Severus Snape looked down at the sleeping angel in his arms and thanked God for the umpteenth time for his beautiful son. Three-year old Harry was the only bright spot, that single glimmering ray of sunshine in the otherwise dark life that he had led.

Unknown to James, Lily has appointed Severus guardian to one Harry Potter in case something should happen to either of them which was clearly brilliant thinking on Lily's part (no surprise there as Severus always thought that she was the cleverest witch he knew).

If there was any clue that Lily had forgiven him for his grave mistake, then handing over her only treasure into his arms was it. After numerous nightmares and days of haunted restlessness, Severus had finally come to terms with that forgiveness though to this day he still doubted whether he deserved it.

But every time Harry looked at him with his big emerald eyes and said "I love you, Daddy" in the innocent sweet voice that could only belong to a child of Lily's, a small piece of his ripped soul healed itself. He had all that unused love that he fully intended to shower Harry with.

Speaking of which, Severus realized that those very eyes were silently staring up at him with a fresh newly awakened gaze.

"Daddy?" Came the sleepy call.

"Good morning, Prince," Severus smiled gently down at his boy and pressed a soft kiss on Harry's unmanageable mane, "Are you ready to get up?"

Harry didn't respond, just snuggled in closer to his father, yawning.

Severus laughed softly.

"None of that now, Mister," he teased gently. "I thought you wanted to go out today."

Harry paused a moment before sending a sparkling smile to his Daddy.

"I wanna go see a Muggle movie, Daddy. Just like you promised, 'member?"

"Hmm," Severus pretended to ponder the request. He watched in secret amusement as Harry quickly sat up, sleep forgotten, and climbed onto his lap. Severus looked down into beseeching green orbs as Harry pleaded, "Pwease, Daddy, pwease? I've been a good boy all week, wight, Daddy?"

Harry, being the little Slytherin that he was, brought out his lisp, hoping to butter his father into saying yes.

Severus smoothly slid out of the bed and swung Harry up in the air, delighted giggles filling the spacious bedroom. He inwardly grinned at his soon-to-be Snake. Minerva would most definitely be in for a surprise…

"Yes, little one, you have been a very good boy and I suppose I should keep my promise. But you must stay close to me and hold my hand at all times, understand?"

Severus raised a stern eyebrow at his wayward son, knowing that no matter how many times he warned Harry to be careful, the little troublemaker got into some sort of mischief or another.

"I will! I will!" Harry shrieked, bouncing up and down on Severus' lap. His already wild hair flopped all over the place, making him look like some sort of raccoon, though even Severus would admit he looked mighty adorable.

"Calm down, little one," Severus chuckled, winding his embracing arms around his excitable son's waist, effectively soothing his hyperactivness. "Now how about we get started on breakfast, hm?"

Harry nodded, laying his head down on Severus' shoulder and promptly sticking a small thumb into his mouth.

"Kay, Daddy," Harry said, around his inserted digit.

Together, they headed towards the kitchen, stomachs rumbling and mouths watering. Severus preferred eating in that cozy room rather than their actual dining room, reserved only for formal gatherings. While Severus did not flaunt his wealth around like a certain snobby blonde did, it did not mean that he was any less well off than the ex-Death Eater.

The Malfoy family had apparently renounced their evil ways and was hell-bent on the path to goodness, desperately trying to prove that they had made an awful mistake with joining the Dark Side. Severus, for all his intelligence and cunning could not figure out if they were really serious or if this was yet another devious plot made up to avoid certain…consequences.

Harry's stomach grumbled rather loudly, effectively bringing Severus out of his reverie. Severus chucked again, the warm sound of his laugher making Harry sigh in content.

"Not to worry, Harry. Breakfast will be served soon and because you've been such a good little boy, I'll even make you your favorite breakfast. Sound good?" Severus asked, already knowing the answer.

"Yay! Yes, Daddy, I want pancakes for breakfast with lots and lots of syrup and chocolate chips and blueberries and-"

"Now, Harry," Severus interrupted before Harry went on to name all the disgusting sweets he was going to drown his poor pancake with, " Now hold on here. I am going to pour your syrup. I will not deal with a hyper sugar loaded child so early in the morning."

Harry sighed again, though for a different reason this time, though even he knew better than to argue with his Daddy. He still wanted to go out and he certainly did not want any reason to stay at home again like the last time he had decided to be a little…well naughty. But Harry didn't want to think about that now.

The kitchen's cheerful red (and Severus would deny to his last breath that this was the same shade as Gryffindor's school color) and cool blue colors came into view.

Harry loved spending time in the kitchen because he got to spend a lot of time learning how to cook with his Daddy. In Harry's wise perspective, he got the best of both worlds because not only did he learn how to cook Muggle food, but his Daddy even taught him Potions! Sometimes, when Harry helped his Daddy with a 'specially difficult potion, he was usually told that he'd be the youngest Potion Master ever!

Harry just got so 'cited thinking about all the cool potions he would get a chance to brew, but only when he got older of course. Severus had told him in no uncertain terms that Harry was never to brew a potion by himself because it was way too "danerus" or something like that.

