To Shape and Change
Disclaimer: I obviously don't own the idea of Harry Potter or any of the money making forms of it.
Summary: AU. Time Travel. Snape goes back in time, holding the knowledge of what is to come if he fails. No longer holding a grudge, he seeks to shape Harry into the greatest wizard of all time, starting on the day Hagrid took Harry to Diagon Alley.
A/N: I have taken the liberty of adjusting some of the canon things, so just be aware - - meaning Snape comes from a future different from the actual HP novels. Oh, and no Horcruxes.
Chapter 1: A New Beginning
Severus Snape opened his eyes with a gasp. Had it worked? Was he back? He had had what could be considered a dream of him flying over Hogwarts and shooting within and into his body, but he hoped to Merlin that it hadn't been a dream. He desperately hoped it had actually happened. Sitting up and pushing the covers aside, he took in the area around him.
He was not in the corner room of a dilapidated muggle factory at the edge of a dying town. Instead, he was in his old quarters within Hogwarts.
Severus looked over to his nightstand and found the date. It was the first day of August, 1991.
It had worked.
Unimaginable relief washed over him, a feeling so foreign and strong that he was nearly overwhelmed. It had been so long since he had had anything to be relieved or happy about. Bringing his right hand up, he pinched the bridge of his nose, fighting back offending tears as he just breathed for a few minutes.
The last thing he had seen, before he woke up here, nine years into the past, was Harry.
Time travel of this scale demands a high concentration of magic. Very high. The amount only a fully grown and awakened Mage could give. And so, Harry had drained his core into the rune network and provided all of the power needed to send Severus' soul back. The potions master swallowed. In the end, to give a new beginning, Harry had given his life.
After another moment, Severus had his emotions reigned in and stood up, calling his wand into his hand.
He had no time to waste. There was a lot to begin today.
O o O o O
Severus was by Slug & Jiggers Apothecary, waiting for the large form of Hagrid to enter Diagon Alley with little Harry trailing behind. He didn't need to wait long, and so, he watched with well hidden nervousness as they approached. Harry was bouncing happily behind the kind half-giant, taking in the amazing sights and sounds of the busy street.
"Good morning, Hagrid," Severus said smoothly, easing into their path and standing expectantly.
Hagrid shook himself, a little surprised. "Hello, Perfessor," he said cheerfully. "Was just helpin' 'Arry 'ere ter get his school supplies."
"I see," Severus replied curtly, keeping with his old mannerisms. He glanced at Harry and then looked back at Hagrid, raising an eyebrow.
"Oh! Oh, sorry, 'Arry, this is Perfessor Snape. He's goin' ter be another one of yer perfessors. He's also Head of Slytherin House. Perfessor, this is 'Arry Potter."
Harry held out his hand. "Hello, Professor Snape."
Severus took his hand, clasping it tightly for a solid second before releasing it. "Hello, Mr. Potter." He turned his eyes back to Hagrid, deciding to be even more direct than he usually was. "Hagrid, I understand you have an errand to run. If you wish, I shall take Harry to get his supplies. It would, after all, be more efficient that way. I will also take him home if you are unable to make it back in time."
Hagrid blinked, a bit confused. "Er, well, Perfessor Dumbledore had asked me—"
"To safely take care of that errand and to ensure Harry has his things for school before too long. As such, I see no problem in what I have proposed. I will just need Mr. Potter's key and ticket. I give you my word Mr. Potter will have all that he needs for Hogwarts before the end of the day."
Harry watched their conversation fixedly, looking back and forth between Severus and Hagrid.
"Uh, well, if you're sure, Perfessor. Thank you. It does make things a little easier." Hagrid looked down at Harry. "'Arry, you'll be alright with Perfessor Snape an' he'll be able tuh answer whatever questions you have 'bout classes. 'Kay?"
Harry glanced at Severus uncertainly, then looked back at Hagrid. He evidently felt he didn't really have a choice. He slowly nodded.
"Good lad. I will try to get back ter see yuh off, but if I don't, I'll see you at Hogwarts."
Harry tried to smile, but he was understandably a bit overwhelmed and a little hurt about being handed off to the darkly robed, stern looking professor so quickly and easily. What was this errand?
"Okay, Hagrid. Um, thanks for getting me off that island and bringing me here," Harry said.
"No problem, Harry, and if yer relatives cause yuh anymore trouble, just write ter me." Hagrid smiled, as if he just had a wonderful thought.
