Here is the sequel to Trolls and Wizard kids.
As it is a sequel you have to had read it in order to understand somethings. : )
First, this story starts during the summer between first and second year. Snape has been Harry's dad for some time. I hope you like it.
Thanks a lot to Celeste for her help.
Every comment or review is welcome.
Of Basilisks and Wizard Parents
"Harry are you ready?"
Severus was in the parlor, in his house at Spinners End, they had been staying there since a week after the end of term. He had sent Harry to his room to change almost an hour ago, and was waiting for him to come back down, how long could it take the child to change into dress pants and shirt? The meeting would be in 30 minutes and he was getting impatient. He went up to Harry's bedroom and entered with out knocking. The child was not there.
"Harry?" Severus looked in the bathroom with out success.
"Come here… try it girl…" The voice was coming from the open window Snape went to look. There was his missing child. Harry was holding a perch-like contraption and placing it on a branch in the yard. Hedwig was looking at it dubiously. Harry wanted her to stand on it. But the perch looked nimble and the owl was not convinced. The boy looked as if he had just come out from a mud puddle…
"Harry James Potter" Harry looked up and waved his hand to the angry man in his room. "Come here this minute!" He ran inside and arrived breathless to his room a moment later.
"What were you doing out there and why are you not ready to go?" Harry bit his lips. "You were not this dirty when I sent you up to change!"
"Dad, I'm not going. I can stay here and… I built a perch for Hedwig and had to get into the mud for the pieces…"
"Harry, we have talked about it. We have to go. They are waiting for us."
"You said that I wouldn't have to see them again… I can stay here with Hedwig…"
"I am not leaving you alone here…"
Snape turned to the cupboard and opened one of the drawers, he took a pair grey dress pants and then from the wardrobe a white dress shirt… He turned back to the still child… Harry was dirty. There was no time to make him take a shower. Snape used his wand and removed the dirty clothes. Then applied a cleaning charm to the boy. Harry felt tingling on all his body, mainly on his knees and elbows and realized that they were clean. Then he felt his arm being placed inside the sleeve of the shirt and he placed in his other arm. He knew that resistance was futile. He started buttoning up the shirt and received the pants from Snape, he put them on and buttoned them, he saw that his father was looking back into the drawers for socks.
"This drawer is a mess" Snape was trying to find two socks of the same color. "Why don't you place the socks in pairs?"
"I try to, but they get mixed…" Harry only shrugged.
"Here…" Snape gave him a pair of grey socks. "You are going to fix that drawer as soon as we come back."
"I don't want to go..."
"I know. I don't want to go either. But we need their signature in the muggle-adoption papers and the lawyer is going to be there. So we must go." The boy looked worried. "It will be all right. We will only be there for a couple of hours." Snape knew that five minutes were too much for Harry. But they have to visit his relatives today and be done with this business. It was logical that Harry didn't want to see his relatives, so Snape did not scold or lecture about him not being ready. The child responded well to his instructions usually. Snape used a brush on Harry's hair, the child allowed him to tuck his shirt and looked presentable at last. Five minutes later they went to the parlor and used the fireplace to floo to Surrey and to Mrs. Figgs' house.
Harry and Severus stood outside of the house in number 12 Privet Drive, they knocked and waited for the door to open. Harry hoped that no one was home. And that they could go away.
The door was opened almost immediately by Petunia.
Harry knew that Severus had visited his relatives during the school term and also knew that he had met his aunt and his mother when they were children, even though, it was strange to hear them addressing each other by their first names. It was stranger to realize that his aunt voice was friendly.
"Harry, you have grown."
"Hello Auntie…" Harry felt as if he was in a dream.
"Come in please." She showed them in and they followed her into the Parlor. Harry had never been allowed to sit in there, he only entered to vacuum before. Petunia dusted in there because she did not trust him not to break anything. Harry saw that she had placed her best china tea set and a pitcher of lemonade on the coffee table. Harry sat beside Severus and as he felt the child trembling, he passed his arm over his shoulders. Petunia gave tea to Severus and a glass of lemonade to Harry. Harry sat looking at the floor. He wanted to get out of there.
