Not very good I know, but my brain would not rest until I wrote this down.
Warning: I do not own Harry Potter in any shape and form. This story also contains abuse. If that bothers you please skip to the next story on the site!
Severus Snape sat behind his desk with his head resting in his hands. He could not believe how much his head hurt, not even a headache potion would work! It was only the second day of classes and the dunderheads were already causing him problems. This time though, instead of all his dunderheads causing trouble it was just one small raven haired second year that was the root of the problem.
No matter how hard he tried he could not stop thinking of what he had seen last night at the feast. His spy senses were going mad, telling him that something was wrong. The rational side of his brain though was telling him to stop worrying over the Potter brat and that he was just overreacting. It had just been a flinch...or two...or...a lot.
Then there had been the way he was reacting to his friends. He seemed cold and distant, almost detached from the world around him. When the annoying bushy haired girl had thrown worried glances at the boy he had just fiddled with his food even more never really putting any in his mouth. On the subject of food, the boy had hardly eaten a thing! He had seemed to have lost some serious weight over the summer and that was saying something because the boy had been skin and bones the year before.
Something was up that much he knew, but what? Surely, his relatives had pampered him over the summer catering to his ever whim. So nothing was wrong there. Maybe Potter was angry that the Headmaster had not allowed him to stay at school for the summer and had decided to protest with a hunger strike? Severus snorted that was probably it. He had even heard that Potter had broken down in tears after the Headmaster had refused, most likely not used to being denied what he wanted.
The more and more he thought about it. The more he convinced himself that his reasoning was sound. That Potter was merely trying to gain more attention for himself. He surely could not be an abused or neglected child that was just not possible. This was Potter after all he was thinking about not one of his Slytherins.
Slowly, but surely his headache eased from the sharp pain to a dull throb as he thought about Potter and his actions. As he raised his head from his hands though the nagging feeling that told him something was wrong did not go away. He was determined to ignore it though, and go about his day, but then he grudgingly admitted to himself that if it did not go away after he saw Potter today in his class he would investigate further. Although, he really hoped it would not come to that, after all it was just Potter wanting more attention.
Getting up from behind his desk Severus started to get ready for his first class. His favorite, Gryffindor and Slytherin first years. He cursed the Headmaster under his breath. Why did the old coot think it was a good idea to pair house rivalries together? Was the old man losing his mind in his old age? For surely, that was the only reason other than to drive him insane trying to keep them from killing or blowing each other up.
Pondering over his schedule he realized that he would not see the Potter boy till the end of the day. For his sanity that was a very good thing, too many Gryffindor students in one day would positively drive him up a wall. For that nagging feeling though it would be torture trying to ignore it. Why the hell did he have to form a conscious now of all times? Oh yeah, because Potter was Lily's child as well.
While the Potion's master was down in the dungeons brooding over his current circumstance there was a small boy in a tower just getting out of bed, abut painfully. Harry Potter really hated the start of term. Not because he hated school or learning, but rather he hated hiding.
Hiding from his friends and teachers that is. Not physically per say, well his wounds yes, but more so emotionally. Harry had built up this invisible shield over himself over the years to protect himself from all the harsh words thrown at him, but only with time could he lower his shield. So what his friends and teachers saw the first few weeks of school was a cold and detached version of himself, it was really the only version of himself he could show until he felt safe.
Meanwhile, Harry lied to his friends that he was fine and had to ignore the looks. The looks of worry and pity were so hard to ignore though, almost unbearable. He hated making his friends worry about him, but he just could not help it. He was just hurting so much, inside and out.
Pushing all the thoughts of the start of the term away for another time Harry carefully slid out of bed trying not to further injure himself which was almost impossible. It was still early enough that his dorm mates were still in bed so Harry quietly snuck into the showers. This was the only time he dared to shower for he could not have someone walk in on him. He would then have to make up a story and avoid going to the nurse and honestly that was just too much for him to deal with presently.
As he slowly made his way to the showers Harry grabbed the clothing he would wear for the day and a towel he could dry off with. When he made it to the shower stall, he placed his clothes beside his towel on the rack and turned the water on to warm up. He then gently peeled his pajama's away from his abused skin noticing the abundance of blood that soaked into them. He really hoped that the house elves took no notice when they washed them or his sheets for surely there would be some there as well.
Sighing Harry placed the used clothes in the hamper and hopped in the shower. When the hot water hit his back Harry gave a small jump, but then slowly melted under the wonderful feeling of the soothing water.
He loved hot showers. It was one of many things that Harry treasured above all else here at Hogwarts. At home, at the Dursley's he was only allowed a cold two-minute shower once a week to wash the smell off him, but here was different. Here, he could take a warm shower and it could be as long as he wanted, well that is if no one else were around.
