Hello all! This is a one shot that was stuck in my head. My brain would not let me write anything else until I completed this so I'm sorry if the next chapter for my story "Going Home" is a bit late. I also realize this is very long, sorry about that. Did not plan on that, but sometimes once I sit down to write it's hard to stop.
Well, I hope you enjoy!
Warnings: This story contains mentions of abuse and suicide. If this offends you in any way, please skip to the next story on this site! :) Also, I do not own Harry Potter or any of the characters from the books in any way shape or form.
It was only a few weeks after the war and Harry should be rejoicing that he was still alive, right? He wasn't though. Instead, he was blaming himself for every death that had happened throughout the war. He felt that he was the cause of everything. If only he hadn't been born then nothing would have happened. Voldemort wouldn't have killed his parents, Sirius would have stayed out of Azkaban and have lived, Remus and Tonks would be alive to raise their child, George wouldn't be grieving for his twin, Cedric would be happily living his life, and Dobby the House Elf would still be running around happily fetching things for people.
It was all his fault; that was the one thing he was sure about. After the war, when he had found out that Snape was still alive he had fought with all his heart to clear his name. That was his last battle and when he had won he had retreated here to Godric's Hollow. His parent's home that was half destroyed. He deserved no more than a half destroyed house.
After retreating, his friends had tried to with all their might to retrieve the broken man, but they had no success. He had chased away every one of the Wesley's, including Ginny who had gotten down to her knees and begged Harry to come home. All the broken man had done in response though, was to send light stinging hexes her way and yelled at her to leave him in peace.
To say the least Ginny's heart was broken. Her one true love was no longer in his body; this cold detached soul had taken over and it was just unbearable.
After one last attempt from Ron and Hermione to bring Harry home, they approached the one man that Harry might listen to; Albus Dumbledore. Everyone had thought that the man had died a few years ago, but it appeared that he had just been gravely hurt and Snape, of all people, had been nursing him to health these last few years until he was healthy enough to fight again. The man had made a grand appearance in the final battle, surprising everyone as he helped Harry defeat Voldemort.
Apparating to Hogsmeade, Ron and Hermione gave each other one last reassuring look. They were both at the end of their rope and were in need of help from their Headmaster. They hoped that he would succeed where everyone else had failed; They hoped that he could bring Harry home.
Grabbing ahold of each other's hands the couple started to walk to the grand gates of the castle. When they reached the gates the two stood before them not really knowing how to open them up. They had not been invited and were no longer students, would they still be welcomed?
With a sigh Ron stepped forward. "Please, anyone who is listening we need to speak with the Headmaster. Harry has holed himself up in a fallen down house, he's not eating, he won't speak with anyone and we're scared we will lose him."
As the gated opened with a squeak Hermione stepped forward and placed her arm around her husband. The man took the silent comfort gratefully from his wife as the two began to walk to the castle.
Slowly, but surely the couple made it to the front doors of the grand school. The front doors opened to admit the two people and after sharing a look of surprise they entered. As soon as they did they saw a sad looking woman coming forward to meet them.
Normally, Minerva Mcgonagall held a stern gaze and was a force to be reckoned with if you crossed her. Today though, seeing the two sad people that had entered her great school her heart felt as if it were breaking. All Professors were keyed into the gates and heard all pleas to enter.
Carefully she came forward and brought the two young adults into an embrace. It was not like her to be so touchy feely, but she could just feel the heartbreak coming off them, and it hurt her to see her Lions like this.
Pulling back the woman gave the two a searching look. "Are you two ready to see Albus or do you want to stop for some tea first?"
Hermione took a breath and looked at her former Professor. "We need to see him as soon as possible. I don't know how long Harry is going to last."
The young woman gave her former Professor a significant look. Understanding where the witch was going Minerva turned away wiping a tear from her eye. She knew her Lion was hurting, but not that it was to this point. The poor boy.
"Come on then, let's get you to Albus."
