One would think Snape was a complete bastard. Someone who cared more for potions than children. And didn't know how to use shampoo and conditioner properly.
They would only be partially right. He did loathe most children, love potions and had a hard time keeping his hair clean (blame the potion fumes).
But he also had a secret. He had a son and daughter. In order to protect them from the dark lord and the conniving headmaster, he hid the memories of them in a deep part of his mind. For the past sixteen years it had worked.
Until he got a letter from their mother about his daughter missing a large amount of school for a reason she never specified. Concerned, he decided that this was the perfect excuse for him to deal with something that had concerned him for some time now.
Ever since his first year, Snape had been concerned over the bruises on Potter each year he came back. He had overheard the boy talk about his relatives and their intolerance to magic, and it worried him.
Unknown to Harry, Snape was fully aware that the Potter's will was not only never read, it had been suspiciously lost. Between Lupin and himself, several advocates had called for the will to be found. So far it had fallen on deaf ears...and he knew why.
Supposedly Dumbledore had been named the executor of the will.
Which was a complete lie. Snape knew for a fact Lily had lost trust in the headmaster after he vouched for Peter as the Secret Keeper. James, while he trusted the old man to a point, would never have fought with his wife over something like this.
The true executor of the will wasn't Dumbledore...but the goblin clans. The only problem with this was that in order to execute the will, they had to find it.
And after thirteen years of being missing, no one had much hope for finding it.
Until after one Death Eater meeting, when Dumbledore allowed him to recover in his office while he informed the Order about the hit on one of the Ministry's higher ranking members. He was completely alone. Aside from the hat anyway, who said a very curious thing to him.
"You know the old man was acting rather suspicious lately. He left an old scroll in the first drawer on his desk. I think he was making a will."
Snape was not a fool. The chances that the old coot was making a will at this point were ridiculous...however, that didn't mean it wasn't a will.
So he went to the drawer the hat mentioned...and held back a snarl of fury.
It was the missing will of the Potter's!
Since Snape knew that the old coot would be back any minute, he did what any true Slytherin would do. He made a copy and left the fake exactly where Dumbledore had left the original. And left before the man could return. He told the hat he was going to brew a potion for the aftereffects of the Crucio, since he knew Poppy was out.
Five minutes later he was at Gringotts, and told the nearest teller he had business with the one known as Griphook.
Griphook was not amused by the summons. Still, he lost his anger when Snape pulled out a scroll...and his eyebrows shot up when he realized exactly why the man had asked for him specifically.
"You do realize this will change many things."
"Like I care. It's about time I got back at that conniving old goat. What better way than to take his precious boy-who-lived out from under him?"
Griphook smiled coldly.
"Revenge is an art that should be savored."
"Indeed. I have been savoring this for the past thirteen years since Lily Potter died."
The cold laugh that Griphook unleashed told Snape all he needed to know. Dumbledore was in for a rude awakening.
The first hint Harry had about the change was when his uncle got a letter from the Gringotts back about the money given to him for Harry's care. According to the letter they had received a complaint about the state of the 'Potter Heir', and were looking into it.
Vernon Dursley had been less than amused, and had broken Harry's wrist when he grabbed it in a rage. He then gave him a black eye and a bruised rib. Harry had been locked in his room for a week of hardly any food for that.
So he sent Hedwig with a complaint of his own, and the next week someone from the Ministry arrived to check in on him.
Long before Dumbledore and his band of misfits could 'rescue' him from the house, Harry had been taken from the place courtesy of the Magical Orphan Care and Placement Department in the Ministry. He spent an entire day describing exactly what the Dursleys had put him through under Veritaserum, and another waiting to find out what was going on.
It was around noon before Harry was taken to Gringotts and found himself sitting with his least favorite teacher (and second favorite subject strangely enough) Snape. Who was immensely pleased about something.
Griphook walked in, and took his seat.
Harry looked around, and saw several people in the room with him, including a very confused Remus.
The goblins locked the door, and sealed it closed. The room fell quiet.
"I will now read the newly found will of James and Lily Potter ne Evans."
Harry sat up straight. What did he mean newly found? Did that mean someone had hidden it?
"This being the last will and testament of James and Lily Potter. To our old friend Remus, we leave the vacation house in the Bahamas, and two million galleons. And no Remus, you aren't allowed to protest. There is already a basement set up in that house for your furry little problem.
To Sirius Black, we leave the house in Kyoto, and one million galleons. Unless he took his wand and AK'd us himself, the Ministry has no legal leg to stand on to prevent him from receiving this.
