Title: Blessed Curse
Disclaimer: I solemnly swear that I am up to no good; perfectly legal no goods. No profits were obtained from the writing of this story. All characters related to HP belong to JKR, WB, etc.
Summary: Harry Potter's defeat of the dark lord came at a price. For young Harry, it is a blessing. For the snarky Potions Master however, it has become what he calls, a curse. Severitus. Oneshot
A/N: Here comes another Severitus story. Seriously, I'm always looking for these aren't you? Raise those hands! Snape does not use magic to banish his potion b/c i like to think that wizards/witches do not use magic for EVERY SINGLE BLOODY THING they do. Period.
Italics = 3rd person past tense
Normal = 1st person present tense Snape POV
Beta:Manic-Cheese-Fairy and revised by Maria1
Let the mischief begin...
Snape sat at a long table in his lab in the basement of his manor. In front of him,lay several ingredients and a simmering cauldron filled with a bubbling violet paste. Keeping an eye on the potion, he reached over blindly and grabbed several diced gurdyroot. After stirring the potion several more times in the clockwise direction, the potions master carefully slipped the next ingredient in and observed with guard as the cauldron continued to bubble.
A curse, that's what it is. A curse cast by the most meddlesome of sorcerers; the most manipulative of witches and the most scheming group of people I have ever had the displeasure of knowing. A curse they cast to trample upon what little freedom I'd managed to gain after the war. A curse to make me suffer a terrible fate, as punishment for the crimes from my youth and those committed when I served under the Dark Lord.
But I have done my share for the cause, and I have been loyal to the Order for twenty long years. All I ask for is a reprieve and to be left in peace. But instead, I was cursed, I AM cursed! I wish to live out the rest of my unfortunate life in solitude, alone in my manor studying potions and attended to only by a simple house-elf. But instead, Albus pawns a five year old boy into my arms. I never imagined that I would survive the Dark Lord nor ever hoped for anything more than a quick death. I would have been content to know that I would be at peace, in death. But death was not granted to me, instead I live. For the next twelve years I must raise a child to maturity (because as soon as he is of age, he is out of my house)!
Even as a portrait, Albus cannot keep his mad schemes to himself!
I am furious! How will I deal with this calamity? A Potter! Harry Potter! A five year old Harry Potter, no less! A five year old Harry Potter of whom I am cursed to spend the next twelve years with! Must I really teach him potions again?
The war ended with Potter's defeat of the Dark Lord. But like every war, victory came at a price. The biggest price of them all was paid by the saviouras they called him, or simply Potter to me. The war left him damaged, quite beyond repair. Potter refused to eat and spoke to no one. He lay in bed 24/7 staring at the ceiling with distant eyes. He neither acted, nor reacted to anything or anyone.
Potter was not half the boy he used to be. He simply existed; the first time I laid eyes on him, I felt pity for the boy. Potter looked shell shocked, or worse, as if he had been the victim of a Dementor attack. It was a pitiful end.
For two weeks he remained unresponsive to therapy, unaware of his friends' lament pleas for him to wake. It was then that Albus came up with an ancient spell, one that reversed time in one individual. The spell was designed to take the individual back exactly thirteen years in body, mind and soul. Do I have to say that this spell is illegal? Not to mention that the last recorded use of it was four hundred years ago? It took seven of the most powerful and trusted personals to complete the cast; myself included albeit reluctantly.
The spell was successful, however....nobody saw fit to discuss just who would be the unlucky individual to be stuck raising a de-aged Potter.
That bloody portrait insisted that I take care of the boy. Me, taking care of a Potter?! The very idea of it is more preposterous than the thought of a sane Sybil Trelawney. It was simply unnatural. It was at a time like that when I regretted the death of Black and Lupin. Surely they would have been a better candidate for raising any child, particularly Potter. I urged Molly to take Harry in but she reluctantly agreed with Albus.
"You're a good man, Severus. I'm sure you'll do just fine." Molly pats me on the shoulder and I leer at her. She of course, ignores me completely. "But you'll have to come and visit once in a while. Harry needs a mother figure in his life."
"Then why don't you take him? Then he can have a mother figure in his life twenty-four-seven!"
