By the end of the day
July, 07th 2012
August 1963 to September 1991
AU / A person dies and another one is born, a person disappears while another one appears someplace else, fate is handing out the cards and you don't know if it will be for the better or the worse – life simply unfolds itself …
What happens in our lives shapes our personality. What if we got a chance to go back and to change the lives of the ones we hold dear? Would we really be able to change things for the better? Would we really be able to deceive fate?
Thank you for reading …
Well … I do not own Harry Potter, nor Hogwarts, his friends or his belongings … J. K. Rowling owns them all … I just borrow them a bit …
Uhm … and well … sorry for the confusion I create at Hogwarts … I am sure I can straighten it after I am done with this … I at least promise to try …
M – Not suitable for children or teens below the age of 16
Uhm … ok … I have to admit … English is not my language by birth … so … please do not kill me while reading … neither for the bad English I use, nor for what I am writing …
Added Author's Note:
In this chapter I have built in a memory and for the lack of any other idea, as flashbacks are already written in italic, I have placed following sign '~' before each change of scenery – I hope it is presented clearly enough … thanks …
Story contains references to child abuse.
Child abuse is a really serious thing, it is an evil thing and there are a lot of children in our world that really would need help without being helped, and closing our eyes and pretending it does not exist – is no solution …
I only say – remind yourself of your feelings, of your sympathy, and of your understanding … and handle people, children as well as adults, which are showing any signs – whichever – of once being abused … with understanding and with help …
What does not mean I am not as evil as I pretend to be … ^.~ … believe me – I am …
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Previously in By the end of the day
Never ever again, he silently swore.
He would make sure that such a thing repeated itself never ever again, neither with this child nor with any other child he knew about.
He most likely wouldn't be able changing this little scarecrow, but by the end of the day he at least knew that it would become better, by the end of the day he at least knew that something good would come out of the fact that his father, that Janos Amity, had allowed him, Severus, to become a Potions Master instead of meddling with the lines of time. Maybe this was the reward for him for doing good in his timeline – and now he, Severus Snape, he would make sure that this chance of reward, that this chance of something being good, that it would not be merely smoke and mirrors.
By the end of the day – he again knew what had to be done while he put the halfway empty bowl of milk cereals at the parlour table after the child had fallen asleep, while he halfway covered the child with a blanket from the backrest of the sofa, while he started cleaning out cuts again.
By the end of the day
And so I'm moving on
August, 2nd 1989 – Malfoy Mansion – 07:21 am
If you are reading this, then it means that I have failed to live through the war, and someone has found these last missives amongst my belongings. Along with the three scrolls, there should also be a picture frame, and a small black, leather-bound book. If you have seen these, then there will be no doubt that you have figured out who the person in the picture is, and who the book must belong to. These two things I am leaving to you, as they should rightfully belong to Lily's son and no one stranger.
I suppose you could call these letters my last will and testament, though that was not my intention when I began writing. The real purpose of this letter is simple – I write to you in the days before my impending death to apologize, Harry.
Your mother was my dearest friend, and the only thing that kept me sane for most of my Hogwarts years – while your father was the bane of my existence, and the reason for my cruel attitude towards you. In a foolish attempt to distance myself from the reminders of Lily, and an irrational fit of revenge, I treated you like a filthy criminal – I hated you out of ill will for someone who was long dead, and grief for another. I blamed you for your mother's death for years, while in honesty, it was my fault all along.
You're more like Lily than I think anyone has been willing to see Though you may mostly look like your father, your personality is much closer to that of Lily's and it is cruel that I was unable to show you this and now I write these things with a heavy heart, knowing I should have said them when I was still alive, and you were still an innocent child. However, as you have recognized already, and quite passionately so, I am a coward, and no match for your Gryffindor bravery.
You not only have your mother's eyes, what surely you have heard more than once over the years, but you also have her smile, her kindness and her sharp wit – her gentle will, what made it all the more difficult to hate you over the years, and yet – again I have been unable to approach you for an adequate apology.
I am deeply sorry, Harry, for what little – if any – it may be worth.
The way I treated you, and the hate I transferred from your father to you, was a foolish mistake, and I can only hope that my sacrificing my life for you will redeem me a little in your eyes. An old man knows not his mistakes until it is too late. I'm sure you can understand this concept, as Dumbledore was your mentor as well as mine. My deepest sympathy for my actions towards you could never be properly conveyed in a simple letter, so I only can ask you to forgive a foolish man for his stupid mistakes.
