Tricky Transformation – Chapter 8
"Albus, I won't allow Mr. Potter to return to his relatives," Severus spoke up firmly, right in time to make the Headmaster stop in the doorframe. "Last summer, the Dark Lord received Potter's blood, a matter that renders the blood wards around the Dursleys' house inefficient. Moreover, I witnessed that he has been neglected and abused by his so-called family. If you need proof, I can put my memories into your Pensieve. You can't send the boy back there. Allow him to remain at Hogwarts for the rest of the holidays."
"He can only stay at Hogwarts, if someone is willing to become his guardian," Dumbledore replied, smirking at his most trusted professors.
"Of course I'd be willing to become his guardian," McGonagall replied immediately, "although I won't be of much help, considering how ill he is."
Severus sighed as his view fell on Dagy that was lying on the bed with a small towel draped over its forehead. He let his eyes wander, glancing over at the changing table with the quietly quacking ducks, and the edges of his mouth pulled slightly upwards as he banished the furniture with a flick of his wand.
"I shall take him in," Severus said firmly.
"Well, I believe that Severus is a good choice, especially as Severus and Harry already spent a few weeks together and became used to each other's company," Madam Pomfrey threw in, causing the Headmaster to nod in surprise and understanding.
"Very well then, Mr. Potter," Dumbledore turned to Harry, "Would it be acceptable for you, if Professor Snape became your guardian?"
"I'd be very happy," Harry replied tiredly but inwardly screaming with joy. 'Never back to the Dursleys,' he thought merrily, throwing his new guardian a grateful look as he gently helped him back to bed.
"Harry, I'll ask the house-elves to make a room for you. In the meantime, I'll go and brew the potion for you. Call Dobby and ask him to fetch me if you need me." With that he carefully arranged the cool cloth on Harry's forehead, muttering something like, "shouldn't be so difficult," before he crossed the room, complimenting his three colleagues out.
Harry fell asleep within seconds, feeling extremely relieved to be rid of the responsibility of caring for a toddler in spite of being so sick. His foggy mind turned back to awareness as he sensed an ice-cold touch on his forehead. Harry blinked, only to jerk back badly as he realised the professor was towering over him, gently feeling the warmth of his face and around his neck.
"Easy Harry," the professor said softly and proceeded to take his temperature. "I just wanted to check on you and give you the potions I just brewed for you. I hope they're going to be more efficient than the normal ones."
'I hope so,' Harry thought as he drifted back to sleep in spite of the annoying cold stick in his mouth.
"No Harry, stay awake for your potions please," the Potions Master's soft voice pulled him back to awareness, and he felt the thermometer being removed and a phial being pressed against his lips. "This will probably make you sleepy, but that's all right. Just try to rest and get better. I'll take care of you," the professor's words penetrated Harry's foggy mind as a blessing Healing sleep overcame him.
Harry slept through the following days. From time to time, he stirred, noticing a cold touch when the teacher took his temperature under his armpit in order not to wake him up. At other times, he felt a liquid being poured into his mouth, causing him to swallow automatically.
A few days later, Severus woke him up. "I finally managed to get your fever down a bit, and I believe it's time for you to take a shower and to eat something."
"Okay," Harry agreed, noticing that he felt much better and not so feverish and dizzy anymore. He took a long shower and changed into fresh pyjamas, before he returned to bed, lying down in exhaustion, just when the professor entered the room.
"If you feel well enough to stay up for another minute, I'll show you to your own room, which the house-elves have made for you," Severus said softly, raising an eyebrow.
'Oh right, this is his bed,' Harry remembered, shocked at the sudden realisation. "Oh, I'm sorry, Professor, for occupying your bed," he apologized quickly.
"That's all right, Harry, don't worry, and you don't have to call me Professor. You may still call me Severus, if we're here at home. I officially gained the guardianship over you, so this is your home now as well." With that Severus helped Harry out of the bed and steadied him as he led him into his new room.
Harry looked around in amazement. 'My first own room,' he mused as he let himself sink on the most comfortable bed.
"If you don't like the colours, we can change them," Severus spoke up, quirking an eyebrow.
"No, thank you. I love these different shades of blue and green. It's fantastic," Harry replied gratefully. "I've never had my own room, and with such a comfortable bed and a desk, a wardrobe and a bookshelf just for myself..." He slowly trailed off in amazement.
"I'm glad you like it, Harry," Severus replied, tapping the charmed window with his wand to darken the room a little.
"Thank you," Harry said appreciatively, only now realising that the bright light had been hurting his eyes.
It took Severus another week to nurse Harry back to health, and even then he was still very weak. One morning, Harry woke up seeing his two best friends sitting on the side of his bed. "Ron, Hermione," he mumbled in surprise, hurrying to bring himself into a sitting position.
"It's all right, Harry, slowly," Hermione said gently, "the Professor told us you've been ill for more than a month."
"Happy Birthday, mate," Ron interrupted her, grinning at Harry's dim-witted expression.
"Birthday?" he queried in surprise. "Have I been ill for so long? I thought it was still the beginning of July."
"Are you all right, mate, err... I mean with Snape as your guardian and such?"
"Yes, I can't complain. We get along well, and he is really nice. He behaves like the father I never had," Harry replied absentmindedly, still not getting over the fact that he hadn't noticed so many weeks of holidays pass.
"How are you feeling, Harry?" Hermione asked, gently placing a cool hand on his forehead. "Professor Snape said if you feel well enough, you may get up and have breakfast with us in his kitchen. You still feel a bit warm though."
"I'm fine," Harry replied, smiling, and scrambled out of bed to lead his friends into the small kitchen, where a huge birthday cake in the form of a dragon was waiting for them.
The three friends spent several hours eating cake and talking, before Hermione noticed that Harry was getting exhausted and made him return to bed.
"I'm sorry for lying around here and being so lazy," Harry apologized to Severus, when his guardian entered the room, alerted by Hermione that she and Ron were going home and had sent Harry back to bed.
"You're not lazy. You're sick. That's a difference," Severus said softly as he took Harry's temperature to check which potion the boy needed. "During the next month, you'll take it easy. I know you still have to do your homework, and I wish to teach you Potions; however, your health has the first priority, and we're going to arrange your schedule according to your condition. Now go to sleep and let's try to get that temperature down, so you'll be well enough tonight for a second birthday party together with my colleagues."
"All right," Harry said, chuckling as Severus gently laid Dagy into his arms. Cuddling the toy dragon close, he shut his eyes and drifted off to sleep with a contented smile playing on his lips.
Thank you for your kind support throughout this story!
I'm not a native speaker of English. Please excuse my mistakes or help me to correct them.
All recognizable characters belong to J. K. Rowling, and I am not earning anything by writing this story.