"I would love to Severus, but Harry, he needs someone special." What does the woman mean by that; someone 'special'?
"I hate him! He will be miserable with me as I will be miserable with him," I protest. It was true, I care not for the fact that he defeated the Dark Lord and set me free. I still abhor the brat, and will treat him no different than I have for the past seven years. Surely you do not want him to be miserable? After all, you de-aged him for the purpose of making him happy! Am I not correct?"
"As I've said before; you are a good man Severus Snape. Albus trusts you and I do too."
"It is unwise of you to do so. I cannot make him happy. Besides, I don't have anything to offer Potter except a life of strict rules and morose potion making. He will hate it."
"Harry will need rules. Who better to make sure he does not break them than the infamous Potions professor, who hands out detentions like Albus does lemon sweets?"
"Potter has never listened to me, what makes you think he will obey me now?"
"If you take care of him, Harry will learn to respect you."
"Ha!" I laugh at the ridiculous notion. "Potter will learn to respect me? He is de-aged, Molly, not brainwashed. He is still the same Potter he was at school; a rule breaking, disrespectful and insolent child who was too full of himself to..."
"Now, Severus Snape," Molly interrupted, frowning at me like she does to her children. Who does she think she is? "You know that's not true."
"...to notice that he was risking the lives of not only his friends but the Order members as well. His harebrained scheme at the Ministry nearly eliminated half the Order! You have heard of his various 'adventures', yes? Trying to save the Philosophers Stone, his flight with your husband's car, illegally brewing Polyjuice Potion, as well as going back in time and breaking into the Ministry of Magic to name just a few!"
I see her frown and gloat at my success but sadly it did not last long.
"Why of course," she spoke cheerfully. "That's why you are going to make sure nothing like that happens again."
I demanded that another guardian be found for the boy because I would sooner adopt Bellatrix Lestrange than raise Potter for the next decade. But there was no arguing with Albus Dumbledore, not even when he is dead as a doornail and hanging from a wall.
That is how Potter, the bane of my existence became my ward. Curse this calamity upon my life!
I stirred my cauldron vigorously, the potion will be ruined for sure but I am too busy drowning in a pit of demise to take notice. You see what Potter has done to me? But I'll get rid of him one of these days if it's the last thing I do!
Right now I am stuck with an overly rambunctious five year old boy who insists on...suddenly in the distance I hear him giving out a high pitched screech.
Damn! What's wrong with the boy now?
"Daddy, daddy, daddy!!!"
Potter comes charging into my lab crying hysterics. He ploughs into my lap and nearly succeeds in knocking me off my chair. The little miscreant knows no manners at all.
"What's wrong with you now, Potter?" I demand in a loud voice. Potter clings to me like some kind of symbiotic shrimp, blabbering and snivelling something about a watermelon seed.
"Daddy, daddy, take it out, take it out!"
Daddy; the impossible brat refuse to call me anything but. Not to worry though, I'll get rid of this insulting habit if it's the last thing I do! Hmf, daddy indeed.
"Will you calm down, I can't understand a word you say."
"It's not gonna fit," Potter continues to cry. "I don't want it in my tummy!"
"What will not fit? What have I told you about speaking clearly?" I snap but to my horror, my harsh tone did nothing to scare the boy in my arms. Potter wails and wraps his arms around my neck, cutting off my air.
You just wait, Potter. Soon I will reclaim my title as the fearsome Potions Master. Children have always shuttered at the name and you will be no different. You will learn to fear and respect me, and call me sir, and tremble in my wake. And there'll be no more of this cuddling. I do NOT cuddle!
"Potter! Stop this childish behaviour this instant or so help me!"
"Daddy!" Potter whined as he continued to drip snot onto my neck. At that exact moment, Ronald Weasley comes bursting into the room.
"I didn't do anything, Professor, I swear."
Guilty as charged.
"What did you do?" I demanded venomously. I was angry because he made Potter cry and that lead to the brat disturbing my quiet time. I get so little of those nowadays as Potter follows me around a lost puppy. Never, never a moment's peace!
"Nothing, I didn't do anything!" Weasley protests unconvincingly. I turn my attention back to my ward. My ward. I'll get you back for forcing Potter on me Albus, you old busybody, even if I have to die and invade your portrait with Sir Cadogan! When I die, you will rue the day...