I leave to Harry James Potter my cottage at Muir of Ord, and my extensive collection of defence books.
As an expert on it, I know grudges can be held for years and years, even for as long as you live, but I offer now this advice to you; though I may not deserve your forgiveness, it is not healthy to live with a grudge so firmly placed against a dead man. It will weigh you down, tear you apart, and never let you go, if you do not first let it go yourself.
Please be safe, Harry. I write this letter under the assumption that you've already defeated the Dark Lord, and perhaps it has been so long that you may have your own family now. I wish you the best in life, and urge you to live free and open-minded; something I failed to do myself.
Yours truly and honestly apologetically,
Severus Tobias Snape'
No, he didn't have to wonder anymore why his father had gone back in time to take him as your son.
He had not reached the end of the journal he had started reading years ago already, there were still – he didn't know how many hundred pages left. No, but the letter that had been tucked safely to the end of the journal, the letter his dad had mentioned before already, it had fallen out of the black, leather-bound book and – he hadn't been able to resist reading it.
He had been shocked to find his own words, in his own handwriting, with ink he clearly recognized as his own – words of a man dead, and yet – his own words.
He was glad that in the end he had apologized – it didn't make the creepy feeling any better however.
Looking over at the sleeping five year old he sighed.
This boy, the young man he would become, had gone back in time to safe a person who had hated him – and that was so much more a noble act than anything else. That had been Janos Amity.
While watching the child he had laying on the sofa, and while thinking back at what he knew from his father, all the scars and injuries, all the starvation and other bad things, being locked away, no one caring for him – he wondered where Harry Potter, the Harry Potter from this other timeline, had learned all of that from, his manners and his nobility, his way of doing good, his way of always helping. He'd had no people who had been a guide in that after all – not the Dursleys and surely not Dumbledore who had made enough mistakes.
And yet, as Harry Potter had forgiven him, Severus Snape for his mistakes, Janos Amity had forgiven Albus Dumbledore for his mistakes as well, this foolish boy, this utterly idiot and foolish boy, always thinking at others before himself – and yet, had he not done that, then he, Severus, would not be here, living as a happy man, because the letter he had been reading had been anything than written by a happy man.
Sighing he reached out his hand to brush a strand of black hair from the pale young face.
The boy was still five years old, even though he looked barely three, and it was early morning the next day. Did this mean that the child wouldn't grow younger? Did this mean that he would stay five years old? It was not a thought that sat well with him, but he knew, if so, then he couldn't change it anyway, he would have to take it the way it happened.
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Frowning Augusta Longbottom took a sip of her tea, going over the words in her mind while watching the waiter absent mindedly, not altogether pleased with the young woman's appearance, wearing too small stockings and her skirt was too short too, while her smile was a bit too open for her liking – but well …
"And how old is the boy, you say, Belladonna?" She asked, her gaze back at the woman opposite her.
"I'm not sure, Augusta, but from what I heard he's really small still, about two years maybe, surely not older than three." The woman called Belladonna answered, one of Augusta's closer friends. They were currently sitting in drip, sip and dip, the side-café in Diagon Alley as she didn't wish being the content of newest gossip throughout wizarding London after sitting in Florean Fortescue's.
It had been just a few weeks ago that Severus Snape had visited her at the Longbottom Mansion, not only telling her interesting things but – actually giving her a good warning.
"You should have a close eye on your grandson, Madam Longbottom, and Albus' interests in him." Severus said, his dark voice sounding serious and even though some didn't like the Potions Master too much due to his sarcasm – she always had respected the young man as she had respected Janos Amity, Severus' father.
"How so, Professor Snape?" She asked. "I have sole custody over the boy after my son and his wife are at St. Mungos and I don't see how Albus could have any kind of interest in Neville."
"Surely not openly, Madam Longbottom." Severus said and he lifted her eyebrow at the young professor. "But surely you are aware of the little fact that your grandson's birthday falls on the same day as Harry Potter's, who so far is marked as 'The-Boy-Who-Lived'. The Prophecy speaks of a child born as the seventh month dies – the end of July – as well as being born to those who have thrice defied him. Both premises apply to your grandson as well as to Harry Potter and even though the Dark Lord might have marked Harry Potter as the one with the power to vanquish him, Albus Dumbledore is a meddling old coot who surely would like having a contingency plan in his hands, and preferably behind his back where no one can see it."
"What exactly are you implying, Professor Snape?" She asked, not really liking the thoughts forming in her mind.
