Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoat Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended – Standard disclaimer.
Warnings: Foul language and explicit sexual content between two males – slash; angst; spoilers; AR.
Summary: Harry Potter wanted peace and rest and a normal life after the demise of the Dark Lord. He got none. Suddenly, he finds himself with a baby, remedial lessons with Severus Snape and a very nosy McGonagall.
Beta'd by WithDemonWings
- May, 4th of 2001 -
Severus Snape entered the Great Hall for breakfast, the phoenix-shaped handle of his cane clutched tightly in his right hand; he was definitely in a joyous mood as he rarely was on Mondays – or any other day, really. Of course, he wasn't displaying his joy in a common manner, but those who knew him could tell that something was definitely brighter in the man's live.
However, Severus' mood soured when he saw everybody staring wide-eyed at him. He was used to frightened stares, stares of awe, or deferential stares – mainly Slytherin – but these―surprised, and seemingly impressed, stares annoyed him. He sat down beside the Headmistress, and she was also looking at him oddly, even though her oddness was one of smug satisfaction―
Albus used to look at him like that, every time Severus conceded him a point, but Severus didn't remember agreeing with Minerva McGonagall on anything, insignificant or material, lately. In fact, he had spent the weekend mostly―around―Potter! He snapped his head at her.
"The newspaper," he demanded through gritted teeth. Minerva's smirk deepened, as she handed him the folded piece of paper. A collective gasp was heard and then silence reigned in the room as students and teachers alike apprehensively watched Severus read The Daily Prophet, his eyes widening by the second and a murderous scowl take over his face.
Severus' heart started to beat faster – a little too fast for it to be healthy – when he looked at the front page. The cover was mainly occupied by a photograph featuring him, the brat and the brat's spawn entering Potter's house in the village. By some sadistic coincidence of the Fates, the photographer – who had his death sentence signed with this picture – caught Snape smirking, or smiling rather fondly, if you ask anyone else, at the two Potter demons, while Harry laughed happily and James – whose face was distorted; at least they conceded Harry that grace – slept peacefully in his carrier.
Severus decided to focus on the article, before his patience snapped. It was of no good.
"A new beginning for our tormented heroes
"Harry Potter, the hero of the Second Wizarding War, was seen last Saturday evening in the company of none other than Severus Snape, Potions Master and duellist extraordinaire, after an ordinary grocery shopping at a traditional store in the Wizarding village of Hogsmeade. Both men were looking quite comfortable and at ease with each other. Snape, known for his harsh character, appeared to be very pleased with his young companion and, more than once during their walk, was seen laughing and playing with the child. Later, Professor Snape probably had dinner with the Golden Boy in his home since he left quite late in the evening.
"The tragedy of the Potter Family
"We all know how You-Know-Who targeted the elder Potter couple in a misdirected attempt to eliminate his mortal nemesis, a tragedy in itself certainly, but the family's disgrace did not end there.
"Harry Potter, who by all means deserved a peaceful life after You-Know-Who's demise, found himself targeted again, but this time by an old girlfriend. The youngest of the Weasley clan, enraged by her lover's rejection, decided to take revenge on he who was once a brother to her. Anonymous sources, located by our reporters during all yesterday, enlightened us about what really occurred between the ex-lovers a year and a half ago.
"Ginevra "Ginny" Weasley kidnapped our one Harry Potter and got herself pregnant with his baby ('What?' Severus thought). Thankfully, she didn't force herself upon Mr. Potter, but she violated his wishes and made the necessary arrangements to bear the child and permanently bind the father to herself ('Oh, good Lord, the woman was completely mad!'). Miss Weasley ran away with her baby and it took our hero and the Weasley clan six months to find her. The end of her pregnancy was risky, but Harry Potter refused to give away his happiness and succumb to Miss Weasley's emotional blackmail.
"Miss Weasley gave up the custody of her baby son, James Severus Potter, before she even got a look at the boy. She later tried to commit suicide twice and was committed in St. Mungo's Psychiatric ward; she finally succeeded at the third attempt.
"Harry Potter mourned for his lost lover and friend, but for the love of his baby boy, he carried on with his life. His Quidditch career ended earlier than it should – making England lose its best Seeker of the last century. In order to protect his son from the eager public's eyes, Mr. Potter cancelled his contract with the Puddlemore United Quidditch Team and accepted an apprenticeship with Mr. Ollivander in wandlore, one of the most mysterious and secretive arts of Magic.
