A/N: I know there are quite a few fics involving Snape taking care of Harry out there but I've always loved the idea myself and I wanted to try my hand at it. Please read and review and constructive criticism is always appreciated! Enjoy! Oh. and I don't own Harry Potter. But you all knew that already, didn't you?
"I won't do it." Snape snapped. "I cannot take the Potter boy."
"Severus, you must trust me. He is too important to the entire Wizarding world to be thus abused."
Snape sniffed. "A little tough love never hurt anyone," he said, and immediately felt mortified that those words had come out of his mouth.
"It isn't tough love, or love of any sort Severus," Albus said seriously. "It is abuse."
"I know headmaster." Severus responded grimly.
Dumbledore had just checked on one year old Harry at the Dursley's and was intensely perplexed by what he had seen.
"They don't feed him, Severus. They don't hold him. They yell at him when he cries. A child cannot take all that. He will die," Albus knew Snape did not like the idea one bit, but Harry's life was crucial.
Snape remained stone-faced and said nothing.
Dumbledore lowered his voice. "Severus, you know the Dark Lord is not gone. Those who believe that are simply choosing to live in ignorance. Yes, he is defeated for now but he will come back and Harry must be alive. You know why, better than anyone."
Snape nodded severely. He did not know Voldemort's plans, but he had been told many times that were the Dark Lord to be killed "provisions had been made". Only little Harry had been able to beat him once. He could not be allowed to die at the hands of Muggles. And yet. Snape would not be his caretaker.
"What you ask of me is…" Snape struggled to find the word. He couldn't say too hard. It wasn't weakness that prevented him from taking the boy. It was the fact that the boy was a Potter- James' son.
"It is unreasonable," he finally managed. "What of your theory? You say Lily's love is what protected the boy. That he will only be safe with the Dursley's."
"Unless he dies." Albus tried to speak as gently as he could. "Severus, we have time. You can return the boy when he is a little stronger. Seven, or eight. He's just too small, too young to take this now,"
Severus bowed his head defeated. The small Potter boy was also Lily's son. "As you say, Headmaster."
As Severus made his way to the Dursely's residence on Privet Drive he could not believe he was actually doing this. In an attempt to be discreet he was driving a small black Mini cooper which Dumbledore had, for some reason, been stowing in the Room of Requirement. He had argued with Dumbledore for almost two hours about possible alternatives, even after agreeing to take the boy, but Dumbledore had remained rigid.
"You will be able to defend him. And you won't spoil him too much. He will have to return to the Dursley's eventually. Besides Severus, I trust you."
That's what Albus had said. Well if that's what trust got him, then maybe he ought to start acting a little more suspiciously. Severus parked the car and walked up the long walkway to the front door of Number 4. He rang the bell and stood, waiting. He could hear the healthy screaming of a baby inside.
"The Potter boy has healthy lungs," Snape muttered, tapping his foot. "I'm sure I'll enjoy that."
The door opened and a long-necked, horsey woman with a fat, screaming baby on her hip opened the door. She looked Snape over and her face whitened.
"Vernon!" she called. "One of those people is here. Come quick!"
A fat man with an enormous mustache came into view. "Good gracious. Another one? What do you want with us?" he exclaimed. "We've made it perfectly clear we want no associations with your kind!"
Snape was annoyed. "I'm here to collect Mr. Potter. He's being taken off of your hands for a time."
Petunia looked overjoyed, and then suspicious. "And who are you?"
"Severus Snape, I'm authorized to take him and it will only be temporary," he handed her the letter Dumbledore had written to the Dursley's. "Now if you can get me the boy, I assure you, I'll be on my way."
Vernon walked to the stairs and opened a little cupboard beneath it. Severus was appalled as he saw the man pull out a tiny tiny boy, wearing only an oversized shirt and a diaper.
"Here." Vernon said, handing him off. Snape took little Harry. He had enormous green eyes and an astounding amount of thick black hair. The baby pulled away from Snape, obviously scared of him, but made no sound.
"Does he have any things?" Snape asked.
"I'll go grab his clothes. I think they're on the line." Petunia said. She handed the still screaming baby Dudley to Vernon and went outside, returned with two damp shirts and a slightly dripping pair of pants.
Snape was disgusted. "Is this all?" he asked. Petunia nodded and Snape snatched them up and returned to the car. Much as he hated James Potter he was sickened by the maltreatment he had just witnessed. He buckled Harry into the car seat Dumbledore and provided, fumbling for a few minutes with the straps, and finally guessing at the proper way to handle the contraption and then he sped away, wondering what kind of a night it was going to be.