"Should something happen to The-Boy-Who-Lived, then I am sure that Albus Dumbledore will concentrate on your grandson, Madam Longbottom." The man said and as she knew that young Severus was as intelligent as Janos Amity had been, she did regard his worries. "Not to mention that – I fear that Albus will use those children for his war against the Dark Lord instead of dirtying his own hands."
"Surely the headmaster of Hogwarts would not do such a crime, Severus." She shook her head. "I can understand your worries regarding my grandson as it sounds logically and as – yes, I do know Albus, he is a meddling old coot – but I cannot believe that he would abuse his powers so very badly, using children he is entrusted with in a war."
"He already has done that, Madam, in the future he already has done it and he will do it again, in the future." Severus said, seriously, not in the slightest sounding barmy and she couldn't help remembering how strange Janos Amity had been sometimes, as if coming from a different time, knowing things he was not to know. "Many children will die in this war, students of Hogwarts, young grandson amongst them. Do not allow such a thing happening a second time."
And with those words the young professor had left the parlour, had left the mansion, had been gone and leaving her behind, thinking.
She was a Gryffindor through and through, but she was old enough to be just as sly as one Severus Snape or any other Slytherin was, in other words – she knew that the young Potions Master could be correct as she actually knew Albus Dumbledore. The man had sacrificed his own sister after all, for the greater good and he had done horrible things with Grindelwald in the past.
Yes, yes, he had changed, or at least he had claimed that he had changed, but honestly – she knew that Dumbledore could be ruthless still. She just hadn't thought that he actually could abuse his power and misuse the children under his care as headmaster of a wizarding boarding school.
But while thinking over it …
However, if the child was two or three years old, then no, then it couldn't be Harry Potter, because the boy had to be nine years old now.
But who was the child then?
Severus Snape had sounded rather upset, and seeing that … but well, that was neither here nor there. The boy the Potions Master had claimed as his was apparently the child sired by him and born to a witch from the Black family, not a child mentioned in a prophecy.
"I'd really like seeing that, you know, Severus Snape of all people with a two year old child." Belladonna nearly squealed and she shook her head at the excitement the other woman displayed as if she were a young chicken. "That has to look cute surely."
"It might." She sighed, mentally already going through her attic and the boxes up there. "But surely not more than any other young father would look with his child. I don't see why one would become all excited over such a thing."
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The boy was awake meanwhile and – except of having had a panic attack because he had been sleeping too long – he had not moved an inch on the sofa. He hadn't moved much last night either, or yesterday since he had stopped growing younger and had become the five year old child. He was still and quiet – something he wasn't used to when it came to his dad.
Janos Amity had always been moving, somehow.
He could remember that the man even had been moving while sitting on the sofa, reading a book, that he had been moving his legs, swinging them back and forth or bobbing with his knees, that he had been rocking with his upper body or that he had moved his hands or fingers – but one body-part of him or another had always been in motion, often the young man pacing the parlour or the kitchen, the hallos or wandering through the gardens for hours, swimming in the lake or climbing the wall – he'd been a live wire and after his energy had been locked away for years with his relatives where he'd been locked in a cupboard, it had needed an outlet desperately in later years. And surely he didn't dare imagining how hard it must have been for the child being locked away, having no outlet for his excessive energy at all.
Seeing this child so still now, with the knowledge that this child was his father actually, it was unnerving, it was startling, and it was scaring him, because he didn't dare imagining how it looked within the child – it had to be a storm raging and for the five year old to control it, it only spoke of the fear he had already learned by the hands of the Dursleys.
"What's he up to now?" Lucius asked, frowning while they watched his dad searching through the parlour, through his study, through his halls and he shook his head.
"Looks as if he's up to climbing a more dangerous route." He frowned himself when his dad came back with a rope and a carabiner, throwing both at the floor near the entrance. "Or he wouldn't gather his safety equipment as the wall by the lake he's climbing without."
"You know, your dad is really strange, why would he do such a thing? He's a wizard!" Lucius asked and he shrugged his shoulders.
"It's fun." He said. "He's taking me to the mountains from time to time and it's really fun. I just don't like it if he's taking the dangerous routes without someone to cover his ass."
"I heard that, young man." His dad, emerging from yet another room with a climbing harness, said and he rolled his eyes. "I am capable of belaying myself, Severus, stop worrying. You know what to do if you need anything?"