To Andromeda Tonks, we leave five thousand galleons and that jewelry box you liked so much.
To Arthur and Molly Weasly we leave one million galleons, put it to good use.
To Augusta Longbottom, we leave the greenhouse that you enjoyed and a thousand galleons.
To Severus Snape, we leave the vacation house in Ireland, the potions lab in Scotland, and fifty thousand galleons.
All other properties and money shall be left to our son Harry.
In the case of custody of our son, the following people shall be considered in this order:
Arthur and Molly Weasly
Under no circumstances should Harry be put in the care of Petunia and Vernon Dursley. He should never be told about his aunt, or set foot in her house. This shall be written and enforced by blood."
Griphook looked at Harry who was shocked. His parents never wanted him to go to his aunt? Who the hell put him there then?
The seal was undone...and Dumbledore stormed in furious. Griphook narrowed his eyes as he said clearly "You are not allowed in here. The will has been found and read, and shall be enforced."
He looked beyond furious now, and his rage grew when he realized Harry was in there as well.
Harry on the other hand was angry himself. He remembered that Dumbledore was the one who left him at his aunt's house all those years ago, and his reasoning for doing so had been shaky then too. Then Griphook had him removed and fined a thousand galleons for hiding a will of an Ancient and Noble house.
Being stuck with Snape for the summer was...interesting. Snape showed him his home and then laid down several ground rules.
"I will not tolerate loud music, particularly at night. You will avoid my lab when the door is closed, and are only allowed to interrupt me when I am in there if it is life or death. If you plan to use the Floo, alert me as to where you are going and when you are coming back. On the off chance one of the Dark Lord's people arrive, you are to stay out of sight at the very least. Eavesdropping is not encouraged, since I don't plan on telling the bastard why you are living here. Draco tends to drop by without warning, so if I catch you two casting spells on one another, I will hang you by your ankles. Am I clear?"
Harry had listened to him for once, and was a bit surprised.
Years of being stuck with the Dursleys had ingrained a few things in him. Like when someone is laying down the ground rules in a house you now live in, you damn well better pay attention and answer respectfully or you will get hit.
"Another thing. You will have your own room, so you better keep it clean or else. The same goes for the living room."
Severus was a bit suspicious as to why Harry answered so meekly when he was usually a smart ass. Still, he showed Harry his new room and went to get something to eat. His house elf, Darkly prepared dinner.
Normally Snape would wake up not to breakfast, but a conjured cup of coffee and some toast. Darkly was allowed to sleep in on mornings, since Snape was not a morning person and was never in the mood to listen to the elf after waking up.
So he was immensely surprised to find a decent breakfast on the table and his new ward cooking bacon while half asleep. Snape checked his clock, and wondered how on earth the boy could get up before him. (Years of working at a magical boarding school had him getting up before six in order to eat before the students.) He was sure he had woken up around five forty five this morning. So why was Potter up and from what he could tell cooking for the past fifteen minutes? He had obviously gotten dressed in plenty of time.
"Potter, for how long have you been up?" he asked, more than a little confused.
Clearly hearing his voice woke the boy out of his stupor. Harry took the bacon off with practiced ease (and from what he could tell was perfectly cooked) and said "I'm used to getting up early during summer break."
That stopped him.
"What in the name of Morgan and Merlin could possibly possess you to wake up before six during the summer?" he asked startled.
"I sleep in at Hogwarts. Every other day I wake up around five fifteen. Especially after first year when I tried to sleep in during break."
"My aunt threw a small frying pan at me when I didn't wake up in time to cook breakfast. Ever since then I get used to waking up early a week before heading back."
Yet another strike against the Dursley family. Several in the Ministry were looking to have them Kissed once word got out about how they raised the boy-who-lived. If this got out the chances that Petunia and Vernon would live would be slim indeed.
Hell, Dumbledore was already in a large amount of trouble for hiding the will and going against the last wishes of Lily and James. It didn't help that the custody of their son had been written in blood (which is the only reason he was living with Snape at the moment, since he had been named before the Weasly family. Snape had given the boy an ultimatum: if he couldn't get used to living with him within a week he would give custody over to Andromeda Tonks, who was Sirius's cousin. Her daughter knew where Sirius was and still liked him.)
Harry had been confused as to why Snape even cared enough to accept custody, since he would have been perfectly fine living with the Weaslys. Or why he had given him a week to get used to the idea.
He had no idea that Snape was planning a trip to see his wife and children in Japan, or that this visit would be a secret one from the headmaster and Voldemort himself.