"Vernon is not here…" Severus felt the boy relax a little "He had to leave on a trip for his job… but he had signed the papers and here they are…"
"How thoughtful of him." said Severus. Petunia did not comment on that. She sipped her tea and said. "The court asked for us to be evaluated by a psychologist, we have some issues and we are working on them… I guess no one realizes that until a shrink is involved, we know that further charges may be presented and the lawyer recommended that we… I mean, we can settle it by ourselves…
"What are you offering?" Snape did not want to press for more charges, but felt that Harry needed to know that his relatives had been punished for the way they treated him. Petunia felt uneasy discussing with Snape the terms of her probation, but it was something she needed to do, for her family and ease of mind. She looked at her nephew and told him, using a voice she reserved only for her son.
"Harry dear… your cousin Dudley is on the swings outside, won't you like to go and play with him? Mr. Snape and I need to talk about something and I am sure you will be more comfortable there…"
Harry looked at Severus and saw him assenting and felt a little push on his back. "I'll call you when it's time to go."
"Yes, sir." Harry walked through the known rooms of the house that was never his home. He hoped that Dudley wouldn't be in a 'Harry hunting' mood. The swings were new. He guessed it had been a birthday present for his cousin. He saw Dudley in one of the swings. The boy looked thinner than the last time he saw him. Dudley was swinging slowly, he looked pensive. A strange look for his cousin thought Harry. He smiled when he saw Harry. Harry kept himself close to the door in case he needed to leave the yard fast.
Severus observed Petunia looking at Harry leave the room, he almost detected some longing in the woman.
"He walks like his mother, I had never noticed… I thought that he had just her eyes…"
"That was not enough reason for you to treat him better, was it?"
"I wish that I could change the past…"
"Would you have treated him better, given a second chance?"
"You have to understand… I only wanted to have a normal life, with a normal marriage and normal children."
"And it is not normal to care for your dead sister's child."
"I cared for him… we were not prepared, we were just learning to be parents to Dudley and, Severus, we did not know how to deal with his specialness… what do you do with a child that levitates toys and changes the hair of his teachers?"
"You do not beat him and keep him out of sight! Wizard kids do accidental magic, they can't control it."
"It is good that you two found each other… You could have taken him as a baby."
"We were under the failed idea that he would be better with his family…"
Petunia realized that she was not going to arrive to a settlement like this. She stood up and brought a cardboard box; from it she took out some papers.
"One month after we found Harry at out doorstep, Vernon…" She knew that talking about her husband wouldn't appease Snape. "We received a letter from a bank stating that there was an account opened in our name, and that there would be a monthly deposit for Harry's expenses. We… did not use the money there… here is the account's paperwork, we changed it to Harry's name since then and had been keeping an eye on it… We didn't know that you would come for him at 11… we were going to give him the money when he turned 18."
"Then you were going to ask him to leave and to fare for himself. Were you not?"
"He would be an adult then."
"In the wizard world the adult age is 17. No one is mature at that age."
"We didn't take a penny from there… That was one of the charges that you placed. We took care of him with our own resources… Now Vernon has a good job… but then… we had to make ends meet and… we did not touch his money. Dudley is our son, he didn't understand that he had to share… it was not fair."
"You hurt the child and allowed your husband to hurt him… where is the fairness there?"
"We only wanted for him to be normal…"
"He is normal!"
"You have to understand… He is not normal like us. We did what we could…"
"If I were to give the rest of Harry's file to Children Services you would spend several years in jail!"
Petunia looked at Severus. She showed remorse. "I know. What good would that do to Harry, now? Severus… whenever Harry was hurt… I took him to the hospital… but once there… he was not hurt anymore… How do you explain that to doctors and nurses?"
"His magic healed him, but he shouldn't be hurt in the first place. And what about the chores and the starving and the beatings?"
"We realized that if he was busy… well he didn't do so many strange things and he was always a picky eater… And we only wanted him to be obedient, but he kept doing weird stuff…"
"How much would he eat if you were always telling him that he was a burden to your family? And there is no way to beat the magic out of him! You took away his childhood!"
"I know. I knew he wouldn't stop being different… and I tried… you have to believe that… But sending us to jail won't bring it back to him. And will leave Dudley with out his parents… Severus I am sorry and I know I let Lilly down in so many ways and I feel guilty, but nothing will change the past. Harry is well now. Looked after and he seems happy with you…" Snape snorted, she had only seen Harry for less than ten minutes! "He should always have been in your world… We are not saying that we are not guilty… we were not prepared to deal with him, we'll be on probation for a while, and we are realizing how wrong we were… please do not send us to jail."