"Sure, I'll ask Abraxas or Albus, or Minerva or Poppy, not that Zilly wouldn't be here, dad!" He sighed, annoyed at the over protectiveness his father showed – again.
"Are you sure that you won't come, Severus?" His dad asked and he shook his head.
"I am." He answered. "I really prefer having a nice time with Lucius than climbing only Merlin knows how many rocks with you, I'd have the worst muscle aches tonight."
"Are you sure that I shouldn't just stay here?" His dad then asked and he couldn't help smiling happily, not because he wanted his dad here, he was fourteen after all and old enough to be on his own with Zilly for an afternoon, but because his father thought about him first.
"And annoy me the entire day?" He asked, giving his dad the 'large-eye-look'. "Please don't, I'd like having a free afternoon for once, doing things I can't do while you're around."
"You are aware that I'll be back in the evening, learning of what you've done?" His father asked and he smiled.
"Sure." Was all he answered and with a "we're at the lake" he pulled Lucius with him.
"I told you, your dad's strange." Lucius shook his head the moment they had left the house safely. "I mean, really strange, he has never ending energy that keeps him from sitting still for just a moment. Dad says that one wouldn't be able hexing your dad because he's always moving, never standing still for just a second."
"That's because he's drinking coffee all the time instead of tea, he says the caffeine keeps him going, he'd fall asleep if he didn't drink it, and he'd be all tired."
"I'm not sure." Lucius said, sprawling in the sand. "I've heard of some muggle drugs that cause people to act overdrive and to do really strange things and to not regard safety either, just like your dad."
"Nope, he's definitely not taking any muggle drugs." He said, sprawling just beside his blond friend in the sand. "He's just like that, he's born that way. At least, that's what I think."
"Impossible." Lucius said, turning to his side and leaning on his elbow, watching him. "No one can be that energetic all the time without going insane."
"It is, he's just like that, and he's always been since I can remember." He said, shrugging his shoulders.
"Stop this, just leave me to pretend that it's something that will pass."
"After so many years?" He laughed at Lucius' silliness. "Forget it, he won't change ever."
"And there I had hope." Lucius lay back with a suffering sigh. "You know, your dad will be driving my dad insane one day."
"Sure, but don't pretend that your dad is better than mine." He chuckled. "Yours is all sappy and emotional, and he has an eye on my dad."
"What the …" Lucius spluttered, sitting up, coughing.
"Don't say you haven't noticed." He said, huffing. "You're older than me and you have to have noticed that."
Well, yes – Lucius had huffed at him, but he had admitted that, yes, he had noticed, of course. After that he had told him to better not tell their fathers as Janos had not noticed Abraxas' interest at all and was unaware of the Malfoy head of house's gazes.
And Janos Amity had never learned of it, in all those years that had come, had never noticed the longing and soft gazes Abraxas had thrown at him, nor the closeness and the gentle touches, not even upon his end and Abraxas had been devasted upon Janos' death, as devasted as he, Severus, had been.
But well, he'd been at least correct in one thing – his dad had been full of energy until his end, even throughout his last weeks he'd been as energetic as humanly possible while being as weak as he'd been, again his energy being – trapped, somehow, for the lack of a better word, this time by his weakness and not within a cupboard.
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He knew that he man definitely waited for something, but he didn't know what exactly he was waiting for and that was making him all gibby and wobby.
Well, he knew meanwhile that the man was a wofessor, and that was an important thing. Uncle Vernon knew a wofessor, and he'd said that he was important even though he didn't understand why but the man looked important too – and no bit as mean as uncle Vernon.
He sure didn't know what a wofessor was doing, he didn't even know what a wofessor was, but this one was giving him something to eat, and he'd let him sleeping on the sofa, not on the floor in a cupboard. That's been really nice.
He didn't know though what to think of the man.
He did look very stern and very dark too, but not hateful like uncle Vernon did, rather worried, like aunt Petunia did when Dudley had fallen. But he hadn't fallen and he didn't understand why the man was looking at him like that. And nor did he know what he was waiting for.
For a moment he'd been sure that he knew what the man was waiting for. It had been yesterday evening when he'd hestated taking the bowl with the milk cereal, not sure if he really could dare taking it, not sure if it wouldn't be taken away then like with uncle Vernon, not sure if the man wouldn't strike him for taking it. Then he had clearly looked as if he waited for him to finally take the bowl. And this morning too, when he'd woken and then the man had brought him another bowl with milk cereal. Then too he'd looked at him, waiting for him to take the bowl, but surely that couldn't count for that what the man was waiting for without any bowl being there.