Closing his eyes Harry tilted his head back so that he could wet his hair and let the warmth spread over his scalp. He then reached over for the shampoo and set to work washing himself. As much as he would just love to stand there in the water he knew he could not for his dorm mates would be waking soon.
After Harry finished washing himself clean, he turned off the water and grabbed for the towel. Wrapping it around his waist he then began to dress himself very carefully. The wounds on his back were not completely healed and if he was not careful of how he put them on then they would stick and would be a very sorry boy later on.
Dressed and ready to go Harry came out of the bathroom to wake his best friend Ron. He felt especially bad lying to Ron the way he was with how the nice the boy had been to him. He had even teemed up with his brothers to try to rescue him from the Dursleys with their fathers flying car. Unfortunately, their planes had all been in vain for as soon as he had arrived at the Burrow (The Weasley's residence) the Minister of Magic himself had come to take him back "home".
The three teens had tried to argue with the Minister and their parents on Harry's behalf, but it had turned out be a waste of time. The Minister just wasn't ''interested", and their parents seemed to think that they were just making things up so they would not get into trouble. After all, whom in their right mind would believe that "the boy who lived" lived in a room with barred windows, ten locks on the door and a cap flap that they could pass food through if he got any at all.
Harry sighed and again pushed those thoughts to the back of his mind. He didn't particularly want to remember what had happened when he had arrived back at the Dursleys. It was still too fresh, and he knew that if he did he would become a crying mess from remembering all the pain.
So with a shaky hand he gently shook Ron's shoulder waking him from his slumber. When Ron grumbled something under his breath and rolled over Harry sighed and leaned down near Ron's ear.
"If you sleep any longer you're going to miss breakfast."
That woke Ron up immediately as Harry knew it would. A small smile graced Harry's face as he watched his friend look owlishly around to room for food. When Ron's gaze turned to Harry, he recognized what was going on and donned a smile.
"Did you really have to resort to food to wake me up?"
Harry gave his friend a mischievous smile. "It always works, so why not?"
Ron humphed and swung his legs out of bed. He then stood up and placed a hand on Harry's shoulder who tried to suppress the flinch, but failed miserably.
All mirth was gone from Ron's face immediately, and he looked at Harry concerned. "You ok there Mate?"
Harry smiled quickly and tried to reassure his friend. "Yeah, I'm fine Ron. Just wasn't expecting it."
Ron still looked at Harry skeptically. "You know Harry; I'm here if you ever need to talk. About anything."
Nodding Harry looked at Ron. "I know Ron and thank you."
In reality, though Harry would never confide in his friends about what had happened over the summer or anything that happened at the Dursleys. He was just too embarrassed, and he really didn't want to face the wrath of Uncle Vernon anytime soon. For he knew that if he told anyone what had happened and it got back to him he would be pulled from Hogwarts immediately and would never see the light of day again. It just was not worth it, Hogwarts was his home and he would not dare lose it.
"Really Ron I'm fine. Just a bit jumpy ok?"
Ron nodded but looked pleadingly at his friend. "I would still feel better if you came with me to the hospital wing. I'm sure Madam Pomfrey wouldn't ask too many questions if you didn't want to answer any."
Harry shook his head though. "Please Ron, no."
Sensing the other boy was about to panic Ron placed a calming hand on Harry's arm. "Ok Harry. It was just a suggestion, you don't have to go to the hospital wing, although I wish you would go to someone. I'm your best mate, and I can tell when you're hurt."
"Please just drop it Ron."
Admitting defect Ron put his hands up in the air in surrender. "Ok Harry. Let me get dressed then and we'll head down to the Great Hall for some food."
Harry gave a small nod and let his friend get ready for the day. He knew that Ron was just being a good friend and worrying about him. It was still annoying though, and he wished that Ron would just drop it completely, for he knew that he might have stopped now, but later on he would try again.
Ron appeared in the doorway just then with a smile on his face. "Ready to go down Mate?"
Harry nodded and the two made it down the stairs and into the common room. Halfway out of the common room though Ron spotted his twin brothers and made some excuse to Harry about forgetting something and meeting him in the Great Hall.
A nod came from Harry, and Ron made way to speak with his brothers, maybe they would know what to do with Harry. They had suspected something off with Harry as well, and it was actually them who had protested more when the Minister wanted to take Harry back home. Approaching the two Ron gave his brothers a serious look and pointed to a quiet corner to talk.
Seeing the serious, determined look on their little brother the twins exchanged a look and then gave a nod to each other both agreeing on something silently spoken. Seeing their little brother was not a common occurrence so they knew in their hearts that something must be wrong, especially if he was seeking out them for help.