"Okay," Harry said, at the moment missing the fact he had no means to contact Hagrid.
With a nod, Hagrid pulled out Harry's key and ticket from his pocket and handed them to Severus before hurrying down the alley.
"Well, Mr. Potter, shall we?" Severus asked, stepping next to him and gently placing a hand on his shoulder.
Harry swallowed — Severus might have gone as far as classifying it as a gulp. "Yes, sir." Harry lifted up his school list. "Um, what should we get on the list first, sir?"
"No need for the list. I have it memorized, and I'll be adding a few things to it that will make your life easier later so you might as well put it away," Severus stated as he guided them into the smelly Apothecary. Harry gave no resistance, probably not wanting to risk angering the intimidating professor.
Going down an aisle, all of the other occupants in the store swiftly darted away upon seeing Severus. Fortunately, there were not many people there, but Severus was certain Harry had noticed the blatant shift. They paid no mind to the boy at his side, as Harry's hair was covering the famous scar.
Severus stopped, turning to the shelf. Harry stared around the shop, occasionally cringing when he spotted bizarre animal parts in jars or wrinkling his nose when he saw something particularly nasty looking.
"The list tells you to get a kit with basic potion ingredients, but I will tell you to get two scoops of all of the items here marked with a white tag to make your own kit. The kit has all of the same things, but only has one scoop of each. First time brewers make mistakes, but then because they don't have extra ingredients they don't bother to fix their mistakes and do things right. I do not want to see you do that."
"Okay, sir, but why doesn't the list just tell us to get two scoops?" Harry asked, the tension in his shoulders easing a little thanks to Severus' calm, kind tone.
"Because the Board of Governors feel that would raise costs too much, instead of realizing the few knuts they are saving parents are hindering the students' ability to learn." Severus' jaw clenched in dark resentment. The Board had certainly botched up things in the future and he knew they would do it again if something didn't change soon.
"A few knuts?" The boy's brow crinkled beneath his hair at the unfamiliar term.
"Ah, I see Hagrid hadn't gotten around to teaching you about money yet." Severus put his hand in his pocket and pulled out a few coins. He quickly explained what each was worth. Afterward, Harry became sheepish. "What is it?" Severus asked.
"Well, I don't have any money."
"Yes, you do. Your parents left you plenty at Gringotts, but I'll pay for right now. You may pay me back later."
Harry's eyes widened. "I will, sir, I will! Thank you!"
"It is no problem, now stop gushing," Severus stated flatly, the gushing reminding him that the boy was not the Harry he had left — or at least he wasn't yet.
Harry instantly became silent and blushed. He was now very thankful they were alone at the back of the shop.
Severus motioned Harry toward the empty containers arranged at the sides of the shelves. In comfortable silence, they began scooping the necessary ingredients into individual containers (two scoops each), before putting them into a potions case that would act as Harry's potions kit.
"Do not cast near ingredients if you can help it. It could inadvertently affect them. Another reason for the case — it acts as a magical barrier," he informed him as he shut the black leather case.
They then went to the register and Severus paid before walking out and into the cauldron store across the street, the potion kit shrunken down to fit in his pocket.
"Now, let's get you a good cauldron. Not a pewter one, those melt ridiculously easily. Idiotic Board. It will be brass or copper for you," Severus said, heading to a quiet area of the store.
"Which is better, sir?" Harry curiously asked.
"Well, it depends on if you want a cauldron for more stable brewing - brass, or a cauldron that will help brew more potent potions - copper."
"Um, I should probably stick to the brass cauldron that will help stability," Harry admitted.
"Hmm, I'm not so sure. Your mother had a knack for potions," Severus commented offhandedly.
"M-my mum?" Harry asked.
"Oh yes, she was quite talented in Potions, though she was a little more gifted in charm work."
"You knew my mum?" Harry's voice was soft, as if he was afraid to hope. The green of his eyes seemed to darken with emotion behind his thick frames.
Severus locked eyes with him for a moment, deciding something. "We were in the same year and grew up in the same neighborhood."
"Wow. Were you friends?" Harry asked eagerly.
Severus gave a small, sad smile. "Yes."
Harry swallowed, staring at Severus. "I'll get a copper cauldron then."
"Very good. I sense you will find Potions quite natural if you put adequate effort in it."
"Trust me, Mr. Potter, I have the ability to sense these sorts of things," Severus said mysteriously.