He was looking at him expetanty even though there was nothing to wait for.
Blinking he looked at where he was, trying to memember what he had been thinking at but he couldn't. He immediately knew that he wasn't in his cupboard anymore and a moment later there was a man, but it wasn't uncle Vernon and he tried to make himself smaller as he was because he knew that surely that couldn't be too good, a man he didn't know being wherever he was.
"Harry?" The man asked and he gasped. He knew that name, he'd heard it before, but he wasn't sure where.
Nor was he sure what that man would do with him – or where he was.
For a moment he wondered if he should ask, but he'd pretty soon learned to not ask anythin' …
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According to the diagnostic the child was three years old. He did look like a year or one and a half years at the most but surely not like three. He didn't even look as if being two. So – already back then the child had been starved enough so that his growth had been affected.
For a moment he wondered why the child would grow back in a two year step instead of an one year step like before, but seeing that he hadn't been growing younger for more than twelve hours now at all – he was glad for what he got and even if the child would remain three now – it was better than the five years.
"Harry?" He asked, trying to make out what was written on the diagnostic while at the same time trying to keep his eyes on the child too.
There were a few injuries only, a sore back, a few bleeding cuts and a sore behind. A broken wrist and two broken ribs but apart from several bruises there was nothing else – except of the starvation of course – and so the child was in a clearly better condition than what he had feared, what he was very glad for.
Of course he knew that the physical abuse surely had left an immense impact on the child, something that was not to be underestimated, but at least there was hope. And if he remained three – he was small enough so no one would ask awkward questions, at least not in the beginning and later on people would get used to. So – theoretically, there was nothing to be worried over.
Practically however things did look a bit different, because practically there was always one or another who would notice, and who would ask one or another question – but well, he would deal with that the moment it came up. And maybe the child would grow back to fifteen or eighteen months like he had planned it for the boy, then everything would be alright.
Knowing that it was a dangerous step, he slowly came closer to the child.
If Harry was to grow younger, then he wasn't to do much that could interfere with the potion – never mind if it were healing potions or spells, or nutrient in any form – he already had risked enough on that, and he knew that. If however the boy would stay in this age, what could be quite a possibility, then he would destroy much of the child's future trust if he didn't do anything right now.
Sure – if he grew younger as he had planned it, then it wouldn't be a problem as the child would forget upon his next 'de-growth spurt', for the lack of a better word, but that didn't mean he should risk it, as the child wouldn't forget if there wouldn't be another spurt at all.
So – he had to regard the possibility of the boy staying his age now and so he had to take the risk of stopping the de-ageing at all due to his actions.
"I suggest we get you clean, Harry." He softly said, trying to sound calm and collected while inwardly he was rather nervous and unsure, realizing that his father must have felt similar back then. And Merlin, if his dad had managed, then surely he would too? He was several years older after all as his dad had been.
"I promise, it won't hurt, I won't even put you in a bathtub but simply wash you, alright?" Well – if he had thought that this reassurance would help him in squashing the child's fearful green eyes, then he had been very wrong indeed.
Knowing that surely he couldn't startle the boy with something like summoning a bowl with water, some of his cleaning additives or a wash-clothe, he cast a stern gaze at the small child, one he would cast at his Slytherin first years, one that made clear – he wouldn't hurt the child, but that the boy better didn't leave the spot were he was sitting at the sofa right now while he was gone.
"I will be back in a moment, Harry." He sternly said. "Wait here."
And with these words he went into the kitchen where he reached for a bowl, filled it with water that warmed upon a wave of his wand and a spell that would keep the water warm. He summoned a few of his potions, a cleaning potion that would keep the water clean, never mind how much dirt he washed from the child, and a few healing and disinfectant potions. None the boy would have to ingest for now, but potions which he could use externally. Anything else he would deal with when it arrived and with a hidden spell.
He took a washcloth and then left the kitchen, went back through the hallway and into the spacious and rather comfortable living room where, just like he had expected, the boy was still sitting on the sofa, having not dared moving a muscle even.
He placed his load on the tea table and then sat down onto that furniture himself, knowing that this way he could take better care of the child, suddenly realizing why his father had always been sitting at the living room table upon taking care of one or another scratch he had come home with.