When they arrived in the corner Ron almost broke down in the tears. Seeing Harry in so much pain was torture for him, and he just could not stand it anymore. His friend was hurt, and all he had tried to do to help had failed. There was only so much a twelve-year old could handle, and this was way out of his league. He knew he could go to a teacher for hep, but Harry would never forgive him and if he were honest with himself he was scared that it would be laughed off again. Yes again, the beginning of this year was not the first time Ron had sought help for his friend from a teacher. He had gone to Professor Mcgonagall last year, but she had just chalked it up to teenage drama and had done nothing to help.
George saw the tears in his brother's eyes and immediately drew him into a hug. Over his brother's head, he looked into his twins eyes and again silently communicated that something had to be done. They already had a hunch of what was wrong with their brother for it hurt them too to know that someone they saw as a brother was hurting.
Drawing his brother away from his chest when he felt that he had calmed down a bit George looked into Ron's eyes. "What's up little bro, talk to us."
Ron took a deep breath. "It's Harry. I think he's hurt pretty bad, but he won't go to the hospital wing. I...I don't know what to do anymore."
Both twins nodded, and it was Fred who spoke this time. "We'll try to talk to him after breakfast and see whether we can reason with him. If not then there is one last person who might be able to help. I'd say by the looks he was trowing Harry's way last night he already knows something is wrong."
Ron thought back to last night at the feast trying to figure out who his brothers were talking about. The only person he could think of that was looking at Harry though was Snape and Snape hated Harry. Why would he think about helping someone he hated?
As soon as he voiced his thoughts the twins gave him an understanding, but stern look. It was George who spoke up. "You know Ron not everyone is whom they seem to be. Snape is not that much of a git and he is actually quite...kind. Don't tell him we said that though."
Ron gave his brothers a confused look. "You are George, and Fred Weasley right?"
They both let out a laugh and smiled at their brother. Ron could be a little clueless at times, and it was quite cute. Fred led Ron to sit down in a near by chair, and George rested a hand on Ron's shoulder. "Let us tell you a story Ron, one that you not repeat to anyone ok?"
Ron gave a nod and looked over at George who was talking. Seeing the nod George continued. "You know that we send potions home to Mum so that she can save some money, right?"
Another nod came from their little brother, and Fred picked up where his brother left off. "Well, Snape helps us with that. You see, in our first year we tried to brew some potions in the third floor girls bathroom by ourselves and one of them exploded. We were relatively ok except I got a burn on my leg because I was the closest to the cauldron. We didn't want to go to Madam Pomfrey fearing that she would find out what we were doing and stop us so we went on as normal and tried to ignore the burn."
Fred took a breath, and George continued for him. "When we had class the next day though Snape noticed something was off. Maybe Fred had a slight limp or something, but he noticed. And asked for us to stay after class for a minute. We were scared to death and didn't really know what to do. Well, we know we had to stay there or else he would hunt us down, but you know what I mean. Anyway, he shut the door with his wand after everyone left and had Fred sit down on a stool while he pulled up his pants leg where I guess he knew the wound was. As soon as he saw the burn, he summoned some cream, and applied it. While he was taking care of the burn, he grilled us on how he had gotten it and then scolded us for brewing unsupervised. After he was finished scolding us, he offered to help us because he thought it was rather nobel what we were doing. Helping Mum that is. So now we meet up every Wednesday night, and he helps us brew and sends them off to Mum."
Skeptically Ron asked whether they were talking about the same Snape, and the twins nodded with smiles on their faces. "There is only one Snape, so we assure you we are talking about the same one."
Ron then looked down at his lap and fiddled with the ends of is robes. "So, you think he would help Harry?" Ron then looked up at his brothers; hopefully. He was just glad that someone, anyone would help his friend.
Both the twins nodded and helped their brother stand. Fred then turned to Ron and placed a hand on his shoulder. "If we can't get Harry to go to someone tonight we'll say something to Snape tomorrow when we brew, ok?"
Ron nodded and the three headed down to the Great Hall to meet Harry for some breakfast.
Breakfast was a quiet affair. Harry barely ate anything much to his friend's displeasure and glances from a certain Professor at the head table were becoming more frequent. When Severus's glances became more noticeable, the Professor to his right put his hand on his. Looking up he looked into Albus Dumbledore's blue eyes; no trace of sparkle was there only concern.
"What is Severus?"
Severus sighed and cursed himself for being that noticeable. He was a spy for Merlin's sake! "It's nothing Albus. I'm just...concerned."
Albus followed where the Potion Master was looking and was a bit surprised. Not only who Severus was showing concern for, but for what he saw. A skinny, skittish version of Harry Potter. The Headmaster then turned to Severus.
"Do you know what happened my boy?"
Severus shook his head. "I take it I'm not over exaggerating then?"