The two nodded and followed the woman who had turned suddenly to lead them to the person they were seeking. The three passed many students in the halls staring at the odd trio. Despite everything that had happened last year they had never seen tears in their stern Professor's eyes.
A few stair cases and many hallways later Minerva stopped before a Gargoyle.
"Albus, let us in please. There is no time for me to guess silly candy names."
Seeming to understand the woman the Gargoyle hopped aside so they could enter. Minerva then turned to the couple.
"I have to go and teach a class right now. If you two need anything at all you know where to find me. Please don't hesitate to interrupt."
When she saw the two nods, the Professor nodded as well and turned to head in the direction of her classroom wiping her eyes on her sleeve the whole way.
After watching Minerva retreat down the halls, the two turned back to the staircase and grabbing each other's hands stepped on. From being in the Headmaster's office before, it was no surprise to the two when the staircase started to move upwards depositing them in front of a door.
When they reached the top Ron reached out to knock on the door, but before his fist could make contact with the wood a voice answered from inside.
"Ron, Hermione please enter."
With a quick glance at each other Ron grabbed the door handle and turned it slightly. It still amazed them how the older wizard knew who it was before they announced themselves. He must have a charm on the door or something.
Entering the room the Headmaster waved the two to sit down and offered them a tin of Lemon drops. Both of them refused the drops, but sat down in the offered chairs.
With his usual twinkle Albus looked at the two youngsters in front of him. "Now, what brings you two here?"
The two looked at each other and with a small squeeze to her husband's hand Hermione answered her old Headmaster.
"It's Harry, sir."
Albus grew serious, and the twinkle disappeared. "Is he all right? What happened? I haven't heard from him since Severus's trial."
The two exchanged a look again and when it looked as Ron still was not able to talk Hermione continued.
"Nothing has happened...and that's the problem. He has hidden himself away from the world, including us, at Godric's Hollow. He is not eating and has chased everyone away who wants to help. We're worried sir, he...he just sits there with his knees drawn up and doesn't move."
Albus looked at the duo sadly as Ron started to talk. It seemed that he had finally gained his ability to speak back. "We saw him this morning. He was rocking back and forth and was muttering something about ending it all and how the world would be better off without him. I think he's going to hurt himself...I...I can't lose anyone else I love."
All twinkle that was present in Albus's eyes vanished when he saw the tears start to form in both the young adult's eyes before him. No one so young should ever feel such pain.
"You want me to go to him?"
The two nodded and Hermione continued for Ron who was again too emotional to speak.
"We have tried everything else. Please, we need help."
Albus nodded. "Let me get Severus and then we'll head over. Don't worry, Harry will be just fine."
The man really wished he felt as sure as his words sounded. Hopefully, with Severus's help he would be able to get the boy back here to the hospital wing to get some help. The poor boy has had a hard enough life already, he didn't deserve any more pain.
Wiping away the stray tears that had escaped Ron looked at the Headmaster with a small touch of concern. "I..I know that Snape helped us all along, but would it be wise to bing him along. They hate each other."
Albus nodded his head. "I understand your concern, but love and hate are closely linked. Sometimes when we see someone we love who is gone in someone else it causes us pain, and we act out to try to cover up the pain we feel. Severus does not hate Harry and I am sure that after seeing his memories Harry knows that. Besides, Severus, believe it or not, might be just the person to help Harry."
The two sitting in front of Albus shared a long look, but then finally looked back at the Headmaster and nodded. The man had done everything he had thought was best for them in the past so they trusted him with all their hearts to do the right thing for their friend.
"Why don't you go on home now and get some rest. If Madam Pomfrey saw you here looking as if you haven't had a decent night's sleep in weeks I can guarantee you wouldn't be able to leave until you were fully rested and I am sure you would wish to be in your own bed instead of the hospital wing."
The two gave a small nod and got up as to leave. Before they could reach the door though, Albus stopped them with a gentle hand on Ron's shoulder and a soft smile.