Slowly he reached out and took the sleeve of the boy's shirt, carefully pulling it off the child's arm, scared himself that he accidentally might break the thin stick before he repeated the same with the other sleeve and then pulled the shirt over Harry's head. And yes, the diagnostic had already showed him that there were injuries – and yes, there were less than he had feared, anyway did it look grotesque and he took a deep breath to calm himself and keep from growling angrily at the thin and battered body of a near toddler.
He added one of the cleaning potions to the warm water before he wet the washcloth and then ran it over the pale face of the boy that had become his son.
Said boy was sitting there, stock-still, holding his breath whenever he came close with the clothe, squeezing his eyes shut just moment before the warm clothe touched his soft baby-skin and he held them shut until it was clear – the clothe was gone, was not touching him anymore while it was dunked into the water, until it came close again, as if the thing would bite the child or something like that.
He then ran the cloth over the thin neck, sighing when he again found marks from an adult's hand on the delicate neck already. He continued with the bony shoulders, with the thin chest and the fragile back before he cleaned two thin sticks that were the child's arms.
Not going as far as having the boy's lower body undressed he rather started with healing the bruises and cuts, using healing potions he applied to the injuries, covering them with healing salves or casting wandless and silent spells at those who were too severe for the potion or salve.
All the while the boy was sitting there, watching him closely and he was sure – one wrong movement from him and the child would be gone, most likely for him to search the manor and he frowned. If the child fled the house, then he practically could go anywhere and closing his eyes he concentrated on his front door and the window, locking them so that never mind what – little Harry wouldn't be able leaving the house encase of a panic attack.
He knew that Lucius would get in, never mind what, but he knew that no one else would be able getting in also and well – it had taken them nearly a year to change the wards so that the blond would get into the manor, never mind what, never mind which wards he activated and never mind which doors he locked.
Yes, his dad had really been a paranoid wizard.
On the other hand, there had always been one person whom he had allowed getting through all his wards – Abraxas. Janos had trusted Abraxas unconditionally, more than Albus, Minerva or anyone else. Like he now trusted Lucius unconditionally. For a moment he wondered if he had trusted Lucius in his old timeline the way he did now, but considering that he'd been a spy there, considering that he'd been … no, he didn't think that this other Severus Snape had trusted anyone, a sad thing, an unhealthy thing and he didn't dare wondering how this other Severus must have felt. Another thing his father had made good when he had come to get him away.
And all because of a letter.
What had made him apologizing in the end? He didn't know. But he was glad that he had done so. He wasn't sure if Harry Potter would have gone back in time to safe him, if he hadn't, without that letter his other self had written him. He didn't know it and – again – he only could thank fate.
'It wasn't fate, Severus, but you.' A soft voice that strangely sounded of that from his father murmured. 'It is the decisions we make in life that change things, and in the end you have done the right thing, in the end you have gone a hard way, apologizing to a teen that had annoyed the living hell out of you – it was you, how made that decisions, not fate.'
"Thanks." He murmured.
The boy sitting in front of him looked at him with large eyes, not understanding and he chuckled for a moment, ignoring the little fact that the child surely must think him barney, talking to himself.
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"Why don't you try and sleep for a while, Harry?" He asked.
He'd done what was possible without too much magic, had added a pain reliever and a calming draught to the breakfast he'd given the boy earlier in the morning, had cleaned the child and he had applied disinfectants and healing salves at the injuries. He had then tried talking with the boy a bit, trying to find out where exactly the child was standing, what had happened around the child lately, what little Harry – his son – was thinking, feeling, whatever – but it had been in vain. The child already had learned to better keep his mouth shut around an adult or it could get painful.
Of course he had tried to reassure the child that he was allowed to speak, hoping that he hadn't learned this particular lesson long ago but recently only, hoping that it could be undone quickly – but he had been unsuccessful in this. So he had simply talked to the boy, explaining him where he was, who he was, telling him that he was his son and telling him that – he would be safe, for the umpteenth time.
He guessed that the de-ageing process was going slower now, that because of this there were several hours between the sole steps, and he was glad for that, because it surely meant that they came to the end of the entire process, with one step only left, hopefully, one, that would get the child back to being one and a half years. He right now didn't even care anymore about little Harry becoming fifteen months or slightly younger so that the horcrux was gone – he just hoped that the child would become a bit younger than the three he was right now since this morning, anything than overstepping the line of his birth.
But well – coming back to his question – the boy had obediently lain down on the sofa, curled into a small and tight ball, his back turned towards the backrest, his eyes closed tightly – but far away from sleeping, very far away, the entire small body, face and fists cramped with clear fear.