Oddly enough, the two got along better than either of them would have expected. Since Harry had come to live with him, they had quickly reached an understanding. Harry would cook the meals (Snape had unsuccessfully tried to talk him out of that) and stay out of the way by reading in his large library, while Snape would tone down his snarky comments and leave him alone for most of the time.
Then came the day Snape found something that shocked him. Harry was a potions prodigy, most likely from spending so much time cooking in the kitchen. So he reluctantly decided to see exactly how good Harry really was at the subject. After he gave Harry the ingredients and instructions on how to make the Draught of Peace, and left him alone for two hours, he came back into his lab and was startled to find that the boy had made a successful potion.
Clearly Harry knew what he was doing, and his poor grades were the result of Snape hovering over him every lesson.
When it came time for him to go to Japan, he broached the subject with the boy carefully. Harry had begun to slowly come out of a shell that Snape was unaware that the boy had, most likely caused by the Dursleys.
"Harry, I am leaving for a while to go out of country. You have two options. You can either join me while I'm away, or you can go stay with your godfather and best friends until I return. I leave tomorrow morning."
Harry was quiet, judging his options for hours without any real solution.
On one hand, this was a good chance to see his friends before school with the added bonus of spending time with Sirius.
But on the other hand, over the past two weeks he had gotten to know Snape better, and had lost a good deal of his general loathing of the man. He still thought he was a greasy git, but it was tempered with respect. And it would be a chance to get out of England for a while and away from the Ministry.
So during dinner he asked one thing that had been bothering him.
"Where exactly are Ron and Hermione?"
Snape looked at him, and said "They are currently staying at the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix. Dumbledore created it during the last war."
"Wait, so if I went to stay with Sirius I would have to deal with that old goat as well?"
"Yes. And knowing him he would most likely try to convince you to move in with someone who supports him."
"Oh bloody hell. In that case I would rather go with you than deal with his stupid grandfather voice."
Snape was taken aback. He honestly expected Potter to jump at the chance to see his little band of cohorts. The idea that he would rather join him instead of seeing them and Sirius had never crossed his mind.
"You had better pack for a week then. I will teach you the translation charm once we leave England. And you may take your owl."
Harry spent a good three hours getting ready. He put his best clothes in his new bag and two bags of owl food with that. He borrowed a few of Snape's books from the library to read later. If Snape was going to a potion conference of some sort, it was likely to be boring as hell. On the plus side, this would be a good chance to test out that card the goblins gave him which worked in both worlds.
Hello new wardrobe.
Snape on the other hand, was busy brewing a potion which would allow Harry to learn the language a bit faster. Luckily for him it took only an hour to brew properly, and kept for weeks.
At six they left the house and headed for the terminal. Snape loathed port keys almost as much as Harry did, but he knew his way around the airport. Harry was surprised to say the least when he discovered Snape was taking a plane. When he asked why, the answer surprised him even more.
"Death Eaters and the Order as a rule tend to keep track of port keys that lead outside England. Particularly when the person that is using one happens to bear the mark. On the other hand they pay no attention to air planes."
Which puzzled him, since he knew that Snape had the skull and snake tattoo and had no reason to avoid questions from his fellow DE's.
"Besides, planes are far easier on the stomach compared to international port keys."
Now that bit made sense.
"I hate port keys. I hate the Floo."
"Which would make apparation, the Knight bus and brooms the only form of wizarding travel you can use."
"What does apparation feel like anyway?"
"Like being pulled through a straw, from what the muggleborns tell of it."
"As long as it doesn't spin you around or make you dizzy in any form or way I think I could live with that."
Snape had the sudden feeling that they were being followed. So checked to see when their flight was scheduled to arrive, and seeing it would be another hour, he told the boy to use the loo if he had to.
Harry apparently felt the same inkling, because they both ended up heading to the bathroom. Five minutes later a familiar face walked in.
Marcus Flint from Slytherin wearing a rather outdated but successful muggle outfit. Snape's eyes narrowed, and he used Legilmency to find out what the boy was doing in the airport.
Marcus had seen Harry with Snape on the street, and deciding to use this opportunity to either blackmail Snape or gain the Dark Lord's favor, had followed them.
Well he couldn't have that, now could he? Snape conjured a rather realistic gun, and slipped it into Flint's back pocket within easy reach. He then wiped the memory of seeing himself with Harry walking into the airport together from the boy's mind, and implanted a new one.