In the future, Severus and Harry had put aside their animosity toward each other and worked together. Soon, they became good friends and were both surprised when they discovered Harry was quite talented in potions, not to mention magic in general. In Harry's nineteenth year, his magic had fully awakened, but it had been too late to save the Wizarding World that had swiftly fallen to Voldemort and his mighty lieutenants at the end of Harry's sixth year.
Looking at the boy before him right now, he wondered how much sooner Harry's magic could awaken if he helped him.
"What will I be bad at, sir? Can you sense that?" Harry asked, oblivious to Severus' thoughts.
Severus was a little taken aback at that, but quite pleased. Pushing aside his past regrets with the boy, he grabbed hold of the opportunity before him.
Severus pulled out his wand and waved it over Harry after discreetly raising privacy wards to prevent others from taking notice of them. Harry felt a warm sensation weave around him before it sucked into his center. Severus then tapped his wand on Harry's forehead. Harry's eyebrows rose and nearly disappeared into his hairline as he felt an invisible bubble emerge from between his eyes, below his scar, and pop.
Severus purposely showed a flicker of impressed surprise. He had a plan and he had to do it right.
"Sir?" Harry asked hesitantly.
"What I cast was a spell telling the caster an individual's potential in things and sometimes important parts of their family line. The Legacy Spell. I would appreciate you not telling anyone I had cast it. For some reason, some people find it dark to know one's possible abilities and such." Severus rolled his eyes. "As if it'll lock a person's being on the findings, instead of realizing it is our choices that make us who we truly are, far more than our abilities or blood."
Harry nodded slowly, taking in his words. "Well, I just wanted to know if there was a class I should put more time in. I understand what I might be good at won't shape me alone."
Severus gave Harry an approving smile. "Which is why I did what I did."
Harry looked up at him expectantly as Severus grew very serious and kneeled down to his level.
"I will not lie to you, Harry, so listen well to what I have to tell you, because that spell told me a lot of things. Your magic is very strong, and you have near limitless potential, but it is . . . locked, in a way."
"Locked?" Harry asked, his voice wavering. "Why? Did I do something wrong?"
"No, you didn't do anything wrong, and it being locked is actually a good thing, if you do things correctly."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, if your body hadn't subconsciously locked some of your magic, you would find control to be nearly impossible. Your magic being locked also allows you to build up your usable magic and fine-tune your control, making it stronger. And that is what it is about. You must learn control before you can really gain use of all of your magic, and for you to obtain the necessary control, you must practice and work very hard in learning all you can about magic."
"I'll do my best, sir. Um, did you find anything else?"
Severus gave a very faint smile. "You have many magical talents, though several of them are going to be out of your reach for some time. I'll discuss them with you once you've gotten stronger. However, there are some abilities you have access to now. You can speak parseltongue, the ability to talk to and understand snakes; did you know this?"
"Yeah, I went to the zoo earlier this summer. I spoke to a boa constrictor and . . . I sort of helped it escape." Harry looked down, his ears turning pink.
Severus raised an eyebrow. "Helped it escape?"
"I-I didn't mean to. Dudley pushed me and then the glass just disappeared!"
Severus fought down a chuckle of amusement. Harry looked petrified. "Don't worry, Mr. Potter, it was just accidental magic, and I understand; but let's get back to talking with snakes. You speak parseltongue, an ability that is misunderstood by the Wizarding World. People here fear it, because of the Dark Lord. Hagrid told you about him, I trust?"
Harry nodded as his eyes widened. "You mean, he could talk to snakes like me?"
"Yes, so I believe it would be wise for you to tread carefully where it comes to that, but Mr. Potter?"
"Know when to reveal your abilities, but don't show off. Also, never try to cover up your abilities or hide in fear of them being discovered. Doing so won't help you or anyone else."
"Alright, professor. So this ability can be good?" Harry asked, uneasily.
"Very good. The most powerful healing and protection spells are from parselmagic, and only Parselmouths can use it. I'll give you a book about it if you are interested."
Harry smiled and nodded. "I'd like to read it."
"I also think you getting a snake would be for the best as well. They can help focus parselmagic."
"Did Voldemort use parselmagic?"
Severus smirked. "He didn't have the patience or desire to learn it. Parselmagic focuses on healing and manipulating magic to the benefit of others. The Dark Lord cares only about himself, why would he waste time in a magic devoted to others?"