"Use my floo. I don't want you to get caught now."
The two nodded and walked over to the floo. Throwing some floo powder into the fireplace and calling out the Burrow the two were gone the next moment.
As soon as they were Albus sat back behind his desk and put his face into his hands. How could everything go so wrong so quickly? Harry, his boy, from what it sounded was on deaths door if he didn't act soon. He knew Harry would be hurting after the war, but for him to hurt this much? There had to be something more, he remembered when they had taken Harry directly to the hospital wing after defeating Voldemort and he had tried to refuse treatment. The mediwitch had been quick though, and had knocked him out with a strong sleeping spell so the poor thing had no choice, but to except treatment for his many wounds.
Albus had seen it then, but only now did he recognize the look of sadness and hurt on his face. Then, he had shrugged it off as normal hurt of losing someone close to you, but now that he really thought about how those deep emerald eyes of his had looked he saw the deep soul shattering sadness. A hurt that would take more than time to heal.
Cursing himself again for being so stupid Albus rose his head. There was no time to dwell on what he should have done, or else he might lose Harry for good this time. Standing up Albus made his way over to his floo and called out Severus's classroom. He knew the man had a class right now, but there were more important things right now. A life was at stake.
Just a few minutes later Albus found himself in an empty classroom with a pacing Severus. As soon as he had appeared in the floo Severus had barked at his students to leave immediately knowing that Albus would not come without good reason. The Headmaster had then told the man all of what happened that morning with Harry's friends asking for help and what state their friend was in. All the while Severus had paced the floor occasionally shooting glares the man's way.
After a long silence, Severus collapsed into a chair that happened to be close by; it didn't matter that it was attached to a desk. The dour man's face went to rest in his hands as he muttered obscenities. Another moment passed, and the man's face rose sending a scowl the Headmaster's way that would make the toughest student cry.
"I told you Albus. There was something wrong with him. I told you in his fifth year you should get him help after what I saw in his mind. His Uncle slapped him across the face, and he was still blaming him for Diggery's death! You told me he was fine, that you had a word with his relatives before he went home that year. I wonder what good that did? You saw how he came back here his sixth year! It was a wonder he has lasted this long! Why didn't you make him stay in the hospital wing after everything was over? Why didn't you try to help the boy? Didn't you see the vacant look in his eyes?"
Albus closed his eyes as his boy laid out all the mistakes he had made over the years. As the accusations became more pointed and sharp Albus's head descended lower and lower. When Severus breathed no further words Albus rose his head and looked sadly at the man before him.
"I know Severus; I should have done more. I should have been there more for him. I...I thought I was doing the right thing distancing myself from a little. I didn't want him to hurt too much in case I really died that night on the tower."
"That is not what I am talking about and know that very well old man! You should have gotten him a Mind Healer to help him with his grief and made sure that that slap was the only violent action against him!"
Severus got up and started to pace again. "He is just like Lily. He may look like James, but his mind is all hers. He blames himself for anything that goes wrong and if anyone hurt him he would never tell anyone. His pride is too strong to seek out help. You have to practically place it under his nose and coax him into accepting anything!"
Albus lowered his head. "I know my dear boy. Will you help me make this right and help him now? His friends are afraid that he might take his life."
Severus turned and looked at the older man with an expression of shock and outrage. "You tell me this now old man? What are we doing here? We need to go now!"
Albus nodded. "Again, I am sorry. I thought you would like to know all the circumstances before we left."
"Whatever Albus, I will hex you later. Apparate us to Harry right now!"
Albus took the slightly shaking hand in his and Apparated to Harry's run down home he was inhabiting.
When they got there, Albus looked over at a growling Severus. "They said he was in his old room."
"Just get going old man. You have to go first so that when he sees me he doesn't run."
Albus just nodded and started to lead the way. Walking through the house Severus was bombarded with old memories of Lily, her showing him her new bouncing baby boy, him babysitting for Harry when he was still young and even when the small child had fallen asleep in his arms. As soon as they reached the staircase and heard the soft crying though, and Severus was snapped out of memory lane.
