Disclaimer: Why do I even bother? Am I a middle-aged, blonde woman? Of course not, I'm an almost 18 year old, brown-haired student from Scotland. Therefore, Harry Potter obviously does not belong to me.

A/N: I hope you liked your combined Christmas/New Years present of 3 chappies. This chapter is short and I have not written chapter 10 yet, but I will do my best to keep going. Oh, and I have not abandoned my other stories, I just have major writer's block.

Chapter 9

The darkness crept back slowly for Harry Potter the next morning as he woke up. He reached out for his glasses, and his hand fell on an envelope. Intrigued, he sat up and put on his glasses, before picking up the offending item and staring at it. The green, loopy writing on the front looked slightly familiar, but he just couldn't place it. Cautiously he turned it over and opened it, taking out the sheet of parchment.

My Dearest Harry,

I'm writing this while you are in my crib beside me with the deepest wish that you will never have to read it. But as you are, it means that I am dead before you turn 16. I'm so sorry that I'll never see you grow up to be an adult.

Harry, there is something that you need to know. James is not your father, though he doesn't know it. Your father is a man named Severus Snape. We dated at school, but broke up near the end of our 5th year. Afterwards, we remained friends, but I still loved him. Convincing myself that no more could go on between us, I started dating James in 7th year and we eventually married.

One day, less than a year after we married, I discovered that James had been having an affair, and I ran to my best friend, Severus. We ended up having too much to drink that night.

Shortly afterwards, I found out that I was pregnant with you, but I only told Albus Dumbledore the truth. James and Severus don't know, but if he is still alive, Severus will also be receiving a letter, explaining.

He is a spy for the light at the time I am writing this, so I am unsure whether or not he will still be alive while you are reading. If he is though, look for him. You need a dad, and Severus needs you. He locks himself off from everyone to stop himself from getting hurt.

You might have realised that the way you are looking is changing, and also wondering why you looked like James. When you were born, I cast a powerful charm on you to make you look like James. However, the charm isn't permanent, and will start to fall on your 16th birthday. It will take about a month to completely wear off. After that, you will look how you were always supposed to look. I'll just tell you that fortunately you do not have your father's nose.

It is my dear hope that while you are reading this, you are living with Sirius. When you were born, it was difficult to see who loved you more, James or Sirius. He will look after you well.

However, if our plans have gone wrong and you are living with my sister, then I am so sorry. I know how much she hates magic and Vernon even more so. Don't let them get to you though, Harry. There will always be people who love and care about you. Remember that I will always be there with you.

I love you with all my heart.

Your mum


Harry continued staring at the precious letter, tears flowing freely but silently down his face. The first ones he had let fall in a long time. He faintly heard the door open, but ignored it until he felt two people sit down on either side of him.

He looked up, and Sev...no, his father, put his arm around his shoulders. For the first time ever, he didn't shy away, but leant into the hug, tears streaming down his face.

The three of them sat there for a long time, until Harry's sobs faded.

Severus tried to lighten the mood, "I guess that you read the letter then."

This made Harry give a tiny smile, but they all jumped as they heard a knock on Harry's door, and Dumbledore walked in. He smiled as he saw them, and they got up together to go to the Great Hall.

Both Harry and Severus were quiet at breakfast as both wondered what would happen now.

After breakfast, Dumbledore gestured to them and the four made their way to his office. As they sat down, Dumbledore started.

"You have both obviously read your letters." He started, and Draco looked curiously at his newest friend and godfather. He knew something was going on, but he didn't know what.

Severus noticed Draco's expression and said, "Harry and I have received letters from Harry's mum, Lily, through Professor Dumbledore. In it, she explained that I am Harry's father, not James Potter."

Draco stared at them all in disbelief, and Harry gave a small smile. He himself could hardly believe it, and was scared with what would happen now.