"Oh," Harry said, thinking. "Do you think people would stay afraid of me speaking parseltongue if I helped people?"
Severus smiled. "I was hoping you would think of that. The muggle symbol for medicine is the Caduceus — two serpents going up around a staff with wings — for a reason. I think you learning parselmagic and using it would help others accept your ability."
"Which leads us to the next thing I had learned you should know. Your parseltongue ability does not come from what had happened to you when you were a baby."
"What do you mean?"
"You did not get that ability from the Dark Lord, as some people would likely believe when they learn you have it. It comes from your family line."
It was only after the death of Dumbledore that they had discovered Harry's family line and the legacy it had given him — when they had found the Legacy Spell. Dumbledore had not known and had come to incorrect conclusions, despite his best efforts. Severus was looking forward to Dumbledore's reaction when he learned the truth this time.
"My mom or dad could. . .?"
"No. It is something that has to be triggered by an individual's make up."
"You mean like genetics," Harry said, before continuing upon seeing Severus' eyebrows rise. "I saw my aunt watching a show about genetic disorders and things. Some of the things only happen when a baby gets a certain gene from both their mum and dad. If they get it from only one, the trait remains dormant or something."
Severus nodded. "Yes, this is a lot like that. The parselmouth-gene, so to speak, is awake in you thanks to gaining it from both of your parents. There are exceptions to the rule, but I won't get into that."
Severus gave a small nod. "Genetics and family line traits often can be." Severus paused, trying to decide how to move the discussion in the direction he wanted.
Severus knew he was placing a lot on Harry's shoulders all at once and giving him a great deal to have to think about . . . but he had little choice. If the future was to be saved, he had to give Harry all the options he had available to him and as soon as they were viable. Before he had gone back in time, Harry had told him as much. He told him he wanted Severus to do all he could to give his younger self the tools to be all he could be, to be ready and able. And so, Severus swore he would do just that.
With his purpose clear, Severus plowed ahead, deciding to take on the most crucial issue first.
"You are a celebrity here, Mr. Potter. Things you do will be watched very closely. People will have made assumptions concerning you and expect certain things. I want you to be aware of that."
Harry stifled a huff. "Hagrid told me I'm famous. I hadn't believed him until I went into the Leaky Cauldron. 'The-Boy-Who-Lived.'" Harry shook his head. "I'm just Harry."
"I'm sorry to say you will never be 'just Harry' to the Wizarding World, Mr. Potter, and you are going to have to accept that."
"You don't seem to care who I am though. You're not treating me like a celebrity." Harry frowned, as if trying to figure out Severus' motives or label how Severus had been treating him.
Seeing this, Severus decided to comment, sincerity blatant in his smooth voice. "I want to help you because your mother was a friend of mine, and I see that investing in you would be beneficial to you and to her memory. I am quite . . . particular with whom I spend my time with. In you, I see a future wizard who your parents would be proud of, and I want to be a part of that."
Harry was visibly touched. No adult had ever said anything like that to him before, and though Hagrid seemed to care about him and had treated him nicely, it wasn't quite the same as this.
"Thank you, sir."
"You're very welcome, Mr. Potter," he said, before turning back to the shelf and removing a copper cauldron.
With that, Severus dropped the privacy ward and led them to the front to purchase the cauldron, before shrinking it and heading out. Upon nearing the door, Severus bit back a curse as he spotted someone he had hoped to avoid. Halting suddenly, he gripped Harry's shoulder tightly.
"Duck behind me and go to the back of the store and stay out of sight until I come get you, now!" he whispered sharply.
Harry instantly did as he was told, not about to disobey the man speaking in that commanding tone. He disappeared behind the shelves so quickly that the shop owner didn't even notice.
"Ah, Severus!" a male voice called.
"Lucius," he greeted neutrally, forcing away the memory of the pureblood's lifeless body crumpling before a tearful, but furious Draco.
"In need of some more cauldrons?" he asked, his voice pompously smooth.
"Just checking the quality of those in stock. I will need to purchase some not long after classes begin, just like every year," Severus sneered.
"I wonder who the unlucky soul will be this year who melts the first one. My vote is the Longbottom boy. Pitiful little wizard if I ever saw one. I cannot believe he actually got a letter. Dumbledore must have pulled some strings there because of the boy's parents," Lucius complained.
"Likely," Severus said, appearing to agree completely.
"Well, I must be off. Draco just got his wand and left with Narcissa. I have a few things to pick up in Knockturn before I head home."