Severus was about to tell the woman that he would like to send them to hell when he realized that Harry was standing by the Parlor door. How much had the child heard? He used his hand to call him in and the boy went to him. Harry's eyes were a little red and he placed himself between Snape's arms.
"Are you alright, child?" Harry put his mouth near Severus ear and whispered.
"Do not place further charges, dad… Dudley needs his parents. I don't like them, but they love him." Severus held him tighter. The child had only been out of his sight for a few minutes! They have to go. That moment they heard a ring and Petunia went to open the door. She came back accompanied by a man and a woman, the man was Severus lawyer and he knew that the woman was from children's services. The strangers were taken into the parlor and given tea. Harry felt uneasy between so many strange grownups and he said that he would go out with Dudley again.
"Have you reached any settlement?" asked Mr. Wake, the lawyer. Snape passed him the bank and the adoption papers.
He examined them very thoroughly and then gave them too Mrs. Range, the lady from children's services. When she finished she turned to Severus and said.
"You must know, Mr. Snape, that the Dursleys have completed 30 hours of counseling by now. Mr. Dursley has been in anger control therapy and seems to be responding well to the sessions and treatment. They are also taking marriage and parenting advice. They were mistreating both children. Mr. Potter on one side was neglected of love and care, and being physically harmed, but their own son was over protected and indulged in all, the child has problems with socialization and his weight worries the doctors, so the child needs also counseling and therapy. I had talked with Mr. Potter and he seems to be all right, he has some security issues, but he socializes and seems all right. Mr. Snape if you sign here the paperwork will be completed and you will have full custody of the child.
Severus took his pen and signed. Then he gave the documents to Miss Range.
"Now. We have talked with the lawyers and the authorities. We can go to the court, but the Dursleys have already declared themselves guilty of the charges of neglect and mistreatment of the children. They are loosing custody of their nephew and they won't have any visiting privileges. They have returned the child's funds and are receiving therapy. The custody of their child is to be monitored closely. If further charges were to be placed… they would loose custody of their son and we will have to go to court for a judge to define further consequences and maybe jail time. I understand that you are angry at them and… believe me if it were up to me I would let them be eaten by angry lions… but Harry would be required to testify and that is traumatic enough to be avoided and their son will have to go to a foster home until the end of the trial, so in the interest of the children… Harry and Dudley, I would recommend you to accept the probation time."
"What are the terms of that probation?"
Severus learned that the Dursleys would have to keep seeing the therapist for two more years and to be evaluated monthly, if they failed to comply with the terms, Dudley would be taken from them.
Severus didn't want Harry to go through a long trial. It would be better to finish it then and there. He asked to be informed of the results of the evaluations and accepted the probation time. Any way the probation would be evaluated by children's services.
The lawyer and the lady left together, after they finished with the paperwork. Severus waited in the parlor until Petunia returned.
"Thank you Severus. I am really sorry this happened…"
"You will have to apologize to Harry, not to me." She took the box that she had brought before and gave it to Snape.
"Here, I want you to give them to Harry… they are photographs of Lilly and some of Harry's things… he should have them. It was painful to me…" Snape only thanked with a movement of his head.
"It's time to go."
They went to the yard and saw that Harry was sitting on one of the tree branches. Severus disapproved of him climbing trees. The child felt the look and allowed himself to be helped down. Snape placed the boy beside him and gave him the closed box. Harry wanted to ask what was inside.
"It's time to go, son."
"Is the paperwork completed?" That translated into 'Can we go now!'
"Yes, Harry, everything is completed now."
"Harry…" The child turned to look to his aunt. "Harry… I am sorry we were not good for you…"
"I am sorry, too, auntie. Well…"
"Petunia, Good bye…"
"Severus. Thank you for doing this… Lilly would be so glad…"
"Good bye, Dudley." Harry waved to his cousin.
"Good bye. Harry"
"Dudley, ask Harry to write you. I am sure you would like to know about his school and his classes… After all you are cousins and… family."
Dudley saw the look in Harry's face and felt compelled to explain.
"The doctor said that it was not good that my parents didn't explain to us about the wizards, Harry. She said that we both were confused by that and that we needed to stay in touch, we are family..."