As if he knew what Harry, and probably Severus, was thinking, Dumbledore continued. "Now we have to think about what will happen next. As you know Harry, your appearance will change until you no longer look anything like James Potter. You have three choices of what to do. You can either stay as Harry and announce that you are Severus' son, change your identity and announce that you are Severus' son, or we can use a weaker charm to make you look as you did, and keep it quiet that you are Severus' son. Personally, I think that the safest option is the third one, but the decision is up to you."

Harry looked down and thought at it. With the first two options, he would lose most of his friends and Severus would be in danger from Voldemort. Severus had already told him that the children of Deatheaters got marked on their 17th birthday, or as close to that as possible. Those who refused to let their children be marked were killed. The third option seemed the best, and when he voiced his opinion, the other three seemed to agree with him.

"Well then, I will have to put on these charms every two weeks." Dumbledore stated. "When school starts up again, I think you should keep your room in Severus' quarters, in case you need to get away from Gryffindor Tower."

Severus and Harry nodded. Draco, Severus and Harry needed to talk about this alone, so Dumbledore wished them a good day, as they left.

"Harry, Draco, I know that this is a lot to take in. You can both always come to me to talk, and you are always welcome here." Severus said.

At this, Draco turned to Harry and exclaimed, "This is brilliant Harry. We're kind of brothers now. I always wanted a brother, it got lonely by myself."

Smiling at these statements, Harry thought about how he had spent his life being lonely. With two simple letters, he had gone from that to having a father and a brother.

The group spent the rest of the day talking together. Severus told them stories about Lily. What she had been like with her fiery temper, and what kind of things she had liked. He realised how much Harry was like Lily.


That night, Harry was woken by an intense pain from his scar, and the knowledge that what he had seen had been a vision.

There had been a dark room full of deatheaters. Voldemort could smell their fear, and it excited him. He heard reports from each of the deatheaters present, until he turned to the last in the circle and asked, "Severus, have you managed to produce all the potions I have asked of you?"

Harry felt a jolt as he looked at his father in the black robes and white mask of a deatheater. To know he was a spy was one thing, but to actually see him made it so much more real.

"My Lord, I am sorry that I have not. That bumbling old fool has been keeping me busy. I believe that he is starting to suspect that I am not working for him."

"I think that you are starting to become lax Severus." Voldemort said in a dangerously low hiss. "This is your punishment for your failures."

With that, Harry had to watch his father being put under the cruciatus curse for an incredibly long time. That had been what caused the agonising pain in his scar, and made him wake up.

Harry jumped up and pounded on Draco's door. Almost instantly, Draco opened the door.

"He's at a meeting ad hurt, isn't he." Was all he said, and Harry nodded numbly.

Draco led him to Dumbledore's office, and knocked on the door before entering. Dumbledore was sat in his chair by the desk, but looked up as the two boys entered.

"Professor," Harry began shakily as the Headmaster indicated to the seats opposite, and they sat down. "I saw the meeting. Voldemort asked dad if he had the potions ready, and when he said he didn't, he was put under the cruciatus curse for so long. That's when I woke up."

"Let's go and wait for his return." Dumbledore answered calmly, and led the two distraught teens out to just beyond the wards.

Ten minutes later, Severus appeared in front of them, and the boys rushed forward to stop him from falling. He was exhausted, with cuts all over his body, and he was trembling from the after-effects of the unforgivable curse, which he had been under.

"Get him to the hospital wing." Dumbledore ordered swiftly, the twinkle no longer in his eyes.

Between the two of them, they managed to half-drag half-carry the man to the hospital wing, as Dumbledore went to fetch Madam Pomfrey, who was there almost immediately.

As she got to work, the two boys watched her, fear evident of their faces. Dumbledore stood beside them, and the group held vigil over the man who was being looked over by the nurse.

Half an hour later, she turned to them, looking close to collapse and said, "He'll be ok, but he'll have to stay here for a few days."

Now knowing what would happen, Dumbledore took the boys back to their quarters and gave them the Dreamless Sleep potions that Madam Pomfrey had slipped him. The two deserved to have an undisturbed sleep. They were going to need it to face the challenges that were to come.