Albus looked back at Severus who just growled at him to keep moving. There was no time to waste. Walking slowly they reached the room where Harry stayed when he was just a baby. Fortunately, they were just in time for Albus to rush forward and knock the knife out of Harry's hand. It seemed that his friends were right; he was suicidal.
When the knife was knocked away Albus saw much to his dismay that along with two new cuts there where several old cuts on the inside of the man's wrist, some of them were years old. Slowly Albus kneeled down before the boy and took hold of his hands while he ripped the ends on his robes to create makeshift bandages. Gently he wrapped the material around the boy's wrists to stop the bleeding and then looked up into Harry's face.
Harry tried to turn away and bury his face back into his knees, but Albus kept a strong hold on his hands so he could not move as much as he wanted. Slowly Albus brought one of his hands up to gently rest on the boy's cheek, but the old man was dismayed with Harry flinched violently back.
"It's ok Harry; I'm not going to hurt you."
"That's what everyone says and then they do! Please just leave me alone; leave me in peace."
Albus was at a loss of what to say so he found relief when Severus stepped forward.
"We can't do that Potter, not when you are a danger to yourself."
Harry looked up at the new silky voice and cringed back further into his corner when he saw who it was.
"Please don't hurt me."
Severus looked down at the young man and his face softened. "I won't hurt you; I promise. I just want to get you some help. Now come on and Albus and I will take you to a Healer."
It was now quite obvious that Madam Pomfrey was not going to be able to care for Harry. She was a very skilled school Mediwitch, but she was just that a school nurse. She was not trained to heal someone as badly hurt as Harry. Not on the inside at least. Harry would have to see a Mind Healer at the very least, and fortunately he knew the right person for the job.
It seemed that Harry had other plans though as he began to struggle with all his might against Albus. It was futile though, Albus may look like an old man, but he was quite strong when he wanted to be. It also gave the older man time and motive to find and take Harry's wand from him so that if his hands did get free he could not use Magic against either of them.
When the wand was taken away Severus came forward some more and kneeled down next to Albus. Carefully he placed a gentle hand on the young man's forehead and cast a wandless sleeping spell on him. As soon as his body fell forward, limp Severus caught the body and frowned again at Albus. This time he was frowning about the boy's weight.
"He is much to light Albus. This is more than a few weeks without food; this is years without proper nutrition."
Albus sighed sadly and eyed the two boy's he loved the most. He swore after he had failed Severus so badly that he would never fail like that again, but now it seemed as if he had.
"Do you want to take him to Alan?"
As Severus rose he cast a weight altering spell on the boy. Just because he was lighter than he should be did not by any means mean that he was light enough to carry easily.
"Yes, send ahead a Patronus for me. Tell him to be discrete, but to prepare a heavily warded bed."
Albus nodded and sent off the message to the Healer at the clinic. With the message sent off Severus Apparated to the Clinic with Harry in his arms closely followed by Albus.
On arrival, two Healers rushed forward out of the double doors and walked forward to the three men.
"We got your message, a room has been set up or you. Healer Williams is on his way; he was stuck in an emergency."
Both Severus and Albus nodded in understanding as the two Healers led them to the private room they had asked for.
The room was quite spacious and bright. It had two windows looking out to the garden, and the walls were painted a light cream color. The bed was placed near the wall, but had just enough space for a chair to sit beside it. Next to the bed on the other side there was a small bedside table and another chair someone could sit in. Severus also took note with a nod in approval the attached bathroom. That meant that Harry would not have to travel far without any supervision.
As they walked into the room and Severus set the young man on the bed and the Healers started to talk again.
"The room is heavily warded against self harm, and the bed has a sticking charm on it so that he may not leave it. He can dangle his feet over the edge and follow the path to the bathroom if he feels the need, but that is all. The bathroom is also charmed so that self harm is imposable."