Now Flint believed he was there to test a new weapon on muggles, one that would kill them and make them fear him even more than firing the AK curse. Unknown to Flint, Snape had stolen the boy's wand from him, which would insure that the Ministry wouldn't get word of his arrest for at least a week. By that time no one would think to ask why he had been in a place clearly full of muggles in the first place.
Meanwhile Harry had found the terminal where the plane would be arriving and snagged a pair or seats. Snape walked up to him and said "Best get used to sitting, because the plane comes in thirty minutes, and it's a sixteen hour flight to where we're going."
"Good thing I brought books then. Where are we going?"
"Japan. If the old coot asks, and he will later, there was a potion conference."
"And what will be my reasoning for going with you?"
"There is an actual conference for magic users, and I have made you a guest speaker. All you have to do is describe your adventures, particularly how to create a Patronus successfully and what they can expect if they happen to come across either Death Eaters or Dementors. You can even tell them about the Dark Tosser, provided you get them behind you and not Dumbledore."
Which had Harry looking at Snape.
Snape put down the book he was about to read.
"Listen carefully. Dumbledore was the one who hid your parents will. He is the one who left you to suffer under your aunt's care. I sincerely doubt he has any interest in keeping you safe at all. Your best hope at keeping him from interfering is to gain support in other countries."
He went back to reading his book.
Soon they were off on the plane, and Harry was quite enjoying this bit. It was his first time on a plane.
Snape on the other hand was making sure he had enough sleep draught to get through this ride. He hated planes, as they were uncomfortable as hell to sleep in. The food was awful, the movies tacky and boring, and the line for the loo was long.
In short, he hated planes with the passion that his charge hated port keys. To be avoided if possible.
Sixteen long boring hours later, and they were in Japan. Harry was highly confused as to why Snape went through all this trouble. But after the plane ride, he really didn't care. All he wanted to sleep in a proper bed and to get rid of the jet lag.
It was at breakfast that he finally learned Snape's true heading.
"And where exactly in Japan are we heading?"
"The Higurashi Shrine near Tokyo. You'll find out why when we get there."
Snape hired a taxi and spoke in perfect Japanese, though he had a bit of an accent.
When they got there, they walked several steps into a gate of some sorts, and found an old man sweeping the outside. He took one look at Snape and greeted him warmly.
Harry was already in shock at this point. And it had all started at breakfast.
Snape was in a trendy muggle outfit, blue jeans and a long sleeve shirt in Slytherin colors. His hair was not only clean, but held no trace of the usual state it was. It was straight, and shiny. He was also in a very good mood, and didn't snap at breakfast. In short, Harry's jaw dropped and he wondered if he had wandered into the Twilight Zone.
That was when he found out something that put his mind on a good three second standstill.
A young boy with Snape's eyes and hair color ran up to him and yelled "Otou-san!"
Harry's mind did a major backtrack. According to the translation charm Snape gave him, 'Otou-san' meant Father in Japanese.
Well at least this explains why he had to come all the way here in secret. And how he knew Japanese.
A girl with long black hair and a sailor outfit came out saying in accented English, "Dad's home? For how long are you staying?"
"For a week. Your mother sent me a letter about you missing a large amount of school and I grew concerned."
A woman older than the girl with short dark hair came out, clearly happy her husband was back, even if it was for a short time. Harry noticed someone hiding behind the door...someone with silvery hair.
Apparently the girl saw where he was looking, and decided to bring out the mystery person.
"Inuyasha, come out already! There's no point hiding right now, he'll figure it out anyway."
What came out was a teen with silvery hair, golden amber eyes and...were those dog ears?
"Who is this, Kagome?"
"This is my friend, Inuyasha. It's a long story..."
Inuyasha held his hand up to his nose, and made a face. Snape gave him a look.
"You reek to high heaven."
Snape glared at him.
"I work with volatile chemicals all day long. The fumes tend to stick with you."
"What the hell do you use? You really, really reek!"
Harry unsuccessfully held back a snort of laughter. Which drew everyone's attention to him. Snape held up an eyebrow.
"Apparently that shower you took earlier didn't cover up the potion fumes, Professor."
"The translation charm works both ways Potter. And the more you use it, the faster you learn the language."
"So this is the reason you had to come to Japan? I must admit, this is the last thing I expected to find when I came with you."
"And now you understand my need for secrecy."
It took all of a day for Harry to catch up. He was introduced to Kagome (daughter), Sota (son), Mrs. Higurashi (wife), the old man (father-in-law), Boyo (family pet/cat), and Inuyasha (half demon who was Kagome's friend).
Which lead to Snape asking exactly how on earth his daughter ended up friends with a half demon, and why she missed so much school.