Shaking his head Albus looked down at his meal with a saddened look. "You don't think his relatives had anything to do with this do you?"
I really don't know Headmaster. I was going to think of some excuse to talk with the boy later to see what is going on."
Severus was telling the truth too. He really didn't know anymore. This morning he had convinced himself he had just been exaggerating and Potter was just seeking attention, but now that he again saw the boy he knew there was something more to the story. The way the boy was wincing whenever something made contact with him or how he looked sick after only taking a few bites of food.
Albus just nodded his head sadly. "Let me know if I can be of an assistance and please let me know what you find out."
"I will" And with that Severus stood up from the table and made his way back down to the dungeons. He had to think some things over particularity how he would approach the boy. He had to be very careful how he did this or one of two things could happen. One he could lose his carefully built reputation, or he could frighten the boy so much that he would refuse to talk.
Sitting back down at his desk his head went back into his hands and he could not help wonder why the hell he got out of bed this morning. Today was going to be a very long and hard day that much was clear already.
"Mr. Potter, please stay after class for a moment."
Harry looked to the door where his friends were leaving. Ron turned around and gave Harry a warm, understanding look.
"We'll wait for you in the common room, ok?"
Harry nodded and the looked up at the waiting Potion Master. He didn't know why Snape had asked for him to stay after class. He hadn't done anything wrong or had he? Before Harry could work himself up anymore trying to figure out what he had done wrong, his Professor was by his side with his arm around Harry's shoulders.
"Place your arm around my waist and I'll help you walk into my office. Lift your right leg so you don't put anymore pressure on your ankle."
Harry did as his Professor told him, but he looked up at him in confusion. Didn't this man hate him and how did he know that he had broken his ankle? Not even Ron or Hermione had noticed that. Was he limping or something when he walked? The boy then noticed that his Professor was gently nudging him forward. Apparently, he had been in his thoughts for longer than he had thought.
"Come on Potter work with me. As soon as we get into my office, I'll take a look at your ankle and try to heal it. Just a few more steps."
Harry hesitantly lifted his left leg and slowly moved forward with the help of his Professor. Eventually, the two made their way into Severus's office and as gently as he could Severus set Harry down in a soft, comfortable couch. He then pulled a stool up and very carefully lifted the injured leg and set it lightly down on the cushion.
The whole time Severus was tending to Harry's ankle. The boy seemed to be in a daze. At first, he thought that this must be a dream. After all, this was all just to strange for it to be true. A teacher, Snape none the less, caring if Harry was hurt. That had never happened before and he had loads worse.
Slowly Harry realized through his dream like state that Snape had knelt down in front of him and was telling him something. He guessed that he better listen, or else he might get himself into more trouble. Slowly he lifted his head from looking at his lap and looked at his Professor. What he saw confused the boy even more.
There was a look, or sadness, and concern written on the dour man's face. Something he never thought he would ever see, not on Snape anyway. He then came to realize that the man was asking him a question and was expecting an answer.
"I'm sorry sir..."
Severus was more then a little worried about the boy in front of him. This was not the Harry Potter he had gotten to know last year. There was no hint of his defiant or proud nature in the boy, just confusion, and...fear.
For the second time, he asked the boy how his foot felt and if it would be ok if he took off his shoe. He didn't want to startle the boy by removing clothing. Even if it was only a shoe and sock, he wanted to announce his every action to the boy. He didn't know how far the abuse had gone and wanted to make sure that he would not have a panicking child on his hands.
Yes, Severus could now plainly see that not eating in the hall was not merely a hungry strike of a spoiled boy. He had watched the boy very closely during class today and had seen how carefully he had moved around. As if he were nursing many injuries particularly his back. He had also noticed the slight limp. The boy had when he walked and how his handwriting was just a tad sloppier from last year. To an untrained eye it would seem as if the boy were just sore from an outdoor activity, but to Severus he knew the small tell tale signs an abused child gave.
When Severus saw the boy look up at his again he could not restrain his worry and concern for the child. This was Lily's child and he was hurt more then likely by those who were supposed to protect him. He knew that he should have fought Dumbledore more about his placement as a baby. He had known Petunia and known how awful she could be.
Pushing those thoughts from his head Severus tried to focus on the here and now. As gently as he could he tried to continue his conversation with the child. "What are you sorry for Harry?"
"Look at me Harry."
Harry looked up at the man and looked into the man's eyes afraid of what e might do to him. Maybe he had finally realized what a freak Harry was, and he was tired of teaching someone like him who could never do anything right. Then there was the question of why Snape had almost carried him in here and had rested his hurting ankle up in a more comfortable position. Harry was just so confused.