"So you really want to know? Do you want me to write?" The fat boy assented…
"Would you send your owl with the letters?" Harry looked at his father…
"We may use muggle post to mail them and Harry will send you the instructions to answer them."
"I would like that…" Dudley stood and gave his hand to Severus. "Good by, sir. Mr. Snape?"
"Good bye, Mr. Dursley." Said Severus. He had not counted on parting on good terms after all…
"Harry…" Petunia got closer to Harry and hugged him. She was surprised that the small child fitted so well between her arms. She should have done it before… she felt so much guilt now… She kneeled in front of him and told him. "Harry. I'm so sorry. I wish you to be happy. Would you like to write to me also?"
Snape saw that the child was overwhelmed… He placed his hand on his arm and took him away. There was nothing much he could say.
Harry was quiet all the way back to Mrs. Figgs and into the floo. He went out from the fireplace and said.
"I'll be in my room."
"Change into your play clothes." Harry didn't answer he only ran up to his room.
Snape called him for dinner, but the boy didn't answer. When Severus entered to look for him he found him asleep in his bed holding a plush dragon. The purple thing had been a present from Minerva for the adoption party. Harry had taken to sleeping with it. Harry was still wearing his dress clothes and Snape saw that he had been crying.
That damned woman! He should have hexed her before she placed her arms around the boy! Severus sat by the bed and used a wet cloth to clean the child's face. He looked around and found a book near. He sat to read beside the child, it was better if he was close when he woke up.
"Harry, aren't you hungry?" Snape asked when the child started stirring. "C'mon child… open your eyes."
Harry opened his eyes and found his father there. He was a little disoriented, he yawned and sat. He looked around and saw that there was a platter with milk and sandwiches. His stomach growled. He nodded and received a sandwich and the glass of milk. Severus told him to be careful. The milk was fresh in his mouth. His dad watched him eat a second sandwich and then sent him to the bathroom to get ready for bed.
"Be sure to take a shower tomorrow, child. Cleansing spells should not be overused." Severus thought that he heard a muffled 'yes, sir' from the bathroom, the child kept silent. Harry got back and put on his pajamas. He was asleep before Snape finished tucking him.
Severus started worrying the next morning when he realized then Harry was not speaking to him.
The child arrived to the breakfast table just showered and with his hair-dripping wet. Severus asked him if he had used a towel to dry it at all. And Harry only shrugged and shook his head a little. Then he sat at the table. No smile or comment.
Severus saw as he served the porridge and started eating. The child usually asked for extra cream and sugar, but this morning he started eating the porridge without protest.
Severus though that maybe the child was still asleep and let him be. He placed a plate of fruit and the child ate it with out any comment.
Severus sat with his coffee and paper and felt the looks of the child.
"Did the cat eat your tongue, Harry?" Severus expected at least a meow from the child, but only got a shrug.
He was lost. He should not panic.
"What are your plans for the morning?" The same empty look. And Snape was ready to shake him.
"Well... if you do not have anything planned, you may as well sort your socks drawer." The child finished his milk, porridge and fruit and left the plates in the sink. Then went out of the kitchen and up to his room.
Snape was gong to give him time. He got busy with his garden until lunchtime when Hedwig stood by him and hooted.
"What? Are you hungry? Where is your owner?"
The owl only looked at him.
"I guess I'll have to feed you then… come with me."
The white owl followed the professor and looked as he placed new owl treats on her plate and clean water.
"Bite him the next time that he sends you to deliver a letter, would you?" The owl kept eating. Any way her conversation was not too interesting.
The house felt unnaturally quiet. He went up and found the child back in his bed.
He knew that this was the result of visiting the Dursleys the day before. And the big tender hug that his aunt threw at him! Severus did not know how to deal with that. The child should not sleep so much!
Harry slept over lunch, but appeared later in the kitchen. It was almost 3 in the afternoon.
He found his lunch on a plate over the counter with a note that read.
I went to the grocery store to get the supplies for dinner. Eat your lunch and start with your summer assignments. I'll be right back.
Harry felt angry. He liked to go to the grocery store and help with the food they were going to eat! And his dad had left him!
He read the note again. S.S.! He had not even written 'love dad' in the note. He did not even remembered if Snape had written that in any note before.