If past achievements – such as being the youngest Tri-Wizard Champion or the youngest Seeker to ever complete internationally, beating the record previously held by Viktor Krum – failed to convince you, this gives us the certain that Mr. Potter was made for great things.
"Harry Potter's life, conquests and achievements, page 4.
"The Dark Hero brings light into the Potters' life
"In order to be a fair choice for Mr. Ollivander, Harry Potter has chosen to complete his NEWTs in Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft, which he had never needed before for being more than accounted in his talents against the Dark Arts. Professor Snape has kindly agreed to privately tutor Mr. Potter since the beginning of March and until the end of the school term.
"It would seem that during these private sessions Mr. Potter and Professor Snape had become close and a tentative friendship ensued.
"Professor Snape, being a highly talented wizard, found himself a match in Harry Potter. The Boy-Who-Lived-Twice seems to have forgiven Professor Snape's Dark past and previous allegiance in the light of his war achievements and fiercely loyal support ('Three years ago was 'desperate turncoat' and now is 'fiercely loyal'?').
"Ever since Potter started to attend these classes, he has been much more relaxed and friendly," stated a source inside Hogwarts. "He often mentions Snape and how much fun they have together. The kid really likes Snape, too, and Snape takes care of the boy frequently."
"Professor Snape's resumed biography, page 7.
"Wizarding Bonding on the way?
"In light of this new information, one has to wonder, 'Why did Harry Potter broke his affair with Miss Weasley?' and 'How long has lasted his connection with Professor Snape?' For these questions, we have no answers, but we can speculate.
"It is common knowledge that Professor Snape and Harry Potter had a difficult beginning at Hogwarts, since Mr. Potter's father and his friends often bullied the young Severus. Professor Snape believed Mr. Potter to be no different. Maybe along the way, and especially since the Second Wizarding War, both men have become closer than people guess. And, let's not forget, Mr. Potter's son has Professor Snape's name . . . Could it be that Harry Potter's affections run deeper than we all were led to believe? Could it be that Professor Snape is 'the-one-and-only' for our great Hero? Could it be that by a devious plan engendered by Miss Weasley, the lovers were wrongly separated?
"Judging by the photograph, Harry Potter has finally found the peace and love he so desperately seeks and we have to agree that both Mr. Potter and Professor Snape deserve it."
Once he reached the end of page three, Severus was seething. The crystal glasses and windows were rattling with his repressed anger. The reason was not the article – oh, no, he was past that – but the events that the article referred to. He could not believe that this had been happening under his nose – which is rather large, therefore he should've been able to sniff out the mentioned events quite easily – and he hadn't even noticed.
True, he had been mad with Potter because of his Pensieve memories, but that had been two years previous and just because he was mad, he shouldn't have been misinformed . . . 'Oh, good Lord, has Potter read the paper already? Is the brat okay? Perhaps I should go check on him . . . or send Minerva . . .' Yes, because Severus could not show how concerned he actually was about the man 'Of course not! Harry would have me committed.' He just did not wish to be falsely accused of anything 'Because that has certainly never happened before.'
Severus looked up at the Headmistress. Minerva was watching him fretfully. By now, the silverware had stopped rattling.
"I would say that the first 'source' is a member of the staff at St. Mungo's," he started, tightly. Minerva nodded.
"The Auror Office has already started the investigations, but they cannot stop the press."
"And the second one," Snape wondered absentmindedly. "I bet it is one of my Slytherins," he mused darkly, already scheming a way to find out the little rat disguised as a snake . . .
At the end of the table, Professor Remus Lupin had scrabbled a note on a piece of napkin and was trying to convince an owl to take it – the proud animal was not budging. Professor Hermione Granger was fidgeting in worry while reading the article once more, thinking about Harry's reaction to the newspaper, and re-planning her schedule to pay Miss Skeeter a well-deserved visit.
- xXxXx -
As usual, when Rita Skeeter is concerned, the piece was one great pile of embellishment, dramatics and plain flamboyant lie – however this time, she might not be very far from the truth . . .
Perhaps we should travel some time back, in order to make a better sense of the story. It had all started a few months earlier―
Thank you for reading.