When Severus saw Harry's eyes look up at him in confusion he gently rested a hand on Harry's and resisted the urge to move away when the boy flinched.
"There is nothing to be sorry for Potter. Nothing at all. I can see that you are hurt, and I want to help heal you."
Harry looked down at his lap again. "But...but...why? You hate me."
At the last statement Severus closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He knew this was not going to be easy, but still...
"I do not hate you Potter. I could never hate a student no matter how annoying they are."
Harry looked up at his Professor curiously. "Then why do you treat me...like you do?"
Severus pinched the bridge of his nose. He was unprepared for this conversation, all he had wanted to do was heal the boy. Removing his hand from his nose he looked at the boy again and made a decision.
"That is a very complicated question, Potter. One that I will try my best to answer later, but first I would like to make sure you are ok. Can I please remove your shoe and sock so I can try to heal your ankle?"
At first, all Harry did was stare at his Professor. He could not believe that his Professor had almost promised to reveal something he had wondered all last year. When the shock slowly wore off Harry gave a very hesitant nod.
Slowly and carefully Severus removed Harry's shoe noticing that it was not tied in a traditional bow, but rather just a jumble of knots. He resolved to ask the boy later if he actually knew how to tie a shoe.
Sighing Severus continued with his chore by removing Harry's sock and slighting rolling up the boy's pants leg. As soon as Severus saw the greatly swollen limb he looked up at the boy questioningly.
"How long has your ankle been hurting?"
Harry shrugged his shoulders and looked down at his lap. "A...a few weeks?"
Severus let out another sigh and looked back down at the injured limb. "This is a very severe break, Potter. One that I am not very comfortable healing myself. I will have to call Madam Pomfrey to help, but before I do I have to ask how did this happen and why did your relatives not take you to have it set?"
Holding his right hand in his left Harry continued to look down at his lap. Seeing Harry's distress and how he was practically clutching his hand Severus got up from where he was kneeling and sat on the couch next to the boy. Gently the man placed a hand on both of Harry's and carefully pried the presumably injured hand from the other.
"Come on let me see Potter."
Tenderly Severus felt Harry's hand and wrist for hidden injuries. When he was finished, he placed Harry's hand back on his lap and looked back up at the nervous boy.
"It seems all your knuckles are crushed. You know Po...Harry I am your Professor and you can tell me anything. Even if it's something about...your home life."
Still looking down at his lap Harry gave a meek nod. "I...I know Fred and George talked to me earlier. They said I could trust you."
Severus rose an eyebrow. "They did, did they?" Silently Severus vowed to thank the twins tomorrow night.
Harry gave another small nod. "They said that you could help me if anything was wrong and that you have helped them before." Harry looked shyly up at his Professor to see whether he would confirm or deny what the twins had said to him.
Severus gave a tiny nod. "I did indeed help the twins, and I can help you too if you let me."
Again, Harry's head descended down to his lap. "How?"
"Why don't we get you all healed up and then we can have a long talk about what happened over the summer?"
Very hesitantly Harry gave a small nod and Severus again gently took hold of Harry's injured hand.
"I'm going to heal your knuckles now. This will sting a bit, but afterword you will feel a lot better. Ok?"
Severus saw another nod so he continued by placing his other hand on top of Harry's. With both of his hands encircling the child's hand he began to chant slowly and quietly. Warm, yellow light surrounded the three hands and Harry was grimacing in pain. As soon as Severus had begun though he stopped and Harry's hand really did feel better. Severus then gently placed Harry's hand back in his lap.
Gratefully Harry looked up at his Professor. "Th..thank you sir."
To show acceptance, although the thanks were unnecessary, Severus gave a small nod.
"Are you hurt anywhere else Harry?"
Harry seemed to struggle with a simple question though so Severus gave a silent sigh and nodded to himself seeming to understand what the problem was.
"Do you want me to run a diagnostic scan on you Harry instead of telling me?"
Harry immediately nodded glad that his teacher had given him a way out. He could be healed, but did not have to break the rules Uncle Vernon had given him to follow. Well, not until later at least. Harry knew that Snape would not let it rest until he knew what had happened, he had made that much clear, but he would not worry about that right now. Now, he would focus on what was happening presently and what Snape was telling him.
When Severus saw Harry come back out of his pensive state he again very gently began to explain to diagnostic scan. "I'm going to wave my wand over you Harry, and a parchment and quill will appear next to me. That quill with write down all the injuries you have all that you have had formerly. This will not hurt al all, but you might feel a few tingles as my magic washes over you. There is nothing to be scared of."
Taking a deep breath Harry nodded and then prepared himself for the spell. The Potion Master then lifted his wand and gently flicked it over Harry's head. Harry did feel the slight tingle of magic, but was prepared for it. What he was unprepared for was the gasp Snape gave when the sheet of paper grew beyond three feet long. Ashamed Harry continued to look down at his lap and to his utter horror he felt tears prick the back of his eyes.