"Potter. What is the matter with you? Are you hurt? Did you fall down? Has Weasley done something he would dearly regret?" At that last question I shot a deadly glare at the flame haired boy. Weasley swallows and I smirk, taking solace in the fact that I can still scare the living daylights out of some children...just not my own. No wait, forget I said that, Potter is not and never will be my child!
"Daddy! Fix it!"
Potter, the little ill-mannered beast that he is, refused to grace me with an answer. Instead, he continues to shake his head and wails into my poor, sensitive ear drums. I hastily set the boy down and hold him at arm's length.
"Answers Potter. I require answers before I can find a solution to your problem."
"I...I ate a seed!" Potter explains through his hiccups. "I didn't mean to! It was an accident!"
Bewildered, I pressed for more. "What are you on about?"
"I ate a w...watermelon seed, daddy! And...and now it's gonna grow in my tummy. It's gonna get so...so big and I'll have a tummy ache forever and ever!"
"What?" Try as I might and even with my high intelligence, I could not puzzle out what the runt was talking about.
"Ron...Ron said that if...if you eat a w...watermelon seed that it...it will grow to be a giant watermelon! Right in your tummy!" Potter looks at me with a panicked stricken face and pleaded. "I don't want a watermelon in my tummy, daddy. Can you take it out, please?"
Oh, so it's the old watermelon seed prank. You actually fell for that, Potter? What are you, five? Obviously you were born with an underdeveloped brain and thus you cannot blame your stupidity upon your upbringing no matter how dismal it was.
Secretly, Snape plotted revenge on the Dursleys. As soon as their five year stays in prison were over, he was paying them a long overdue visit. In his opinion the law did no justice for Harry, but he would make the Dursleys pay for hurting his child.
Only a fool would fall for that one, Potter. And a fool you have proved to be.
"Dadddddy!" Potter implores. "Do something!"
"Potter," I sneer unkindly. "Don't be obtuse. A watermelon cannot grow in your stomach."
Potter knits his brows together and gapes at me with a confounded expression. "What? But...but Ron said that..."
"Gullible boy, do you believe everything that comes out of Weasley's infernal mouth?"
Potter proceeded to nod several times and I roll my eyes.
"Idiot. Listen to me carefully. Any seed you might ingest, by accidental or not, will eventually be dissolved by your stomach acids. Therefore, a watermelon seed cannot grow into a watermelon in your stomach. Nor will an orange seed grow into an orange."
"Are you sure?" Potter sniffs and cast me a sceptical look. Do not mock me Potter! You listen to me, not Weasley.
"Of course I am sure, Potter. I know everything."
"Oh...okay." Potter sniffs again and wipes his cheek and nose with the back of his sleeve. "I guess it's too dark to grow anything in there, huh?" Sometimes I have to remind myself that the little idiot is only five and that I should indulge him ever so often.
"And there's no sun so...even if it grows a bit, it won't get too big. So it'll just be like eating a tiny bit of watermelon, right?"
"Potter, haven't you been paying attention? A watermelon seed cannot grow to any size in that bottomless pit of yours."
"Not even a little?" Potter pouts and frowns even more. The boy never ceases to amaze me, one minute he is crying bloody murder about eating a seed and the next he is disappointed that it will not grow to be a ripe watermelon in his abdomen.
"No, Potter, not even a little," I reply gruffly. I then summon a damp handkerchief and proceeded to wipe the little face clear of snot and tears before sending him off with a couple of claps to his backside. "Now out! Out of my office while I have a word of Mr. Weasley."
"'Kay." And with that Potter bounces off cheerfully, the entire incident gone from that reduced little brain of his.
"And put on a jacket! You'll catch your death!"
"I'm fine, daddy. I don't need a jacket," Potter yells back belligerently as he runs out the door. Why that little rascal.
Why must I be subjected to such a curse? Potter never listened to a word I say, not when I was his professor and not now when I so graciously took him in during his time of need. And no more of this daddyfoolishness, I fume silently after the boy. From now on I will be sir to you! Sighing heavily, I made the decision to take my anger and frustration out on the Weasley, an easier and more satisfying target.
