A/N: A story I came up with when I was hanging out.
Summary: Severus Snape has seculded himself. Other than Dumbledore, he doesn't really talk to anyone. One day, Dumbledore comes into his office with suprising news. Can Severus learn to communicate with people? Can Severus and Harry get along? Can Severus learn to live again? Set in Fourth Year. Mostly A/U. May turn into a long story.
Learn to Live Chapter 1 - Discovery
"Lily how could you do this? After the night we shared?" Severus Snape looked at the young Lily Evans with wide and pleading eyes, "Don't do this, and don't choose him over us!"
Lily didn't look at her ex-lover and friend, didn't meet his eyes as she walked away and left him alone to face the bullies all by himself. Didn't even think about the damage she was doing to his life as she walked right out of it.
Severus Snape wiped away his tears as there was a knock on the door of his office. He closed the doors to the closet that held his pensieve and sat back in his chair. "Enter."
Who else would be coming to his office than Harry James Potter? "Um, Sir, I was just wondering if you might be able to assign me some extra credit or if there was anything I could do to raise my mark in Potions."
"Ten foot essay on the wrongful act of cheating." Snape said without thinking. He mentally cursed himself and wished that he could retract his words before they reached the raven-haired boy's ears but knowing it was a childish wish. He should have thought before he spoke.
"Cheating, sir? As is, cheating on a test?" Potter asked, his eyebrows scrunching together in confusion.
Oh well, Severus had already made his bed, might as well lay in it. "No, as in cheating on a partner. That is all I can think of at the moment. You may exit my office now, Mister Potter."
"But Sir, how much would this be worth?" Potter asked as he was shooed out.
"It depends on my mood that day." The professor said as he slammed the door in the green-eyed boys face.
Severus dropped into his chair and let his head fall onto the top of his desk, banging it once more for good measure. Why hadn't he stopped her? He could've made her stop and listen to him and Potter could have been his son. Lily could have been his wife and she would have lived. At that moment there was another knock on his door.
"I am not giving you any other extra credit option. It is the essay or nothing!" Snape shouted, not even bothering to lift his head.
"Alright, but may I ask what the subject of this essay is?" Albus Dumbledore said as he walked into Severus' office and closed the door behind him.
"I apologize, I assumed it was Potter." Snape said, still not raising his head.
"Oh my, what has happened my boy?" Dumbledore asked, concern evident in his features.
"Lily… oh I miss her so much Albus." Snape moaned, smacking his head on the desk again, "I need a drink."
"I have actually come with news regarding Miss Evans. Also regarding Mister Potter." Dumbledore said, sitting down.
Snape looked up, confusion plain on his face. He didn't dare hope… there was no way, the bodies had been found. "And what might this be?"
"Lily, before her death, sent me a letter. In which, she confessed that she did not know the father of Harry. She asked that I take samples from you and Harry and have a paternity test done." Dumbledore said, as if it were the most casual thing a person could say. He pulled out a yellow candy from the pocket of his robes and popped it in his mouth, not a care in the world.
Severus almost fell out of his chair.
"She also said that she was surer of you being Harry's father than of James." Dumbledore added.
At this, Severus did fall out of his chair. He picked himself up quickly and looked the headmaster in the eye, "I trust that you are completely serious about this?"
"Oh! Speaking of Sirius, I must be off to Grimauld Place; I must inform him as well. If you would kindly part with one or two of your hairs, I will be on my way. Saliva will do also, if that is easier." Dumbledore said, standing.
Severus grabbed two vials. He spat into one and plucked two hairs from his head, checking that the roots and follicles were still intact, and put them in the other. On a second thought, he grabbed one more, pricked his finger, and allowed blood to drip into the vial. He put a cork in all three of them and handed them to the headmaster, waving a hand as a goodbye.
Albus Dumbledore nodded a goodbye and stepped into the fireplace, disappearing in green flames.
Was it really possible? Well, of course it was possible, they'd had sex the night before the end of term in their seventh year, but was it probable? Dare he hope? He hadn't allowed himself to hope in years. Ever since She left, he never put himself out there, never allowed even a chance of getting hurt. Severus decided to contemplate it later and went down to his little laboratory, if you will. He worked away the hours brewing complex potion after potion, they had no immediate purpose, and he brewed them simply to keep his mind occupied. He knew he was going to have to wash his hair after so it wouldn't look greasy. That was the reason behind it after all; the fumes from all of the potions that he worked on floated up and made his hair unbelievably greasy. He despised that but he loved brewing potions so he never gave it up, simply tried to wash his hair every time he was finished brewing for the day.
Before he knew it, it was time for Severus to go down to the Great Hall for dinner. He couldn't allow the house elves to bring his dinner up to him yet again, as if they didn't have enough to do, the poor creatures. On his way to the Hall, a strange thing happened to Severus – he got nervous. It was an odd feeling and he wasn't sure if he liked it. What would he do if Potter were to look at him strangely? What if Severus were tempted to hug him? What if he did hug him? Word would get around the castle that Severus Snape had gone soft!
Snape walked into the Great Hall with his head held high. He didn't look at any of the students as he passed by; he just kept his gaze forward. No matter how hard he tried, Severus couldn't keep himself from looking at Harry as he passed, he couldn't keep himself from allowing a bit of softness to enter his gaze either. He walked up to the table and took his place between Minerva and Filius and began his meal, partaking in the light conversation that usually occupied the table.
During dinner Severus secretly searched the boy's face for resemblances of his own. Yes, now he noticed the shape of Potter's nose slightly looked like his. His cheek bones as well. The boy definitely had the color of Lily's eye but they were the same shape as Severus's. As the students walked out of the Great Hall, Severus watched Harry Potter walk out with his friends.
And for the first time in a long time, Severus Snape allowed himself to hope.