When the quill stopped writing Severus grabbed the parchment and stared at it unbelieving. How could anyone treat a child like this? He was horrified at what those...people had done. Adverting his gaze from the paper he looked up at the boy who was still sitting next to him. Although Harry was quite good at hiding his emotions he could not hide the few traitorous tears that escaped the boy's eyes and trickled down his cheeks.
People might say that Severus Snape had a cold heart and could not love anything, but that was not true. As soon as Severus had seen those tears he pulled the boy close to is side and ignored the flinch that came with touch. As carefully as he could he wrapped his arms around the abused boy's shoulders and pressed the boy's head tenderly onto his shoulder.
"It's ok to cry Harry. I might not have been there for you in the past and may have treated you coldly, but I am here for you now. I am here to help you heal both physically and emotionally."
With those words, Harry broke down. He could not hold it in any longer al the hurt he had felt for the past eleven years came out in big tears and deep sobs on Severus's shoulder. Although Severus was not familiar with giving comfort to hurt children he did his best soothe Harry. Careful of the injuries he now knew rested on the boy's back he gently rubbed soft circles and cradled his long fingers through his hair.
"Shhhh Everything will be ok Harry, I promise. I'll call Madam Pomfrey, and she can help me heal your ankle then she can stay with you for a little while I brew some potions to help your back heal."
Vigorously Harry shook his head at the last statement and began to cry all the more. Confused what had upset the boy Severus looked down at the black mop of hair and continued in an even gentler voice.
"Tell me what is wrong Harry. What did I say that upset you?"
When Harry made no move to continue Severus prompted his very gently. "What about her Harry?"
"Don't want to be alone..."
Severus nodded and promised to himself to pry later, but right now the child was too distraught presently.
"Would you like someone else to sit with you? Maybe Professor Dumbledore?"
Harry nodded. He might now be thrilled with sitting with the Headmaster, but it was much better then the alternative. Harry knew that he didn't need to fear Madam Pomfrey, that she was a very kind woman who would not hurt him, but he could not stop thinking of the one doctor appointment his Aunt had taken him too.
Slowly, but surely Harry began to calm down and the tears slowly stopped flowing. For a few minutes, the two just sat there in silence. Harry recovering from his significant cry and Severus trying to think of what to do from there.
Finally, Severus drew away a bit and rested Harry's head on a pillow instead of his shoulder. He then got up, but before he turned to the floo be knelt down before the boy and looked right into his eyes.
"I'm going to go floo Madam Pomfrey so she can heal your ankle. I will be here the entire time, and I will not leave you alone."
Harry gave a small nod and Severus got up from where he was kneeling and went into the next room where his floo was located. Before fllooing, the Medi-Witch Severus closed his eyes and took a deep breath still not quite believing everything that had taken place over the last hour.
Catching his breath Severus then grabbed some green floo powder and threw it into the fireplace calling the Nurse's name. When her face appeared in the green flames, she looked at him concerned and then mumbled something about "Another one." "Severus, step back so I can come through. Do I need to bring anything with me?"
"Whatever you need to heal a severely broken limb."
Sighing Poppy nodded. "I'll be a moment then."
Severus nodded and the head disappeared from the fireplace. A few moments later true to her word was Poppy stepping out of the green fire holding several cloths and a few jars of what looked to be thick paste.
"Where is the child Severus and who is it?"
Severus sighed and looked intently at the nurse. "He's in my office, but before you go In there I must warn you he is quite injured."
Before he could continue though, Poppy interrupted him. "I am a nurse Severus I can handle injured people."
"I know Poppy. I can tell that his child has been through much though." Severus took another deep breath to calm himself. "I ran a diagnostic charm his back is quite tore up. I was not expecting to have someone so injured this close to the start of term so I do not have the correct potions and solves to heal it. I need some time to brew."
Poppy thought she knew where Severus was headed with this train of thought so tried to answer his unasked question. "Don't worry, I will sit with his Severus."
Severus shook his head though in a negative and looked at Poppy. "I'm sorry Poppy, but I'm going to have to ask Albus. It's seems that he is quite afraid of medics; he does not want to be alone with you."
Poppy looked hurt and Severus quickly tried to soothe her. "Poppy I doubt this has to do with you personally. He is just scared right now and probably remembering someone from his past."
Poppy nodded. "I know, I will never get used to these situations though. So who is the child?"
Severus heaved a big sigh. "Harry Potter."
Poppy seemed to visibility deflate. "He was in the hospital wing almost half the year last year. How could I not..."