Harry wasn't quite sure that that word meant but he knew from the look in his father's eye that he'd be in the trouble of a lifetime if Harry ever broke that rule. 'Sides, he wanted to work with his Daddy. It was much more fun than working all on your own! Though Harry still couldn't wait to grow up…

Realizing that his father was rather amusedly looking at him, Harry looked down to see that he was sitting in his special high chair which incidentally made him the same level as Severus's own head.

"Someone's been daydreaming," Severus commented, silently observing his introspective child, who even at his tender age of three, was more intelligent than most of the 11-year-old dunderheads that Severus had to teach.

Harry grinned back directly his striking emerald gaze at his father, his cheerful smile filling up his angelic face. Severus felt his heart melt all over again. Damn, if that boy finds out that all he has to do is look at me with his beautiful eyes and smile in that innocent little way to make me say yes to anything, I'll be doomed. Albus and Minerva, not to mention the rest of his colleagues, would have a field day.

Severus hurriedly cleared his throat and thought about what to do next. While he enjoyed cooking (in the barest term possible; Harry was only three after all) with his son, they were both ravenous this morning to wait for breakfast to be done the Muggle way. Harry tended to get quite cranky if he didn't eat when he was supposed to.

This Severus learned the way when he had accidently forgotten to give Harry his mid-afternoon meal back when Harry had just newly moved in with Severus. He had been so caught up in his potions and research that he had absolutely forgotten to feed Harry, who had apparently taken a liking to eating little snacks in between the bigger meals of the day. It had not ended well and suffice to say his potion had been unsalvageable.

"Harry, I'm going to make things go a little faster today, alright? We'll be able to eat faster and the faster we eat, the sooner we can go," Severus reasoned.

But there was no argument from Harry who was feeling quite hungry. He nodded distractedly though he paid careful attention to his father, watching him chant spells that somehow knew how to make pancakes. It was all awfully interesting but as all three year olds are won't to do; he was currently more interested in the food.

As soon as Severus had finished cutting up his pieces of pancake for him, Harry quickly latched onto his kid-friendly Quidditch fork and started to gobble down his breakfast.

"Slow down, Harry! Or you'll end up choking, for Merlin's sake," Severus gently scolded. He watched his tiny son carefully to make sure that he was doing as he was told before carefully starting his own consumption of the sugary "delight". Oh the things he did for that child…

A plastic magical glass of milk suddenly appeared in front of Harry's plate, making Harry giggle in delight as he watched the Seeker on the Firebolt Captivate, the latest broom out, zoom across the glass, trying to capture the ever-elusive Golden Snitch.

He was so engrossed in the moving image on his cup that he didn't even look up see his Daddy's daily cup of morning herbal tea pop into existence next to Severus's nearly empty plate.

Severus rolled his eyes and stood up to bring Harry into his lap. His son lightly protested in annoyance of being interrupted but acquiesced almost immediately, more than happy to be back in his father's arms.

"We're not going anywhere until you finish your milk, young man," Severus warned.

Harry just smiled at him, in the childish guileless manner that never failed to overfill Severus's heart with love.

Severus leaned forward and grabbed the enchanted cup, bringing the cup to Harry's mouth, who promptly started gulping down the cool liquid. Severus brought his other hand around to support Harry's head.

When Harry finished, he looked up at his Daddy with a grin.

"Look, Daddy! I have a white mustache, just like Grandpa Albus! Isn't it cool, Daddy!"

Severus laughed again and shook his head at his young one's silly antics. He used the white napkin lying on the smooth table to wipe up the excess milk and with a wave of his hand, Vanished the empty glass and used napkin.

He gently smoothed down Harry's hair and placed an affectionate kiss on his son's forehead.

"Give Daddy a few seconds to finish up his breakfast, Prince. Do you want to go and bring some of your bath toys?"

"No bath, Daddy! I don't wanna take a boring old bath! I wanna go and pway, Daddy!" Harry protested.

"Are you sure, Harry? No one wants to be around a stinky smelly boy and nobody will want to play with you. Is that what you really want?" Severus questioned his little boy, pointedly raising his stern brow.

Harry's eyes started to water and then he started shook his head forcefully, causing all of his dark locks to tumble across Harry's little face.

"No, Daddy", came the soft whisper.

Severus's onyx eyes softened as he slowly brushed back Harry's jet black hair. He then used the pads of his thumbs to gently wipe away the wet trail of tears on Harry's smooth cheek.

"We'll take a quick bath," Severus promised. "You'll be done before you knew it. Not to worry, Prince, I'm sure everyone will love to play with you. Now run along now and get your toys." He gave his son a quick hug for good measure.

Harry nodded and slid of his Daddy's lap to run into his playroom. Daddy had made it all for him when he was just a baby. It was just a nursery then. After Harry turned two, there was really no need for the crib so Daddy had taken out his Ebony and Rosewood wand ( which Harry had promised never ever ever ever to touch) and Shrunk the crib. Harry had been utterly delighted and had nearly swallowed the thing.

That's why Daddy had kept the red and green crib (and various other small enticing objects) well away from Harry's greedy little fingers.