"So, Mr. Weasley." I began forbiddingly, using my best professor tone that I know Weasley hates. "You saw fit to upset Potter and sent him gallivanting into my lab, disturbing my concentration and in consequence, ruining a perfect batch of my potion?"
"I...really...I didn't mean it," Weasley stutters pathetically. You'd think after facing down the Dark Lord and several barbaric Death Eaters, werewolves, and giants the boy would cease stuttering like a terrified Longbottom in my presence.
"That does not matter, Mr. Weasley. What matters, is the ramifications of your careless words."
"It won't happen again, sir."
I advanced towards the boy and he instinctively backs away.
"See that it doesn't, Mr. Weasley," I finish with contempt. "Or else I will have to remind you how unpleasant I can be. NOW OUT!" Weasley immediately turns to leave. "Weasley!"
"Do make sure Potter has his jacket. A sick Potter is all I need."
"Yes, sir. Of course."
"What are you waiting for? Be gone!" I smirk with great pride as Weasley scurried out faster than Potter could catch a snitch. That's right, Mr. Wealsey, run. Now if only I could get Potter to do the same.
I rub my temples in an attempt to clear my poor aching head.
Twelve years, Potter. Twelve years and you'll be seventeen again. Old enough to get your own apartment, land a job and you will be out of my life forever. Do you hear? Because as soon as July 31, 2011 comes along, I am kicking you off my property!
I turn back and sat down heavily onto the chair. One look at the cauldron before me and it is clear that this batch of potion will receive the toilet treatment. This is impossible! I have not botched a potion for twenty years and this is the third one this week alone. The blame can solely be place upon Potter and one day I will make him scrub so many cauldrons and dissect so many frogs that he will never come near me when I am brewing again. Standing abruptly, I took the cauldron into my hands and left the basement. As I made my way up the stairs and down the hall I could hear the irritating echoes of a five year old bouncing off the walls, complaining about how the jacket makes him feel 'stuffed'.
Stepping into the bathroom, I dumped the potion into the toilet and flushed the repulsive sludge three times until it finally disappeared from sight. Placing the satisfyingly empty cauldron onto the counter I glare at my reflection in the mirror. Grey hairs. The boy will give me grey hairs before the end of the year. Do I really have to teach him potions all over again? Have I mentioned it before? Well, then I mention it again!
However, upon a Wizard's Oath this I swear: I, Severus Snape will not settle for the atrocious grades Potter has produced in his classes the first time he attended Hogwarts. I demand straight O's in all his reports or he will know the true wrath of Snape. Just so we are clear, boy, you will excel in Potions. I will not have you embarrass me with your pitiful attempts at brewing. Seeing as you can't even slice flobberworms. I'll have my work cut out for me. But you'll become a master of potions yet, Potter. I'll make sure of that if it's the last thing I do.
Snape turned from the mirror and stalked back to his lab. Upon getting there, he grabbed a set of fresh ingredients and spread them across the table. Meticulously, he began to cut, chop and dice the ingredients and lit the flame. Blueberry flavoured potion would sell, especially to parents who had little brats under their roof. He could care less whether Harry refused to drink his medicine.
Two Weeks Later
"Get into bed, now," I order gruffly and hustle Potter into his room.
"But I don't wanna!" The brat whines.
"Now, Potter. I mean it."
"But it's Christmas Eve! Can't I stay up longer?"
"No," I answer sharply.
"But daa-ddddy." Potter stomps his feet, flining his arms back and forth.
"No buts, little boy. Get into bed," I say giving him a sharp look that told him that I meant business. The brat pouts but finally obeys; he crawls onto his bed using all four limbs, exerting a great amount of effort in the process. Lying on top of the covers, he turns away from me.
I pull the brat's socks off and grimace at how filthy they are, not to mention the repulsive stench!
I frown at the little devil and rolled him over and gave a few tugs on the dragon covered duvet (which he was stubbornly keeping beneath him), all the while making sure the small body doesn't tumble off the other side.
"Hmph!" Potter sure is making his displeasure clear. But I ignore his obvious attempts to get my attention. I have been more than indulgent of him of late and am not in the mood for his attitude. When the duvet is finally free I stretch it over the boy lying curled in bed, covering the small frame from head to toe. I cross my arms and waited. He does not move at all. Stubborn brat!