Albus listened with interest to the Healer while Severus all but ignored her in favor of getting Harry situated on the bed. Laying him flat on his back Severus began to take off the boy's shoes and then tucking him under the thin sheets. There was no need to embarrass the man by undressing him fully.
With that done the two Healers tried to lead the two men out of the private room, but were surprised when they had no luck.
"Sir, while we are grateful that you brought him in; only family members are allowed in patents rooms for security reasons."
Albus just turned to the woman looking at him. "I am his magical guardian and this is his godfather. We are the only family he has."
"I'm sorry sir, but he is seventeen he is no longer in need of a magical guardian. I must ask for you to leave."
Albus's eyes turned cold, and his voice dropped so low it was slightly frightening. "He may be seventeen, but does he look capable of taking care of himself? He is suicidal, and I will not have him waking up in a strange place by himself."
The Healer just mealy nodded and gestured for the other Healer follow her out of the room leaving the two men alone with Harry. Severus sat down in the chair by the bedside table and Albus conjured another chair to sit next to his Potion Master.
Quietly Albus placed a hand on Severus's shoulder. "You were right Severus. I should have done something sooner. I hope you can forgive an old man's mistakes."
"It is not I, old man, who you should be asking forgiveness from, but Harry here."
Albus sighed. "I know my dear boy, but even I am not that foolish to ever think he will forgive me."
Severus looked back at his mentor. "Stop feeling sorry for yourself, you know how much I hate pity parties."
"Again, I must apologize."
Silence filled the room after that until there was a quiet knock on the door. Not bothering to turn to see who it was Albus let out a quiet come in.
The person who entered had faded, mousy brown hair and kind, and warm brown eyes. His smile was warm and genuine and high up on his cheek bones he had soft smile lines.
"Hello, Severus, Albus."
Severus turned to look at the Healer. "Your here, finally."
Alan rose an eyebrow and sat on the edge of the man's bed. "My Severus something has gotten you riled up. Why don't we just see what's wrong with Harry here?
"Alan gently pulled down the sheet that covered the young man and lifted his arms to rest on his chest. He then gently rolled down the sleeves so that he could examine his wrists and carefully take away the shreds of fabric that was stopping the bleeding. Unfortunately, from being in such in such a dirty building these last few weeks he was just too filthy to examine closely. Putting down his arm to rest back on his chest Alan looked over at the two men.
"I'm going to have to clean him up before doing anything. Just for a few minutes I'm going to have to ask for you to leave."
Albus stood up to leave, but Severus stayed put in his chair.
"I am not leaving him Alan. He has been alone for far too long."
The Healer sighed as he looked over at the stubborn man. "Very well then Severus, you can help me."
Albus quietly left the room and Severus stood up from his chair walking the few steps to the bed. He reached down and grabbed hold of the young man's hand giving it a gentle squeeze.
While Severus was looking over Harry Alan conjured up a warm basin of water and two washcloths. It was too risky to give Harry a full bath in case he woke up, plus it would give the young man some of his modesty back as they would not have to remove his shorts.
Alan reached over and handed Severus the washcloth. He then reached down and started to unbutton Harry's shirt. When the shirt was fully unbuttoned, the Healer sighed as he saw every one of Harry's ribs. Just looking at the chest Alan could see where the ribs had been broken and healed badly in the past.
Taking out a small pair of scissors Alan began to cut away the shirt. He didn't know what kind of injuries may lie below the complicated glamour he felt, and he didn't want to risk jostling anything. When the shirt was completely removed, Alan moved to the young man's trousers and began to remove them cutting them off with the same scissors.
While Alan set to work removing the rest of Harry's clothing Severus started to wipe the dirt and filth away from Harry's upper body. It was almost alarming how many cakes of dirt, and grime came off the too pale flesh. He had to banish the dirty water more than a few times to replace it with clean and he wasn't even finished washing off Harry's chest! It was obvious the boy had not washed himself since his stay at the hospital wing.