Severus interrupted her train of thought. "I know Poppy I was just as shocked as you are. Pondering over what should or could have done will do no good though, we need to care of him now."
Poppy nodded and put up her no-nonsense face. "Ok Severus, show me to the boy and lets get him all fixed up."
With a quick nod Severus turned to the door and led the nurse into the next room to tend to Harry. As soon as Harry heard the duo enter the room he seemed to sink deeper into the couch and wrapped his arms around his stomach as if to protect himself.
Immediately, Severus came over to Harry sat down next to him. "It's just me and Madam Pomfrey, Harry. Nothing to be afraid of. Come on look up and see."
Harry looked up with his red, puffy eyes and saw that what Severus said was true. When he heard, the door open he had a flashback and had thought that he was back in his cupboard, and his Uncle was opening the door. As soon as he saw Severus though the memories had stopped and the panic had dwindled somewhat.
Poppy gently placed a hand on the injured ankle and looked up at Harry. "I'll have this fixed up in no time, ok Harry?"
Harry looked at the nurse and gave a small, shy nod. He then looked back down at his lap and fiddled with the blanket Severus had placed on his lap.
While Poppy was tutting over the swollen ankle Severus gently placed a hand on Harry's to stop his fidgeting. "It's ok Harry. Take deep breaths for me and relax. I'm right here for you."
As quick as she could Poppy healing spell after healing spell on Harry's ankle. As soon as the swelling had gone down and the bone was put into place Poppy began to wrap it the soft cloth she had brought with her. When it was wrapped, tight she cast a spell over it to make the cloth hard like a cast. She then looked up at Severus and Harry with a small smile when se saw how much the dour man had calmed the boy down.
" Ok Harry, your all set. I put a magical cast on it though, so please be careful when you walk."
Harry gave a small nod and Severus gave the boy's hand a gentle squeeze.
" Harry, I'm going to escort Madam Pomfrey back to the floo and ask the Headmaster to come by, ok?"
Another nod came from Harry and Severus got up off the couch.
" I'll be right back."
Severus then led the nurse into the other room. Before Poppy left, she turned to look at Severus and gave him a small smile.
"You care about him Severus."
It was not a question, but a statement. Severus averted his eyes from Poppy's and she gave another smile.
"Take good care of him Severus and call me if you need anything."
Severus gave a small nod and watched as the nurse exited his rooms. He then sighed and threw some more green floo powder into the fireplace. Albus's face appeared, and he just simply nodded.
"I'm guessing that Harry is there with you?"
"Yes, he is. How did you know?"
"I asked Minerva where he was a little while ago and she asked his friends. They told her that you had asked him to stay after class. I take it that since he has not left to go back to his dorm that something is wrong?"
Severus nodded. "Can I ask for you to come through and sit with him while I brew some potions tat will help him heal."
Sadly Albus nodded. "Is it that bad, my boy?"
"I'm afraid so Albus. He will never go back to his relatives again."
Albus sighed. "Then where will he go? He has no one else..."
Before Albus could finish Severus interrupted him. "Albus I will take him in if I must. He will not be going back."
Again Albus nodded. "Ok Severus, step back and I'll step through."
Severus nodded and did as the Headmaster asked and stepped back. The next moment in a cloud of soot the Headmaster stood before look at Severus and Albus enveloped him in a hug.
"How is he?"
Severus sighed. "Scared and hurt."
Closing his eyes Albus let out a sigh of his own. "How long will it take you to brew those potions?"
"An hour or two. I ask that you try to get him to take a nap while I brew. I suspected that he has not been sleeping. If you can't get him to sleep though maybe try to teach him how to tie a shoe?"
Albus just simply nodded.
The two then went back into Severus's office, but this time Severus made sure that the door made little noise as he opened it. As soon as they entered Harry looked up and then looked down at his lap when he saw Albus in tow.
Before Albus could say or do anything Severus sat beside the boy and placed a hand on his chin lifting it so that he could look right into his eyes.
"I'm just going to be in that room." Severus pointed to the door across the way. "And if you need, anything at all just call for me ok? I will be here as soon as I can."
Harry gave a small nod and Severus got up, and Albus took his place next to Harry. Giving Severus a silent nod to leave Albus gently brushed his finders through the boy's hair.
"How are you doing Harry?"
Harry shrugged his shoulders, but the winced as it hurt his back.
"Hey there, take it easy Harry. Why don't you lie down for a bit and maybe get some rest."
Harry gave a tired nod, and Albus got up from the couch. Gently Albus moved Harry's still elevated leg down to the floor and then helped him lie back onto his side so his back made no contact with the couch.
"Now close your eyes Harry and relax. I will be right here watching over you as you sleep."
