Author's Note: Just a drabble that I wrote a while ago and never really found a good place for.
Severus Snape looked down at the impossibly small twelve year old boy perched in his lap, and felt the corner of his mouth turning upwards.
A year ago it would have seemed insane that he would ever have adopted the "Boy Who Lived"; yet here he was, holding said boy in his lap, offering comfort.
His boy. His son.
He had actually adopted the brat.
The child maintained a tight grip on the front of his robes, even though he was finally asleep. Finally. The boy's nightmares were highly detrimental to his ability to function successfully in his classes, and their intensity worried Severus.
His child should not be plagued by such horrific nightmares at such a young age.
Severus stroked the boy's soft cheek with a potion stained thumb, and was amused as the boy relaxed even further in his arms.
Not the boy--his boy.
Their counselor had suggested that they designate a certain part of the day over to "holding time." It was to be a time without expectations for either of them, but especially the boy.
The purpose of the holding time was to provide the boy with a comfortable, safe haven every day; available without the child having to ask, while Severus's role was merely to be that comfortable safe haven. His son had been deprived of comfort nearly his entire life, and in both the therapist's and Severus's minds, it was time for that to stop.
. . . Another night . . .
"Dad?" The boy--his boy--asked from where he was currently perched in Severus's lap.
"Child?" He asked, looking down at the boy fondly.
"Do you love me?" His son asked nervously.
Severus felt his throat close over briefly with emotion.
"Yes. More than I can easily quantify with mere words," he answered a bit gruffly.
"A lot?" The voice was still small.
"Yes child; 'a lot,' as you say."
He stroked his fingers along the crown of the boy's head, watching as the child moved his head towards his touch, a smile working its way over the lad's face.
His boy. His child's smile.
. . . Another evening . . .
Sometimes they didn't speak. Sometimes he just held the boy and they sat comfortably in silence. Usually the boy was draped across his lap, face up, head resting either on his arm or on the arm of the couch. On occasion, he would hold his son higher up on his chest, resting the boy's head at the crook of his shoulder.
His son. The thought filled his heart with inexplicable warmth.
He looked down to where his arm was wrapped around the thin shoulders of his child. His other arm was resting against the boy, holding two small hands loosely in a one handed grip.
His boy was just a child, still in need of protection.
Unconsciously, his arms tightened fractionally around his child. His boy had been hurt by others in the past. That knowledge alone made his gut burn with anger, but to contemplate the idea that someone might still attempt to purposely cause his son pain now--that was just too much to process.
The boy was HIS son. HIS.
And he would make those other tormentors very sorry indeed for the atrocities they had committed against his child.
His boy—his sweet little one; whom he would protect until the end of time, if necessary.