"Very well. I look forward to seeing Draco in class," he said, his words truly genuine that time.
Lucius smiled and left with a parting nod.
Once Lucius was gone, Severus headed to the back of the shop where he told Harry to be. He found him not far from the back, just close enough to listen in on what was being said.
"Mr. Potter," he said. "I assume you heard all of that?"
"Yes, sir. Sorry if I wasn't supposed to."
"As long as you follow my instructions and use your head, I don't mind what else you do."
Harry tilted his head at that. "Okay."
"That man was Lucius Malfoy. Stay away from him if you can, but if you come across him and can't politely duck out, stand firm and be courteous."
"Why sir? And why didn't you want him to see me?"
"I will explain later today, just trust me when I say that he is not a man to be trifled with."
Harry nodded before stepping beside him, Severus guiding them to the pet shop - Magical Menagerie.
"The snakes are over here," Severus said softly, Harry barely hearing him over all of the noise in the store.
Coming in front of the glass cages, Harry paused, before quickly looking up at Severus.
"But the list only mentions owls, cats, and toads, would a snake be allowed?" Harry asked. "And I don't know if the Dursleys would be happy about me bringing a pet home."
"Exotic pets are allowed if approved by a head of house."
Harry gave a small smile. "And you're a head of house."
"Yes, I am," he stated simply, before continuing. "Once I approve your pet, I will need to cast some spells on it — to prevent it from poisoning any students if you choose a venomous snake, that sort of thing. But as for your . . . family . . . you need not concern yourself. I will have a conversation with them."
Harry's eyes widened, but found comfort in his words; although, he couldn't help but feel a little anxious about what this 'conversation' would entail. Harry got the feeling Severus did not like the Dursleys all that much and wondered why. It wasn't like he would know about what goes on in that house, right? But then, the letters had been addressed to the cupboard underneath the stairs. . . .
Harry turned his eyes back to the snakes hissing beyond the glass before glancing around.
"I'll let you know if anyone is close enough to hear you," Severus stated.
Harry nodded his thanks, before hissing something to one of the snakes, which caused all of the snakes to turn to him and hiss back. Harry giggled, and Severus wished, not for the first time, he knew parseltongue.
"Professor, I'd like that one," Harry said after a moment, pointing to a red, gold, and black snake.
Severus recognized it as a magical coral snake. Magical coral snakes had gold rings instead of yellow beside the red bands. This snake was only ten inches long, and Severus knew it would be some time before it grew beyond two feet. Good, it would be able to hide easily under the boy's robes.
"Male or female?" he asked.
"It's a she, sir. Her name is Coral," Harry answered.
Severus smirked. Really? Coral the magical coral snake. Right.
"Alright, browse the lizards over there. I'll get her."
Harry smiled and looked to the lizards as Severus motioned the store clerk over.
"Hello, professor, how may I help you?"
"I want that snake, right there. The little female coral snake."
"Yes, sir," he said, not questioning how Severus had known the snake was female.
Severus wondered if the man thought he was going to use the snake in a potion. Well, he'd let him think whatever he wished. Severus also purchased the supplies needed to care for Coral. Once that was done, he gave a nod to Harry to come.
Stepping aside and out of the line of sight from the people near, Severus vanished the box. Holding her gently, but right behind her head just in case, Severus waved his wand over her, casting the necessary protection charms.
"Here you are, Mr. Potter. Keep her with you always and out of sight if you can. People have an aversion to snakes, unfortunately."
Harry happily took her, letting her wrap around his left wrist and hiding her easily with his sleeve.
"Thank you, Professor. What sort of things did you cast on her?"
"A light protection charm, so if someone accidentally steps on her she won't be seriously hurt, and an intention charm. I trust you can tell her that she will only inject venom into what she bites if she truly desires to kill her target."
Harry nodded, briefly hissing into his sleeve to tell her.
"Very good. Let us retrieve the rest of your supplies."
They quickly got the rest of the needed supplies, though Severus insisted on Harry getting new casual clothing, shoes, and winter gear. They would be destroying his Dursley hand-me-downs as soon as possible. He also helped Harry choose a book that would assist him in caring for Coral and another that would begin helping him gain a superior control over his magic. Severus was confident Harry would be able to read them before school started, as well as the first few chapters of his schoolbooks — especially after he spoke to the Dursleys. Harry surprised him though when he pulled a small potions book out to also buy. It was an in-depth beginner's guide to understanding potion reactions and telling a potion's qualities.
