcher and away from the mess that surrounded it. The child didn't answer any of their questions, nor did it seem inclined to climb out of the cupboard. It didn't cry, or scream, or do much of anything but stare and stare through emerald eyes. There was talk of shock, there was talk of supposed burns and other hidden ailments. But when they finally, carefully, got the child out of the cupboard and into a position to be examined, no one could find anything wrong (at least in terms of something caused by the explosion. They determined that the child was a boy, a very small, severely malnourished boy of undetermined age. They discovered a few bruises, nothing more than what be expected from the normal scraps little boys get into but coupled with the malnourishment there was cause for concern. They even discovered that he was in need of glasses.
It was the police officers investigating the case who determined who he was. This wasn't because the boy suddenly spoke but because they pulled up a record of who owned the house, and by process of elimination they determined that he must be Harry James Potter. The house had belonged to the Dursleys. Pictures of the son, Dudley, brought by a very distraught aunt showed that the boy taken from the ashes could not have been him. The aunt had admitted, reluctantly, that the boy's cousin also lived in the house. She could not be troubled to even remember the boy's name, and was quick to mention she wouldn't be taking him.
None of the three Dursleys who lived in the house turned up and it was assumed all three had been inside the explosion. Despite the aunt's reluctance to share information, the police had records with Harry's name and relationship to the Dursleys. More disturbing was what was found in the cupboard. There was very strong evidence that it was, in fact, the boy's room. The investigation also discovered that the boy was, in fact, six years old. He didn't look, or act, like he could have been much older than three. Nor did he speak. The child psychologists who were on his case had yet to discover if this was a reaction to what had happened or whether he was non-verbal before.
Three days later, after the Dursleys had been declared legally dead, Dr. Leisel was trying to talk to Harry and determine if he understood what was happening. The boy tracked him with his eyes, obviously responsive. The psychologist was just offering Harry some crayons, hoping that if he wouldn't speak Harry would be willing to try some other way of communication, when a knock came at the door.
"Excuse me, Doctor," a woman said as she stepped half into the room, her eyes moving to glance at the tiny boy, "There are people here to see Harry. They say they are distant relatives." Before she managed more than that, the door was shoved open wide and three people slid passed her.
The man in the lead looked ancient, yet he carried himself with a vitality that the psychologist envied. He had a long white beard and was a long purple coat, despite it being a warm day. Behind him was a tall black man in a business suit and another man all in a long black coat. All three men ignored the doctor in favor of looking towards the small boy. Harry didn't look at them. He had finally taken a green crayon and was scribbling on the piece of paper.
"Excuse me," Dr. Leisel said before the three could intrude further, "But I really don't think…" At that, the youngest looking man in the black coat rolled his eyes, pulled out a stick, and spoke a series of nonsense words. That was the last the doctor heard before his world went black.
"Really, Severus," the old man said as they watched the doctor fall, "Was that necessary?"
"Yes," the man with the stick answered, a smug note to his voice.
"We are going to obliviate him, anyway," the black man said, not seeming to care one way or another how the doctor had been handled. The old man sighed and then slowly approached the child.
"Harry," he said in his gentlest, most fatherly of voices. The little boy didn't look up from his drawing. Severus joined him, glancing down at the artwork. It consisted of many green scribbles, illegible as a means of communication. With one last meticulous curl of green, the tiny fingers lifted the crayon from the page. Then, with equal care and determination, he started again in a corner. All three men watched in surprise as the tiny boy, with no obvious skill and very flimsy motor skills, managed a legible rendition of his own first name. As soon as he finished the 'y', he lifted up his masterpiece and finally looked directly at them. He was showing them what he had drawn.
"Very good, Harry," the old man praised, before glancing towards the other two. If Harry was concerned that he was surrounded by three strangers, or that the man who had been with him a moment before was now lying unconscious on the floor, he didn't show it. Nor did he react to the man's praise. The old man got down on his knees in an awkward attempt to be at the boy's level.
"Harry," he said, "My name is Dumbledore. I'm going to take you away from here. Would you like that?" Harry stared at him, pursed his lips together, and then turned away. He picked up a blue crayon and began to scribble on another piece of paper. Dumbledore frowned and glanced back at the other two.
"We have to take him," the black man reminded him, "Before the ministry shows up." Dumbledore nodded, hesitated, then motioned for Severus to come forward. The man rolled his eyes once more but got down on his own knees in acquiescence to Dumbledore's silent request.
"Potter," he said, and when the boy didn't look up he put a one hand over the small boy's, stilling the movement of the crayon, and the other on his shoulder. No longer able to ignore the man, Harry turned to look at him. Green eyes looked into black, each upraising the other. With his free hand, the small boy slowly brought his hand towards the other man's face. Severus's eyes widened, but he didn't move as small fingers ran over his cheek and nose. Suddenly, and completely unexpectedly, the boy smiled.
"I go home?" The three men stared at his beaming face, completely baffled. Harry's voice was high pitched and childish, to the point that none of them were certain that they heard what they thought they heard.
"I don't understand," Severus answered at last, "You want to go back to the Dursleys?"
"No Durs'ey!" the boy screeched, glaring at the other man, "No Durs'ey! Nononononono!"
"Harry," Dumbledore said, joining Severus, "Harry, we aren't taking you to the Dursleys." But at the mention, once again, of that name Harry started to scream even louder, no longer forming coherent words. Severus, glaring towards Dumbledore in annoyance, clapped his hands loudly right in Harry's ear. The boy stopped for one abrupt second before he started screaming again.
"Potter!" Severus cried, and when that didn't make him stop screaming he shouted, "Harry!" Harry paused, but probably only because he was getting tired.
"Harry, listen to me," Severus instructed in his severest, no nonsense voice, "No Dursley." Harry hiccoughed, his face red and streaming but he appeared to be listening. He continued to cry quietly, however, and small fists latched onto the other man's coat. Severus sighed, gave a swift glare towards the old man who still sat next to him on the floor, and then stood, taking the tiny boy with him. He held him, walking around in circles, until the silent crying slowed, and then stopped.
"No Durs'ey?" the boy asked, his lower lip trembling as he waited for the answer.
"No Dursley," the other man answered firmly.
"I go home?" the boy asked. Severus hesitated.
"We are going to my home," he answered at last. The boy smiled at him. The man looked at the red, snotty face and sneered in disgust, but the boy didn't stop smiling.
"I go home!" Harry announced authoritatively, and then twisting to look at the other men he told them, "I go home!" Dumbledore smiled at the boy. The third man nodded his head towards the boy, but didn't approach or try to introduce himself.
"You should take him now," the man said, "Time is not on our side."
"Of course," Severus answered, and he took something from his pocket. Still he hesitated.
"Are you sure there isn't somewhere else?" he asked Dumbledore, though he already sounded resigned.
"What we have discussed hasn't changed," Dumbledore answered. Severus hesitated a moment longer, before nodding.
"We go home?" the boy asked from within his arms. Severus sighed.
"Yes, we go home." A second later, Severus and the boy had vanished. Five minutes and many obliviating charms later, the other two were gone as well. Within a minute, a second series of men and women in odd garb stormed the building. They did not find who they were looking for.