After a couple of minutes I start to tap my foot and drummed by fingers on my arm.
At last I give up and reach down to pulled the duvet off his head and tuck the edge beneath his chin.
That is it. I have had enough! "Potter! Stop that infernal sighing," I snap very sharply, truly angry with him this time.
Finally, glorious silence.
Then came the sniffle.
Damn it all!
"Oh hush, Potter. There's nothing to cry about."
I turn him around to face me. Potter sniffed and refused to look at me.
"Stop it, or you're not getting your story," I threatened the child. But I must be losing my touch because Potter continued to pout.
"If you keep doing that your face will be stuck that way."
Potter opens his mouth and goggle at me. I couldn't help but smirk at how comical his disbelief looks. After a few seconds though he frowns and pouts even harder.
"No it won't!" He shouts and points a very rude index finger at me. "Liar, liar."
"Fine, it won't," I admit. The little beast is smarter than I give him credit for. "However, it is not becoming of you to pout. And don't give me that look, it is uncultured and rude."
At my reprimand, Potter slips his head under the covers and gave a great dramatic sigh.
"Potter, get your head out from under there!"
Snape tugged on the duvet and jerked it out of Harry's grip.
"Awww, you're boring daddy," said Harry.
"Settle down," Snape commanded, but huffed when Harry just stuck his tongue out. Truly, he was glad Harry felt safe enough around him to be disobedient and cheeky. The first few weeks were very taxing, with Harry being extremely shy and afraid of his own shadow. Harry was an exact replica of Severus' five year old self; with the same sort of memories, same physical and emotional state. Four years of abuse at the hands of the Dursleys could not be removed, but scars heal with time and eventually, Harry began to come out of his shell.
As of right now, Harry is very much like a normal five year old boy; rambunctious, energetic and full of questions.
"All right, that's enough," said Snape as he again stretched out the crumpled duvet and tucked it under Harry's. He then took out his wand and casted the Summoning Charm.
"What are you doing?"
"What do you think? Reading you a bedtime story, of course."
Harry beamed and curled up towards the edge of the bed.
"Okay, hurry, hurry, hurry," he chirped excitably. "Is it the book Hermione gave to me? Can you read that one? Everyone says that one is great! You showed me the pictures earlier today, remember? It looked really good. Hermione says it's about Santa. Does it have reindeers in it? 'Cause it should, 'cause there were pictures of them on the front."
"Silence," Snape ordered. "And it's reindeer, not reindeers."
Harry nodded, quaking with eagerness.
"Very good, so you can do as you're told," Snape commented.
"Can you start the story now?"
"What did I just say? Patience, Potter."
Harry ignored his guardian and asked again. "Can you start the story already, pleeease daddy?" Snape gave the boy an annoyed look but sat down on a chair and opened the book.
"Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
in hopes that St. Nicolas would soon be there."
I see Potter snuggle under the covers at the very edge of the bed, staring at me with two large pupils. For some unbeknownst reason, I reach down and stroked the brat's hair.
"Close your eyes Potter," I said not softly.
"But I want to see the pictures."
"You already saw the pictures."
"But I want to see them again."
"Close your eyes and sleep. You can bring the book to the Burrow tomorrow."
"Okay," Potter complies and shuts his eyes. However, he is not trying to sleep at all but listening with rapt attention. Why can't he pay this close attention when I am lecturing?
"The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of sugar plums danced in their..."
"Daddy," Potter speaks, opening his eyes.
"What are sugar plums?"
The little idiot does not even know what sugar plums are. "A kind of candy associated with Muggle Christmastime."
"And Mama in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap."
"What's a 'kerchief'?"
"Kerchief; derived from the French couvre-chef, meaning 'cover the head', is a square or triangular piece of cloth worn around the head or neck for decorative or protective purposes."
I clear my throat before continuing.
"...had just settled our brains, for a long winter's nap.
When out on the roof there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed..."
I slam the book down onto my lap to glare at the boy. "What, Potter?" I ask him. Undeterred by my pinched tone, Potter opens his yapping mouth and asks another question.