"Well, I need to start somewhere, right?" Harry asked, seeing Severus' reaction and hoping to gain his approval.
"So, um, who teaches Potions? I hope they're not too hard, but I suppose they might have to be if potions can explode and stuff. You had said earlier cauldrons can melt?"
"Yes, they do, and too often because students don't know how to follow simple directions written on the board and printed in their books. I don't know how many times I've had to tell classes to stand on their chairs as a ruined potion spreads on the floor, threatening to eat away their toes."
Harry's eyes widened comically. "You're the Potions professor?"
"Yes, and I'll expect your potion grades to be E's and O's, so use that book well and read a chapter in your class book ahead of every lesson," Severus said sternly, wishing to impress upon him, yet again, the importance of his studies. He would not accept substandard work from the boy, especially since he knew his true potential. Harry would be challenged and, when absolutely necessary, nurtured from the get go. It was crucial.
"Yes, sir," Harry answered quickly, feeling a little dumb about not having realizing what Severus taught sooner.
"I'll give you that parselmagic book I mentioned before when I take you back to the Dursleys."
Harry nodded, approaching their next to last destination in Diagon Alley.
Going into Ollivander's, Severus went to one of the few racks and removed two items.
"You will be getting these. Wand holsters are important and every sensible witch or wizard uses them," Severus said.
"Alright, professor," Harry answered, before really looking around the shop.
"Good morning, Mr. Ollivander," Severus said, deciding to call out Ollivander before the man could begin his creepy introduction.
"Ah, Severus Snape. Oak, dragon heartstring, 12 inches. It has treated you well, I hope?"
"Yes," he said simply, his tone pointedly indicating that any further conversation was unwanted.
Ollivander looked to Harry, wisely heeding the unspoken message.
"I had wondered when I would be seeing you, Mr. Potter. It feels like only yesterday I was giving your mother and father their wands," he said, putting one of the narrow boxes away before coming to the side of the main desk of his store.
Severus leaned back against the wall as Ollivander chatted away about the wands of Harry's parents. He knew they were going to be in there for a while, so began mentally going through what things he needed to do once they were done in Diagon Alley.
"Nope, not that wand," Ollivander said for the fifth time.
Harry glanced nervously at Severus as wand after wand failed to be a good fit for him.
"It's fine, Mr. Potter; some wizards take longer than others," Severus reassured.
Harry nodded, though still looked a little uneasy as Ollivander disappeared into the back.
"And Mr. Potter, once you get a wand here, we will be going to the bank."
Soon after, Harry finally did find his wand, the brother wand to Voldemort, just like last time — with red and gold sparks. Enduring Ollivander's tirade, they paid for the wand and the two holsters. Ollivander didn't ask about the second holster.
"That man's creepy," Harry said as they headed to the bank, his wand secured in his holster on his right arm.
Harry stepped a little closer to Severus when they entered the bank, Harry looking uneasily at the goblins about.
"These are goblins; they run the bank and financial system of the Wizarding World. Treat them with great respect and give them a brief bow before and after you speak to them. Never thank them, just say it was an honor to do business. You may elaborate on what was an honor, but do not brown nose."
Harry nodded, devoting everything he could to memory.
With the key, going to his vault was no problem. Once there, Harry was adamant about repaying Severus in full, and had even wanted to pay some interest (upon seeing he had plenty to spare), but Severus refused to take more than he had given. That done, Severus turned to the goblin escorting them.
"I suggest taking Mr. Potter to his main family vault. I have it on good authority there is an item he may retrieve before he becomes the Head of the Potter line."
"If you insist, sir," he stated flatly, though not rudely.
"Very well, this way."
Harry looked at Severus as they followed the short goblin, but his attention was quickly taken by the opening of his main family vault.
"There should be a small, thin box etched with gold writing somewhere within. Go in and retrieve it, but touch nothing else," Severus said.
"Okay, sir. What's in it?" he asked, entering the vault while Severus and the goblin remained behind. They were not allowed to enter, as it was keyed to only allow Potter descendents.
"Your mother's wand. Unfortunately, your father's wand had not been able to be recovered from Godric's Hollow."
Hearing that, Harry doubled his efforts in finding the box.
"I found it!" he called, his form hidden behind a large pile of old boxes.
"Good, Mr. Potter. Now come on out with it."
Harry did so, carrying it with obvious reverence.