When Severus was finished with Harry's upper body he conjured up a new clean washcloth and started to clean off the young man's face as gently as he could. It was not easy to clean off Harry's face as Severus kept finding stray blood that he could not figure out where it was coming from.
The Healer looked up from where he was cleaning off the mud from the young man's legs.
"Is there something wrong Severus?"
"He's bleeding, but I don't know where it's coming from."
Alan moved up to the top of the bed to inspect the wound Severus had found. Watching the bleeding for a moment Alan began to prod the area gently.
Still looking down Alan began to speak with Severus. "As I said earlier, he had some heavy glamours in place. I was going to remove them after we finished cleaning him up, but I need to heal this. Can you step back for a moment? There could be magical backlash when I take these down, they are strong and have been up many years."
Severus took a step back and removed his hands from the young man. Gently Alan placed his wand on the boy's chest and mumbled the spell that would remove the glamour. After a few moments, there was a bright light that filled the room and a large bang. Both Severus and Alan were knocked to the ground as Harry's magic filled the room and then dissipated.
Hearing the blast Albus came rushing into the room to see whether everything was ok. What he saw though was not what he expected; not in a million years.
Harry was still lying on the bed, but he was covered in scars and there was a deep wound on his head. The next thing he saw was Severus crumpled on the floor. Quickly he rushed over to the man and checked to see whether he was ok. Fortunately, Severus was coming out of his shock and was starting to sit up.
Albus kneeled down before Severus and placed a gentle hand on his shoulder. "Severus, you ok there?"
Severus rubbed the back of his head. "Yeah, just a small bump. Check Alan he received the full brunt."
"Hold on Severus, you lost conciseness. Let me check your eyes first."
Severus reluctantly looked at Albus as he brought his wand up lighting the tip. Carefully the older wizard looked into both eyes for any dilatation and sighed gratefully when he saw none.
"Ok Severus get up slowly, I'm going to go see whether Alan is ok."
Severus nodded and Albus walked over to the other side of the bed. There, he saw Alan on the floor looking up at him.
"I'm fine Albus, just a bit of shock. I didn't expect the backlash to be that strong."
"Ok Alan, I'm going to check your eyes just to be sure. I don't want to not check and be sorry later."
Alan just nodded and obeyed as Albus raised his chin and looked into each eye with the tip of his wand.
"No concussion. Now let's get you up, do you want me to call anyone to help you with Harry?"
"No, I'm fine. I just need a hand up."
Albus smiled and extended a hand for Alan to take. Alan gratefully took the hand and hoisted himself off the floor. When he stole a look at Harry though he was over by the young man's body in an instant.
"Oh my, this is worse than I thought. Can you actually fetch a nurse for me Albus?"
The man nodded. "I will be right back. Do you want me to tell her to grab anything?"
"Yes, can you ask her to grab a stage three healing kit?"
Again Albus nodded and left the room in search of a nurse. As Albus was leaving the room Severus had gotten up off the ground and had headed back to the bed. Instead of flying into a rage or trying to help Alan though he just sat in the chair next to Harry's bed and held his hand tightly.
"Can you help me for a moment Severus?"
Reluctantly, Severus let go of Harry's hand and got up from his chair to face Alan.
"What do you need me to do?"
"Can you hold back his hair so I can clean this wound?"
Severus nodded and gently brushed back the hair from the wound. Strangely he had seen this wound before, and he knew exactly where. Before Harry had woken up in the hospital wing, he had checked on him and even watched as Poppy stitched up this very wound. Looking down now he could even see the few stitches that were still in place.
"He must have hit his head and reopened the cut."
Alan nodded. "Instead of letting his magic help heal the wound he tried to cover it up. He did hit it and it has been open for at least a week, it's become infected."
Just then the nurse came bustling into the room with Albus closely behind him. Quickly the nurse came overcame over to Alan and handed him a disinfectant cream and some clean bandages.
"Thank you, Jean."
