'Hermione would surely support any decision I made about Severus being my guardian or even adoptive father, but things would become very difficult with Ron,' Harry mused, but dismissed the thought immediately. 'If he really is my friend, he'll support my decision,' he decided and looked up into Severus' eyes.
"I made my decision. I'd like you to adopt me and become my guardian, if you really don't mind."
Severus gave him a surprised look, raising an eyebrow. "Are you really sure about that, Harry?"
"Yes," Harry replied determined.
"As to your question if you may begin with your assignments today, Harry, I'm afraid no," Severus told him, taking back the thermometer. "As long as you have a fever, I don't want you to do any school work. Do you understand that?"
"Yes," Harry mumbled, sighing.
"However, we could play Chess if you want," Severus suggested, and Harry quickly followed the man into the living room.
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A week later, Harry's rash vanished and his fever came down to a slight temperature. "Are you feeling well enough to join Albus and Minerva for breakfast in Minerva's quarters?" Severus asked, giving Harry a piercing look.
"Of course, I feel fine," Harry replied, returning the look. "I was already wondering why you were wearing robes today," he added, glancing approvingly at Severus' green robes.
Severus smirked. "All right; then get dressed please, and put your robes on too, since I plan to take you outside for an errand today." Before Harry could ask anything, he stood up and left the room.
Thirty minutes later, they were eating breakfast in Minerva's small kitchen. 'I like this kitchen,' Harry thought. 'It holds a lot of good memories.'
"Harry, how are you feeling?" Minerva asked, observing that the boy looked much better.
"I'm fine. Thanks a lot for taking care of me for such a long time," Harry replied gratefully.
"He seems to have finally overcome the wizard's measles. Apart from a slight temperature he is all right," Severus explained.
"Very well," the headmaster spoke up. "In that case I'd like you to accompany Severus to the Dursleys this morning..."
"What?!" Harry blurted out, absolutely terrified. "But I thought..."
"Hey, keep quiet, Harry. Everything is all right," Severus interrupted him quickly. "I promised that you don't have to go back there, and you won't," he said soothingly. "However, we need to get their sign to the guardianship papers in order to have the guardianship transferred to me."
"Ah, all right," Harry said relieved, letting out the air he hadn't noticed that he was holding it back.
"You need to sign here as well," Severus pointed out, when they were sitting in the headmaster's office after breakfast.
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As soon as Harry had signed the guardianship papers and the additional adoption papers, the two friends took the Floo network to Arabella Figg's house and walked over to the Dursleys' residence.
"You!?" Petunia screamed as soon as she opened the door. "And I thought we didn't have to take him back this summer," she stated, clearly disappointed.
"You won't. You only need to sign the guardianship over to me, and then you won't have to see your nephew ever again," Severus sneered. "I'm going to adopt the boy, seeing that he is my best friend's son. As soon as he voices something, his relationship to Lily becomes evident, which I cannot say in your case."
Harry had to try hard to hide a chuckle, and Petunia grudgingly led them into the living room, obviously not wanting the neighbours to witness this kind of conversation. While she signed the guardianship papers, Harry noticed that Severus was unobtrusively waving his wand around the room.
"Do you have anything to take with you, Harry?" Severus enquired, before they left the house.
"No, I don't own anything here," Harry replied, waving his hand to Petunia, and stepped out of the house. 'Thank God,' he thought gratefully, while they returned to Mrs. Figg's house.
"What did you do to them?" he suddenly remembered.
Severus chuckled. "Ah, I merely put a charm on their house. In all their photos, they will see you instead of your cousin; even if they'll have new photos on the walls, in frames, in photo albums, they won't be able to see one photo of your cousin. All they'll be able to see is you."
Harry gasped. "You're evil," he said jokingly.
"All right, Harry. Shall we take the Floo to the Ministry?"
"Of course," Harry nodded.
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"No, I'm sorry, but I cannot just let someone simply adopt Harry Potter, moreover change his name," they were told at the ministry.
"Then please summon Albus Dumbledore as the Head of the Wizengamot," Severus replied calmly.
Five minutes later, Albus stepped out of the Floo. "What's the problem, Margaret?" he asked the elder lady in the family department. Hearing her reservations, he replied, "I know Professor Snape very well as well as Harry Potter. So far, I have taken responsibility over Harry Potter as his magical guardian since his godfather is not capable of fulfilling his duties. However, I would like to release Harry into the guardianship of his adoptive father, Professor Severus Snape. As to the change of name, I suggest to keep 'Potter' as one of his middle names. The name 'Potter' as last name is an unbearable burden for a young man, who is fourteen today and herewith old enough to decide on his name and on the person, whom he wants as his family."
'Fourteen today?' Harry mused. 'I completely forgot about my birthday.'
Twenty minutes later, the headmaster and the two Snapes stepped out of the fireplace in the headmaster's office and were led into the Great Hall, where all the teachers as well as the whole Weasley clan and Hermione were waiting to start a huge birthday party.
"Harry, I'm so happy for you," Hermione whispered into his ear.
"You have to get very good at Potions, Harry, and then you can help us brew prank potions," the twins told him, causing Harry to smirk and tell them about the funny potions he had brewed together with Severus when the professor had been thirteen.
Ron didn't even look at Harry, but he was so occupied unwrapping his many presents and talking to Ginny and the rest of her family, who were honestly happy for him, that he hardly noticed his friend's antics.
When Harry was in bed that evening, Severus sat on the edge of his bed and handed him a small box. "I still have to give you my present, Harry." When Harry opened it and threw him a curious glance, he explained, "It's a necklace with a family pendant of the Prince family. I'm wearing the equivalent, and the two pendants are able to interact with each other. I'd like you to wear your all the time; then I will know immediately if you're injured, sick, or in danger."
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The remaining weeks of the holidays passed quickly. The new founded family spent much time brewing potions, but they also played chess and went flying together. For the first time since Harry started Hogwarts, he managed to do all his homework during the summer holidays, and he didn't only do it once but several times. Severus offered to look over his essays and corrected so much that Harry had to do all his assignments all over again. However, Harry didn't mind at all but was grateful for Severus' help and advice, enjoying to have a parent for the first time in his life since he could remember.
All eyes were trimmed on them when they entered the Great Hall together at the beginning of the Welcoming feast. Severus' green robes were billowing behind him, and Harry kept as close to his new father as he could, trying to ignore the whispering all around them.
"It's all right, Harry. Remember, you have good friends, who accept your decision and want you to be happy," Severus whispered to his son just before they had to part, so that he could continue to the head table and Harry to the Gryffindor table.
"Thank you, Dad," Harry replied, giving his father a genuine smile.
"You're welcome, son," Severus simply smiled back, causing a collective huge gasp all over the Great Hall.
Thanks a lot for your overwhelming support for this story and your kind words in each of your reviews - you really helped me pull through with this story and finish it so quickly! THANKS!
Due to your kind words I decided to write a 'small' sequel. It is called "Severus' and Harry's Quality Family Time" - I hope you'll like it!
I'd like to use this opportunity to give a big thanks also to the people, who sometimes use to inform me of mistakes (wording, grammar) in my stories, especially to Aqua Mage, excessivelyperky, and Padawan Jan-AQ, who already helped me several times by correcting my mistakes! Thank you!
And as you all know, I am not a native speaker of English. So please excuse my mistakes! And of course, all recognizable characters belong to Mrs. Rowling, and I am not earning anything by writing this story.