Sighing he left for the hallway where Lucius had left the box with the baby things Narcissa had sent him over with. Maybe he would find something – anything – in there that would help, and he carried the box into the living room.
Opening the box he saw, at the top, laying a pacifier, a small, little pacifier that surely wouldn't fit for a new born baby's mouth and clearly not for a three year old, not to mention that – did a three year old need a pacifier to begin with?
He clearly did need napkins still as he'd been wearing one.
Well, taking it from the box he was glad that – the moment he touched it, it grew into a simple baby pacifier before it had reached the rim of the box, before the child would see the magic done. He was just about to put it aside – his son surely would not get a pacifier from him! It only would be trouble later, getting the boy to giving it up the moment he had gotten used to it – but then he saw the near-toddler's large green eyes, longing eyes, as if he had never had such a bloody thing like a pacifier – and with a hidden spell he sanitized the bloody thing and then reached it over at the child.
There were green eyes going larger even, eyes that never left the bloody thing, but then the boy took it with trembling, little fingers.
Sighing with defeat he turned back to the box and started rummaging again, careful to not grasp for the tiny baby bed that would grow into a real one, startling the boy only. He pulled out a blanket that seemed strangely known to him and – with a gasp he recognized the one that he had gotten from his dad when he'd been small.
He'd given it to Narcissa when she'd been pregnant with Draco, about ten years ago, and now the woman gave it back to him – and his son.
'August 14th, 1963
I've been to Diagon Alley today. The first time that I'm there on my own, not buying school things, but things for little Severus. Last time I've been there has been summer before fifth year and I've been there with Ron and Hermione, and with a guard. Moody has been there, and Remus, and Mrs. Weasley. Even Snape has been there, secretly, guarding us from the perspective of Death Eaters. I know, because I have seen him.
At first I've thought that he'd been there by accident only, and later on, when the attack started, I thought that he even was on their side, despite my knowledge that he's been a spy. Maybe I've mistrusted him so very much that I easily saw the bad in him, that I wanted to see the bad in him, even though it wasn't there. But then I saw him sending hexes – in our direction, but always slightly to one side or another, his wand being held in a strange angle – and hitting Death Eaters.
I've been startled at first, but then – I'd surely be dead if it hadn't been for him, and all the others surely were dead too, or at least most of them. And only later did I realize what risk he had taken with his actions. If he had been found out, he'd be dead. He wouldn't have survived Voldemort finding out that he was a spy who had killed his people, and Voldemort surely wouldn't have killed Snape quickly. He would have made a torturing party of it.
I have never thanked him for that.
We've come back to Hogwarts, the first potions lessons in the year had been even worse than they always had been so far, and then occlumency lessons had started shortly after, which had – kind of – deepened the cleft between them and what had been animosity, became hate.
However – little Severus has nothing but the clothes he's worn when I took him from Spinner's End and the few clothes Madam Pomfrey and Professor McGonagall have come with and so I took him to Diagon Alley.
I've bought him a baby blanket, but I haven't given it to him before he went to bed. I feared he wouldn't like it, that he would feel too old for a baby blanket. Dunno at which age a child won't need a baby blanket anymore, but I've never had one and so – why not?
But well, my fears had been for nothing, because when I gave him the blanket the moment he's gone to bed, he nearly cried with happiness. And now he's sleeping, cuddling the thing tightly, and I'm sure, I wouldn't be able taking it away without waking him.
Snape has more than once saved my backside, even though he hated me – maybe it was because of that, that I have always seen him as a great man. If only he hadn't been so mean, then I easily could have imagined him as a father, secretly.
But well – never mind what, he has given me more than just once chance, and it would be a shame if I threw them away – and so I'm moving on, trying to make things good, one way or another, I'm moving on.'
Yes, if only his other self hadn't been so mean – then surely this other Severus Snape could have seen that Harry Potter had not been his enemy, and maybe then this other Severus could have made things good. On the other hand – then maybe the teenager Harry Potter wouldn't have gone back in his timeline, and hadn't taken him from his father. Well, never mind what – he too had been given more than one chance from his dad, and he too would move on and try to make things good, one way or another.
Blinking he concentrated back to the present situation, to the box and the boy – who looked at the baby blanket with just as much large green eyes as he had looked at the pacifier.
Not that he used that pacifier the way it was meant to being used, no. He had not put it into his mouth but was holding it in his little fist, the comforter being enclosed by the little fingers. The moment the boy realized that he was looking, he quickly closed his eyes, pressing them close tightly so that wrinkles were seen on their corners and he nearly chuckled.