Gently Alan washed the last bit of blood and dirt of the young man's forehead. He then picked up the disinfectant cream and gently applied it to the wound."
"Could I have some tweezers Jean?"
The nurse handed over the tweezers and Alan as gently as he could pulled the remaining stitches away so they would not further irritate the wound. When he was done, he handed the small instrument back to the nurse and placed the clean bandage over the cut.
"Some tape please."
Jean handed the over the medical tape and took back everything else the Healer was not using.
"Thank you Severus, you can sit back down. Albus, can you..."
Alan met eyes with the Headmaster and discreetly nodded with his head to Severus who was still standing there with his hand in Harry's hair. Albus understood and placed a gentle hand on Severus's shoulder.
"Come on Severus, let's go get something to eat while Alan and Jean finish taking care of Harry."
Still looking down at Harry Severus nodded. Knowing that Severus was not going to move any further Albus placed his other hand on Severus's other shoulder gently steering him away from the young man.
"I saw they have your favorite calming tea in the cafeteria. I think now would be the perfect time to have some."
Absently Severus nodded, but kept an eye on the young man's body the entire time Albus was leading him away. To say Severus was shocked at how injured and thin Harry was an understatement.
Severus's mind was going miles a minute as he thought of Harry. He could have saved Harry from all the hurt he had gone through. Lily, unbeknownst to most, had assigned him the position of godfather if anything happened to Sirius. He had suspected all these years something was wrong with the boy, but he couldn't prove anything. He couldn't convince Albus anything was wrong. He should have tried harder; he should have done more for him. He should have taken action when Albus had not.
It was painfully obvious now that more had gone on in Harry's home than he had ever admitted. Severus knew that he had told his friends that his relatives hated him, but nothing to this extent. When he had saw Harry's Uncle slap him in that memory he should have confronted Harry; he should have done more. Dammit, he should have acted like a godfather!
Severus was broken from his musing as Albus gently shook his shoulder. He didn't remember how, but somehow he was sitting in a quiet sitting room next to Albus on a couch and had a tea tray in front of them on the table.
Looking up at the Headmaster Severus just watched the worried frown deepen on Albus's face.
"Are you alright there Severus?"
"I failed him; I failed Lily."
Severus looked down at his lap and continued to quietly curse himself out. Gently though Albus placed a hand under the younger wizard's chin to force it up so they met eyes.
"No Severus, you did not. All the blame should be placed on me. I did not listen to you when you brought me your concerns, and I ignored Minerva when she worried about the boy. Lily would be disappointed in me, not you. You did everything that you could to help Harry and even went above and beyond when you saved his life those many times. Lily would be proud of you."
"I should have tried harder to convince you something was wrong...I should have..."
Albus placed a hot cup of tea in Severus's hand stopping the man from his rambling.
"No Severus, you know me I'm a stubborn old coot. Once I get something suck in my head you know there is nothing that will knock it loose. This is all my fault and my fault alone. There was nothing you could have done to convince me that Harry was not safe. Now stop all this and drink some tea it will help you calm down."
Severus obeyed and with shaky hands and lifted the cup up to his mouth. Slowly he took a few sips, but then he put the cup back down in the table in front of them and got up from the couch.
"What if Harry wakes up, we need to be there!"
Albus got up as well and gently pushed the man back down to the couch.
"Calm down Severus. While we were leaving, the room Alan told us that he was putting Harry in a deeper sleep so he would not wake. I suppose though you were too lost in your mind to really hear."
Severus let Albus push him down onto the couch. In truth, he was still really in a daze. He just couldn't get over all the scars Harry had, how could they have all missed the carefully placed glamours all these years?
Albus tried handing Severus his tea again, but sighed as the man just stared into the cup not really realizing it was there. It was not like Severus to act this way. Normally, when he saw something unjust he would scream and rant until he felt better, not withdraw into himself like this. It was as if he were just talking to the shell of Severus Snape, and no one was home.