"What's a clatter?"
"A loud rattling sound."
"Stop interrupting," I commanded and continued.
"...to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
tore open the shutter, and threw up the sash."
"Daddy, what's a sash?"
From his seat on the chair, Snape envisioned banging his head against the wall thinking that perhaps he should have gone with a more modern children's story instead of that ancient Christmas poem. It would take all night for him to finish the story at the rate they were going. He wondered whether if it was just Harry, or did all children ask so many questions on a daily basis. Snape hoped beyond hope that Harry would fall asleep half way through, that way he needn't finish the story at all and could retire for the night.
Snape continued with the story and endured the questions that came out of Harry's chatty little mouth until...
I wonder why Potter has not asked anymore questions. Quietly, I lower the book a tad and glanced over the top. Potter is sprawled at the edge of the bed, with one arm dangling over the edge. He is fast asleep. Good angels in heaven!
I spell the book back onto its shelf and look down on the sleeping boy.
Twelve years, Snape, twelve years. Will fate allow me to live through this curse, or will it have mercy and kill me already?
Snape moved to sit at the edge of the bed. He gently grabbed Harry's dangling arm and tucked it inside the covers. The potions master then lifted Harry up a bit and placed him in the middle of the bed so that the boy would not fall out of it in the middle of the night.
I hate you, Potter.
Harry remained sound asleep. Snape put a hand on the boy's small back and rubbed them in a soothing rhythm up and down.
This must be my punishment for my years of crime. Albus is punishing me. Fate is punishing me.
He moves his hand to the back of the boy's head and stroked his hair affectionately.
Why you are here, Potter? Why are you messing with my life? Hasn't your father done enough of that already? Haven't you done enough of that already? Why can't you Potters just leave me be?
Snape reached over and absentmindedly brushed Harry's fringe away from his forehead.
Daddy this, daddy that! Daddy, I want cookies, I want ice cream, I want to go flying, I want to see Ron, I want you to play with me. Demanding, ungrateful brat, don't I do enough for you already?
It's been nine months, and he does not think twice about the missing scar that used to define Harry. Snape looked at Harry and sighed. It is a sigh of contentment, of fondness, and of care. Few had thought it was impossible for Severus Snape to show any kind of sentiment, let alone such tenderness and warmth for the boy he used to loathe.
I refuse to tell you another bedtime story, no matter how many tears your produce to coerce me. You may not think so, Potter, but there are better ways to occupy one's evening.
Snape thought about his schedule for the week and wonder if he should take Harry to the bookstore on the weekend; the brat had been pining all week and it was getting unbearably annoying.
At least you are literate, Potter, or will be soon enough. Then you can read your own damn books.
Snape saw that even though neglected and still young, Harry was very cunning. Sure, Harry knew a little less than your average five year old due to the neglect, but there was no denying the boy had brains and great potential. Snape, however, would rather live out the rest of his life at the Burrow, than admit this fact to even himself.
Curses! If it wasn't for you I wouldn't be condemned to that impractical Christmas party tomorrow. I'd be here, tending to my potions in solitude just the way I like it!
Snape did not hate Christmas, he simply disliked it or rather, did not see the point of celebrating the joyful occasion when he had nothing to be joyful about. December 25th was a day the potions master liked to spend escaped in his dungeons at Hogwarts in hopes that neither Dumbledore nor any of his colleagues attempted to drag him out.
I do hate you Potter, just as I have always, make no doubts about that.
Snape continued to stroke Harry's hair fondly and after making sure the five year old was really asleep he leaned over and planted a kiss on Harry's forehead—as he did every night for the last six months. In the back of his mind Snape promised to give Harry a second chance and to give him a proper childhood. He will make sure Harry grows up happy and without the horrors that haunted him the first time around; the abuse, the bullies, the media, the Dark Lord, the attempts on his life and numerous other misfortunes. Snape turned off the lights and walked quietly to the door. He turned back, looked fondly at his child and promised:
I won't let anyone harm you, Harry. I will keep you safe if it's the last thing I do.
A/N: Please tell me if you like the story. How did you like Snape? His attitude? Harry? His character? Their relationship? If this story made you smile at one point or another, comment.
Mischief managed...for now.