Leaning over he took the little arm, ignoring the startled flinch and the quickly opening eyes that looked at him startled, lifted the small arm and placed the baby blanket there before he placed the boy's arm atop the blanket.
Reaching in he pulled out a package with nappies and he sighed with relief. At least that was cared for now, he didn't have to think about wherefrom to get such things and with a frown he pulled one from the package, looking at it with a suffering sigh. Of course he knew how to put it on a baby, as a Potions Master he had an education as healer after all and that included a baby curse – and so he went over to the small child, lifting his eyebrow at the three year old that looked like a one and a half year old, and he sat down on the sofa.
"Very well – shall we get this over with now?" He asked, unable to keep his suffering from his voice entirely, gaining a quick nod of the child's head for it.
"Alright, lay on your back." He said, unfolding the nappy. He had refused dressing the child in the same old rags again, had simply covered the small thing with a soft and warm blanket, and so he now just had to put the nappy on the boy's behind, what he did, with surer movements than he had thought he would have – and then fixed the latches. Voilà, he had dressed his small son into nappies.
Frowning he blinked at the child, wondering if this really was correct, seeing that they seemed too large for the boy – but looking at the package it read – middle, 20-30lb – well – that was what should be correct for a child the age of eighteen months and that was what his son looked like, even though he was older.
"Well, I've managed your first nappy." He sighed, rather proud of himself. "Now, why don't you lay back down and – finally – try to sleep? You have a nappy, you have a baby blanket, you have a pacifier, and you've had something to eat and to drink. We've taken care of your injuries and your bruises – so, you should be able sleeping now."
Well, of course, the boy did, obeyed immediately, laying down on the sofa like before, curled into a tight ball, his back to the backrest and his eyes and fists pressed close tightly.
Looking into the box again he pulled out a baby bottle, again frowning, and like before he was just about to put it aside when he saw the big green eyes from his son, the boy never asking for something, but that made it so much worse to ignore it and with a sigh he went into the kitchen. He filled it with some of the warm herbal tea he had prepared this morning, but he didn't add the honey like he had done earlier when he had given it to the near-toddler – even though he had given him the tea from a cup and not in a bottle, but well – why not indulging the child for once? He knew that he'd have a hard time later, in breaking the habit – but well, for now he just couldn't resist the little imp.
Frowning he looked at the bottle before he went back to the living room and with another suffering sigh he reached the bottle at the child. The boy took it, just as hesitantly as he had taken the pacifier, the large green eyes clearly being scared, but the moment he had it he pulled it close to his chest.
He ignored it for now, and turned back to the box, looking through its contents, finding baby onesies, baby pyjamas, and other baby clothes – and a lot of other baby things like napkins and bed linen and toys.
Looking over at the child again, just to see if there was any kind of reaction to the toys – well, the boy was sleeping on the sofa, the teat of the bottle in his mouth where it belonged to instead of in his fist like with the pacifier.
Well – by the end of the day he had a child laying on his sofa, a three year old boy that easily could go as an eighteen months old child, a child that had been denied anything and was now happily sleeping, a baby blanket in his arms, the comforter of a pacifier in his little fist and the teat of a bottle with tea in his mouth – and he knew, he would do anything to make this child happy, he would do anything to keep this child safe. This was what his dad had wanted from the beginning on, that he took care of that child if something happened to Lily, that he kept this child from his relatives, from his aunt and uncle. By the end of the day he finally had reached the point he should have been reaching years ago.
Breåk· … ·~†~*~*~*~*~*~†~· … ·Łine
To be continued
Next time in By the end of the day
Will little Harry become younger than the three years he is now? And if not, then how will Severus cover it that he is not the child of Lythia Black and him?
Added author's note
thank you for reading - and yes, I would be grateful if you took the time to review this chapter too … thank you …
At the present time it looks like this:
591 Points - Gryffindor
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462 Points - Ravenclaw
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September 13th, 2013
just wish to inform you about another story – "… and sit a while with me …" – which will shortly start on the Profile of mrs. trabi here on fanfiction.
you will find some known persons in this story, and you will find one or another known incident in the story because the author of the story is me, even though I am posting this story not on my own profile but on my daughter's, and for several reasons so – one of it being because it's a rather unique story compared to my others.
more details you will learn while visiting mrs. trabi's profile:
www fanfiction net /u/2473886/mrs-trabi