But Harry was a big boy now, really! He wouldn't put a dusty old crib in his mouth, how yucky! His lips pulled down in a ferocious (yet all too endearing) scowl in an attempt to imitate his father's much more intimidating glare.

Now Harry loved all things chocolate. He loved the sweets so much that Grandpa Albus always made sure to bring him a box full of chocolate frogs, cauldrons, wands and an assortment of other delicious treats.

But Daddy never let Harry have more than one a day because he said that chocolate is "wholly unhealthy for growing little boys and will be the ultimate cause of the demise of one's teeth". He had even told Harry a scary story about a little three year old boy that had eaten so many chocolates that he turned into a great big chocolate frog himself! And then all the other little kids had wanted to eat him and so he had to hop away on his chocolate legs.

When Harry had asked why his mommy and daddy didn't bring him home, Severus had replied that they didn't want a frog for their son. At this point, Harry had started bawling his pretty green eyes out and wailing that he'd never eat chocolate again. Severus had soothed away his fears by saying that it's okay to have one a day but no more.

That night when Severus was rocking the little boy to sleep, Harry had looked up at his Daddy and asked in a soft plaintive voice if he'd ever stop loving Harry if Harry turned into a chocolate frog.

Severus's heart had nearly crumbled and he had swept the boy up in a tight breathtaking hug and whispered back that he'd always love Harry, even if he turned into a chocolate potion.

"Silly Daddy," Harry had giggled back. "Potions aren't chocolate!"

But he'd been reassured all the same and nestled back into his father's arms for a good night's sleep.

A squeaking sound nearly startled Harry out of his Chudley Cannons pajamas. He realized that he had stepped on a stuffed yellow teddy bear that had been lying on the floor.

He ran in quickly to grab his water-friendly Hogwarts express, a green squeaking snake, his rubber wand that allowed Harry to do so "magic" and a purple octopus. He paused for a second to look the picture that hung on the painted beige wall right above where his crib used to be.

A beautiful red haired woman with lovely green eyes, just like Harry's was staring up laughingly at the sky. A smiling man stood behind her, lightly pushing the swing back and forth. It was obvious through the quiet yet strong affection and respect that was seen in the man's eyes that he loved this woman dearly. Her shapely legs kicked out every now and then causing a cascade of fire to sweep about her heart shaped face.

Harry felt a stab of longing and pain at the mother he never knew. Everyone that he knew had a mother; Ron, 'Mione, and even Draco. It just wasn't fair! Sometimes he felt like he was the most unlucky boy in the world.

But then…he would think about how much his Daddy loved him and all the nice things that he did for Harry. Whenever Harry got hurt or had the nightmare about the scary man with red eyes, Daddy would always kiss his tears away and sing a soft lullaby until Harry fell asleep again, cocooned in a circle of warmth and safety. Harry thought his Daddy was the world's best singer with his deep soothing baritone voice. He even sang better than Auntie Molly but even Harry knew better than to say that out loud!

He also loved to listen to his Daddy teach him about all the amazing potions that made all the boo-boos go away! Harry knew this because his Daddy told him that he had to drink the yucky Blood Replenishing potion when Harry had accidently cut himself, using Daddy's long knife. After Harry was all better, Harry had gotten into the biggest trouble in the world for not listening to Daddy.

Harry knew that he'd never trade his Daddy for anything in the world, not even for a whole store of filled with potions! Or even for all the chocolate in the world!

Speaking of his Daddy...

"Harry! What on Earth is taking so long? You're not gathering up the whole room, are you? It's time for your bath, Harry."

Harry laughed again, knowing that even if he shouted, Daddy would never hear him. Instead, he chose to run as fast as his little legs could carry him, racing through the many room until he glimpsed the tall figure of his father rifling through the many clothes he had and laying an outfit on his king-sized bed.

"Daddy," Harry shouted with joy, running straight for his father's warm embrace.

"Whoa there, Prince," Severus chuckled as a tiny missile ran into his legs. He bent down and scooped the little troublemaker into his arms but not before blowing a raspberry on Harry's exposed tummy.

Harry shrieked again with laughter, waving his arms and legs around like a windmill.

"Stop it, Daddy! Stop it! I'll be a good boy, Daddy, pwomise!"

Severus lowered Harry until they were eye level and kissed his son's smooth cheek, his obsidian eyes glittering with love.

"Yes, Prince, I know you will."

He wrapped his arms around Harry hugging him closer to his chest. Harry laid his head on his father's strong shoulder and turned his face into Severus's neck, inhaling his father's familiar soothing scent.

Together, they stood still for a long moment, reveling in the peace and quiet of each other's presence. Then Severus cleared his throat and lightly commented,

"It's bath time, little one."


Together, they stood still for a long moment, reveling in the peace and quiet of each other's presence. Then Severus cleared his throat and lightly commented,

"It's bath time, little one."

With Harry still nestled in his arms toys and all, Severus headed for the master bathroom.

"Daddy, can I have that 'pecial bubble bath again? The one where you made the water all pwety and colowful? Can I Daddy, can I?"

"May I," Severus corrected gently. "And yes you may but remember we can't spend too long or else we won't have time to go out."