Harry gave a sleepy nod and slowly closed his eyes succumbing to his exhaustion. Tenderly Albus placed a hand on the boy's forehead and brushed the stray hairs out of his face.
"Oh child, I am so sorry what I've put you through. If I had known, but then you practically begged me last year. I should have listened to you, not only what you were saying, but how you were saying it."
A few hours passed by as Albus watched the small boy on the couch sleep. Suddenly, Severus came out of his potion's lab with several jars in his hands. When the man saw the boy relaxing on the couch, he gave a grateful nod and a small smile.
"Thank you Albus. Can you hep me just a bit longer while I heal his back?"
Albus just nodded and got up from the chair that he had placed next to the couch.
"Do you want me to wake him?"
"No let him sleep, he does not need to be awake for this. In fact, it's probably better he's sleeping."
Severus then came over to the boy and placed the jars down on the table.
"I'm going to have to cut off his shirt instead of magicking it off. It seems that the shirt is stuck his back, and it would be too painful."
Albus just nodded and watched as Severus summoned a pair of scissors. Carefully Severus sat on the edge of the couch next to Harry and began to cut away the shirt.
"I'm going to need to hand you this Albus."
Albus came closer and when Severus handed him the shirt he grabbed it. He then banished it as it could no longer be warn as it was covered in blood and puss. Looking over at Severus who was rubbing cream into Harry's injured flesh he was shocked at how bad Harry was hurt.
In his sleep Harry started the whimper. More then likely from Severus touching his hurt back. What shocked Albus even more was how gentle Severus was being. Sure he had seen Severus handle hurt children before, but this was somehow different. Severus didn't seem to distance himself from the child, rather he seemed to connect more with him. With a sad smile Albus came and placed a hand on Severus's shoulder. Severus looked up and met Albus's eyes.
"Do you want me to draw up papers for you become his new guardian?"
Severus looked down at the boy and slowly brushed the hair away from his face. He then continued with his task of healing Harry.
Albus gave a small nod. "Do need any more help from me or would you like me to go do the paperwork?"
"I'm fine here Albus...and thank you."
Albus then quietly left the room with a small comforting squeeze to Severus's shoulder before he left. Severus then rubbed the rest of the three creams into Harry's back and watched as the deep red welts faded to thin scars.
Silently he was glad that Albus had left for he knew Harry would not appreciate many people seeing what he had to heal next. Carefully Severus unbuttoned Harry's trousers and quickly took them down as well as the boy's pants. He then carefully rubbed the creams into the boy's bottom and upper thighs. If possible these wounds were worse then what was on his back.
When he was finished, he summoned a set of his black silk pajamas and shrank them down to Harry's size. He then tenderly dressed the boy with the new clothes.
"Everything will be ok Harry; everything will be fine."
Severus then adjusted the boy so that he was laying on his back on the couch and placed a blanket over the sleeping boy. He then sat down heavily in the chair next to the couch and placed his head back in his hands.
He didn't really know what he had gotten himself into. He was going to have a son; Harry Potter the biological son of his enemy and best friend was not going to be his son. How the hell did this happen.
But, then he looked up at the sleeping boy and his eyes softened. He promised right then and there that he would do anything to help that child, no one should ever go through such hurt. Summoning a house elf he quietly asked her whether she could expand another room in his quarters and decorate it for a young Gryffindor. She nodded and popped away.
A half hour later she popped back in telling him it was done. After thanking her he went over to Harry and scooped him up into his arms still wrapped in his blanket. Cradling the boy against his chest he walked deeper into his rooms and found the new door next to his. Opening the door he waved his wand to turn on the lights and then walked over to the bed that was decorated in red and golds. He then walked over to the bad and gently placed the boy on it still covered in the blanket. Severus didn't dare remove the boy's souse of as he did not want to wake him.
Brushing the hair out of Harry's face one last time he mumbled a "sleep well" and walked out the door turning the lights off behind him. When he shut the door tight he leaned his head on the door and closed his eyes. With his eyes closed he thought he saw a bright light, probably hallucinating or so he thought, and then a lone figure with long red hair came up to him.
The figure came closer to him and gave him a warm smile. "Yes, Sev."
"I'm so sorry Lily; I failed you! I should have seen it sooner, I am so so sorry!"
Lily placed a comforting hand on Severus's shoulder. "There is no need to apologize to me Severus. In fact, I have come to thank you. Thank you for saving my son Severus."
"No buts Severus. You saved my son's life and his soul and for that I thank you."
She then leaned down and kissed Severus on the cheek. "I have to go now. I know you will take good care of Harry. Tell him that I and James love him and he needs to stop blaming himself for our deaths."
Severus then opened his eyes and stared straight ahead of him unbelieving or what had just happened. This had been one strange day indeed.