Severus gently removed the lid from the box. "Take it, Mr. Potter. It should be a very good secondary wand for you."
Harry slowly removed it, giving Severus the bottom half of the box as he did so.
An array of colored sparks burst forth from the end of the wand as his fingers wrapped the handle, a bit different from the red and gold from the phoenix wand he had gotten from Ollivander's.
"Wow," Harry breathed.
"I want you to secure this to your right calf and put this wand there. Only use it in emergencies," Severus said, holding out the second holster they had purchased.
Harry knelt down and did so. "Do you think there are going to be emergencies?"
"It never hurts to be cautious, and wizards underestimate opponents they believe they have disarmed."
"Okay. Um, do you know what's in my mum's wand? Ollivander hadn't said the core, just said it was willow and good with charms."
"I don't, unfortunately. Ollivander didn't make your mother's wand. He just sold it to her. Whoever he got the wand from hadn't told him what it held in its core, or at least that is what your mother told me."
Harry bit his lip, before giving his mother's wand a soft pat and pulling his pant leg down to cover it.
"I want you to carry both of your wands at all times, even when you sleep. It is a good habit to have. I put on a few security charms on the holsters before I gave them to you. No one but you can remove them or retrieve your wands. The holsters are also waterproof, so be sure to wash them occasionally. Wands operate best when kept clean."
"And if you want me to repeat anything I've told you today, simply say so. I know this is a lot of information to absorb."
Harry nodded, the vault door closing behind him.
"The rest of the things in there can only be retrieved when you're older. The vault wouldn't have closed otherwise," Severus said, before they went out of the bank and to the Leaky Cauldron.
"Are you going to take me back to the Dursley's now?" Harry asked as the brink wall sealed behind them and they swiftly left the pub before anyone could recognize Harry again.
"After we eat, yes," Severus said, now guiding them through muggle London and motioning to a small restaurant. "We skipped lunch, after all."
"Oh, I hadn't noticed," Harry said sheepishly.
Severus raised an eyebrow. "You need to eat more. What you eat influences the strength of your magic."
"It does?" Harry looked a little worried, and Severus knew why.
Yet another thing he would need to rectify. Last time, Harry's poor diet (thanks to the Dursleys) had detrimentally affected his magic. Every summer, the lack of good, consistent meals prevented his core from developing to its fullest. The summer was an important time for magical children developmentally. It provided time for their core to rest and repair itself after the nine months of casting and learning, but this down time could only be effective if the body received proper nourishment to provide the means to repair. In the original timeline, Harry had not received this true rest, and his core had to cope with enduring year after year of training with no recovery time. It was like a body builder working out but only eating rice and a few carrots. Not going to work.
Had Harry had what he needed physically all year long during his Hogwarts years, the war might have gone differently. After all, vitamins and minerals not only enabled the body to use magic properly, but also aided in physical and mental development. Fortunately, Severus was certain he would be able to reverse the damage done so far and prevent future damage — whether the Dursleys liked it or not.
Severus placed a steady hand on Harry's thin shoulder. He wasn't exactly starving, but Severus would be surprised if he wasn't anemic. He doubted the Dursleys were concerned about Harry's intake of iron, probably never giving the boy much meat, not to mention a full meal.
They headed to a booth at the corner of the homey place, an elderly waitress pointing there with a kind smile. "I'll be just with you," she said, before disappearing into the kitchen.
"Harry, starting today, things are going to be different. You will have what you should have had all along, and you will never want for what you need again — not if I can help it." Severus pinched the cloth at Harry's shoulder, lifting it slightly with a disgusted sneer. "The Dursleys have a lot to answer for."
Harry's eyes widened and Severus internally grew uneasy as tears began to shine among brilliant green.
Realizing his eyes were filling with tears, Harry briskly wiped them away and looked down, his ears turning pink as he sat down at the table. Severus gave him a moment and was grateful Harry managed to collect himself before the waitress came over.
"What will it be?" the woman asked with a smile.
Severus answered first, stating he wanted dark, hot tea with one cube of sugar before suggesting to Harry to have chocolate milk. With a smile, Harry asked for just that.
A/N: Yes, another story. . . . I'm not sure how often I will be able to work on this one, but decided it would be interesting to play around with a few 'what-ifs', so . . . here it is. I hope you all enjoy it.
Also, Mysterious Thing, Time is still in the works, so it hasn't been abandoned, in case any of you were wondering.