Harry stared at the eleven-year old boy and saw what he should have seen years ago. He had seen it, he had just denied it for so long. He watched the tall, thin boy with unruly dark hair as he chopped vegetables. He watched the boy's fingers, his long fingers. The child was smart. He was Hermione's son, that had never been in question. Harry had tried to teach him quittich, but he preferred to spend most of his time reading. It wasn't until he had started becoming a teenager that Harry had been unable to deny it any longer. It was that first time that Harry had irritated him and the boy had scowled at him that Harry had frozen in fear for a second. This look, this scowl, was one that he knew intimately. He had been on the receiving end of it one too many times from his late potions master.
He was aware of the irony of raising the child of a man who he hated, a man who had hated him. This man had hated him because of who his father was. Harry could have easily done the same. Fortunately for the boy, Harry was a better man than that.
Harry was shaken out of his thoughts by a knock at the door. His wards faintly tingled, letting him know that the person on the other side was not a muggle.
"Justin, go to your room," he said quietly. The boy looked curious but obeyed. Harry drew his wand and opened the door. On the other side was a face he had not seen in many years, but not the one he had expected to see.
"Hello Professor McGonagall," he said coldly, "I assume the Headmaster sent you."
"I am the Headmistress, Harry, Dumbledore is dead."
He lowered his wand.
"We all know what he was trying to do, Harry. I wanted to let you know that you don't have to hide anymore. No one will try to take Justin away from you."
He opened the door wider and motioned for her to step inside.
"Thank you for coming. Thank you for letting me know."
"He's of age to start Hogwarts this year. If you wish to educate him yourself, I understand, but I just wanted to let you know that there's always a place for him at Hogwarts."
Harry's gaze fell to the stack of books in the corner that the boy had already gone through that month.
"I'm afraid that my library and my teaching won't be able to sustain him for much longer. I'm sure he would love to attend Hogwarts."
"And we would love to have him."
Hermione had been her favorite student, but had died much too young. She had never been able to achieve the dreams Minerva had for her. She had high hopes for the girl's offspring.
"How is Hogwarts doing?"
"Very well. You should come visit sometime. We hired a new defense teacher, in fact. We convinced her to quit her job as an auror and start teaching." Harry didn't even need to ask who it was.
She turned to leave.
"I guess I'll be seeing him in September."
Ginerva Weasley scanned the list of names in her first class of the day. One caught her eye. The man who broke her heart had disappeared with the child almost ten years ago. She had not seen him since. It was just her luck, really. She had come here to teach, to start over, and still her past followed her. She would have to look every day into the face of the child of the man she loved and another woman. She collected herself and looked up at her classroom full of first years who were staring at her, waiting for her to begin. She stood from her desk and walked over to the board.
"I am Professor Weasely," she started, even though the students all knew who she was already. She had a famous brother who had died, after all. It was even rumored that she had once dated Harry Potter. "I will be your defense teacher this year. I have been an auror for over a decade, so I will be teaching you the practical aspects of defense as well as the theoretical ones."
She could do this, it wouldn't be so bad.
"Can anyone name a few basic types of defense spells?"
A hand shot up and her stomach sank as her eyes traveled down the hand to the dark-haired boy who owned it.
"Of course. Let me guess. You must be Mr. Granger."
"Yes, Ma'am. Stunners and shielding charms are some of the most commonly used."
She scowled at him, unable to contain herself.
"You're just as much of a know-it-all as your mother was." She hadn't hated Hermione, she really hadn't…not until she had slept with her boyfriend.
Justin glared at her and she froze. It was the glare of a man who had been dead for over a decade. It was not Harry's glare.
"Class dismissed," she heard herself say as if listening from another room.
There was a knock at Harry's door. It was almost midnight, too late for visitors. He opened it to reveal a witch he had not seen in many years. He stared at her, but said nothing."
"You're not his father."
"It took you eleven years to figure that out?"
"It took him eleven years to glare at me."
Harry couldn't suppress the soft chuckle.
"So you've guessed who the father is."
"It's hard to believe, but with that look…it's impossible not to."
He opened the door wider so that she could step inside.
"I'm sorry I left you. I just thought…"
"I know how it looked."
"Still, I should have believed you."
They stood there in the dark foyer.
"I'm still in love with you," she whispered, tears filling her eyes, "I tried to get over you, but…" She didn't get a chance to finish her sentence as he stepped forward, took her in his arms and kissed her deeply. She had missed him every day since she had left.
"I'm still in love with you too," he whispered against the skin of her neck, sending shivers down her spine. He pressed her up against the back of the closed door as his hands traced the hem of her skirt. He had missed her too. She didn't return to Hogwarts until the next morning.
Harry waited in the the Headmistress' office. She was late for their appointment. One of the portraits was staring at him uncomfortably. He avoided it for a few minutes, but then turned to meet its gaze.
"Justin told me he spoke with you."
There was an uncomfortable silence between the two men. Their relationship had been changed. While they had once been bound only by mutual hatred, they now were bound by something else.
"You…did a good job. He is an incredible young man," the portrait started awkwardly.
There was another silence.
"You're a better father than I ever could have been."
"That's because I'm a better man," Harry said coldly.
"I won't argue with that."
Another silence. Harry stared out the window found himself desperately wishing that McGonagall would return quickly.
"I didn't force her."
"What?" Harry asked, turning back towards the portrait.
"Miss Granger…Hermione…I didn't force her. I know what it probably looks like to you, but it was mutual, consensual. I cared for her."
"I know," Harry replied, sighing, "I didn't understand at first, how she could have slept with you. But as Justin got older, there were things he would do….things he would say…. I didn't realize how perfect of a match the two of you were until I saw you and her in him. I didn't realize how alike the two of you were until I saw traits that he could have gotten from either one of you."
"She was amazing," Snape said and even in the portrait, Harry could see the pain in his eyes.
"Did you know, before you spoke with him, that you had a son?"
"Hermione came and spoke to this portrait before she went to your house that night. She wanted to tell me that I had a son, that she was dying and that she would not let the child fall into Dumbledore's manipulative hands."
Harry said nothing and Snape continued.
"I told her there was no wizard both foolish enough to stand up to Dumbledore and powerful enough to get away with it."
"And what did she say to that?"
"She told me there was one."
A/N: I have a story about Snape raising Harry's son, so I wanted to do a quick little one about Harry raising Snape's son.