Harry was confused. He was confused because of his visit to his relatives the day before.
He was confused because the house had felt almost… friendly. And his aunt had allowed him to sit in her parlor! Maybe because he was wearing his dress clothes. Surely she wouldn't have let him in if he was wearing Dudley's dirty hand me downs… and she gave him lemonade! Lemonade… he remembered longing for a glass of lemonade when his aunt made it for Dudley and his friends… they always said it was good, and he just wondered about it, drinking water from the faucet or the hose… and it had tasted sweet and tart and fresh, it even had an ice cube in the form of a small heart! And she… she used her 'mommy's voice' and she called him dear when she asked him to go out and play with Dudley… she never insulted him really… she was only… cold? With him. She never called him names, but she called Dudley all those ridiculous baby names and she had been… warm? Yesterday.
And Dudley. Dudley had said hi and asked him almost politely if he wanted to try the swing. He said that he had to exercise and the swings helped him. And the flowerbeds of his aunt were gone. His cousin said that he was also on a diet, with very few sweets and lots of vegetables… and was different.
Dudley said that he was not very happy in his new school because there were a lot of kids and he had no friends. And as he was overweight, his classmates laughed at him. And he missed his parents! He also said that once he was called by children's services and he had to stay there answering questions about Harry and him almost until the night and the people there told him that his parents were not taking good care of him or of Harry. He had been going to therapy and he was scared that he would have to go to a foster home if his parents did not improve. And when Harry felt sad for his cousin he went inside the house again only to hear his aunt saying the same and asking his father not to press more charges.
So Harry was guilty of all the things that were happening to his cousin… Dad had said that therapy was good, but jail was not, so he asked Snape not to press more charges… and he had listened, because his auntie had been so nice and cuddly after… when they were leaving… and she and Dudley wanted him to write… and she hugged him. And it felt too cozy and flowery and… it reminded him of his mother… he just wanted to cry. Why had she never done that before?
And his dad had been preoccupied; he had not even noticed that Harry had not called him dad at all the whole day! What was wrong with his dad? He had not been too angry yesterday after he found Harry playing with Hedwig instead of changing his clothes… he had only helped Harry to get dressed. And he had only looked a little angry when Harry was seating up the tree… and had put him down. Harry wanted to explain that it was a nice place to sit and talk with Dudley, but his dad had not even asked, and then… he had allowed his aunt to hug him. He was used to be hugged by his father and by his friends. Well only by Hermione, and then also by Ron's mother… and he had seen the look on his father's face, he was worried after he was hugged and he had not talked to Harry… Did he think that Harry had liked that hug so much? He had allowed Harry to sleep all the afternoon and had even let him dine in bed. Dudley said that Harry may need therapy to get over his parents… maybe his dad though that also and was treating Harry very carefully… or maybe he thought that Harry didn't love him anymore.
His father had never left him alone for so long. (Harry didn't know that Snape had left five minutes before Harry came down.) So now His father didn't care for him any more. Harry speared a piece of chicken with his fork, he needed his mirror, the one that was in his room, they had left it at Hogwarts. His father had said that there were plenty of mirrors in this house… but there was none as big in his room and he liked to remember what his father said about loving him… and he wanted to tell his father all this, but he had a knot of tears in his throat and would only start crying, if he tried to talk. He finished the salad and heard a noise in the door. Someone was using the key to open it. Harry ran upstairs. He was a mess. His father should not see that he had been crying.
He sat on the last step and saw his father get in carrying the grocery bags. He should be there helping…
"Harry! Harry, are you awake now?" He placed the bags over the table and saw the empty salad plate and his note.
At least the child had eaten his lunch. He sighed. This sleeping so much was not healthy.
Snape started emptying the bags and placing the food in the fridge and the counters. He had to think of something to do with the child, he would take him on an outing the next day…
Snape heard a faint noise upstairs… like someone was sniffling. He walked very slowly toward the stairs and saw the child up there.
The boy looked at him with big teary eyes, scared of rejection and Snape got closer and opened his arms. He knew that there were so many emotions behind those eyes that it would be useless to legilimize him. So he only offered comfort.
"Do you want an ice-cream, child?"
"You were gone forever…"
"We were out of food and you were asleep."
"Can we go to the swings in the park?"
"You are still wearing pajamas…"
"I can change…"
"Wear a jacket."