Carefully Albus drew out a calming potion he had snagged earlier from a nurse and uncorked it. He hoped that maybe if Severus calmed down a little he might come to.
"Severus, I have a potion here for you to take. Can you drink it all for me?"
Severus looked up with his hollow eyes and gave a small nod. Gently Albus handed the potion to the man, but sighed when Severus just stared at it blankly. Bringing his hands back up he helped Severus tip the potion to his lips.
A few moments after drinking down the potion Severus took a deep breath.
"Feeling better Severus?"
"Yes, thank you Albus."
"Good, now can you drink some tea?"
Severus picked up the cup and took a few more sips. He then took some deep breaths and set down his cup.
"Are you alright there Severus?"
"Yes Albus, I'm still just taking everything in."
Just then Alan stepped into the room. Before speaking though, he looked at the two searching for any upset.
"He's going to wake soon. I know you want to be there for him when he wakes."
Albus nodded and started to get up, Severus was close behind but the Healer stopped him before he left the room.
"Hold on a moment Severus, let me help you."
Severus sighed but nodded knowing he needed some help getting himself back under control. He would never admit it, but even with the calming potion he was still feeling the effects of shock.
"Ok, hold still Severus."
Severus closed his eyes and stood before the Healer. Gently Alan rested a hand on Severus's forehead and one of his chest. Not only did the Healer begin to send him calming magic, but he sent him spurts of magic that would help the fuzziness clear from his mind.
After a few minutes of the Healer sending him magic, Alan removed his hands and watched as Severus opened his eyes.
"How are you feeling?"
"Better, thank you. Can I see Harry now?"
"You can Severus, but I must warn you Harry is quite weak. Please be gentle when he wakes."
"I know Alan, I have dealt with abused kids in the past."
Alan sighed and placed a gentle hand on his shoulder. "It's not just that Severus. I took a look into his mind; he has been blaming himself for a long time for anything that goes wrong around him. He's broken, mind and body. I'm not sure if he will ever fully recover."
"Is there anything we can do to help?"
With a slight smile Alan nodded. "I know he is of age, but he is going to need somewhere stable to go when he is able to be released. I know Albus would take him in a heartbeat, but you have the skills to take care of him."
"You think I should take care of him? I'm a grouchy, mean old man. Why do you think I would be capable of taking care of Potter of all people?"
Alan smiled. "Back to Potter now are we? You have to remember I see you at the start of every term bringing children here for me to check over. I have seen how you treat them; you even let them cling to you as they cry."
Severus turned to look at the wall beside them and lowered his voice. "That's different. How can I be harsh with someone who has been hurt by their own family?"
"Look at me Severus."
Severus turned his face and looked at the Healer.
"That is why I think he would benefit staying with you. I think you out of everyone in his life could help him the most. You have seen the horrors he has lived through; you know his pain."
Severus sighed knowing full well there was no getting out of this now, once Alan had a thought in his mind it was set in stone. "I am not a pleasant man to live with. I will only agree to this if he will."
The Healer nodded. "I will give him a choice when the time comes, but I am going to strongly recommend that he stays with you until he gets back on his feet."
Letting out a small breath Severus nodded. "Should we go see him now? You said he would awaken soon."
"Come on then Severus."
With a hand on Severus's shoulder Alan led the younger man out of the room and down the hall towards Harry's. Before entering the two stood at the door watching as Harry's eyes started to flutter. It seemed that they had come just in time.
As the young man's eyes started to open Albus took hold of the glasses Severus had placed on the bedside table. So as to not startle Harry he announced that he was going to slip on his glasses and when he saw the small nod he did. As the glasses were placed on his nose, he sat up in bed looking around.
"Where am I?"
Severus and Alan stepped in. Severus stayed back in the shadows sitting in a chair close enough so that Harry could see, but he would really have to look if he wanted to find him. Alan on the other hand took a few more steps forward into the light and sat down next to Albus.
"You are at the Wellness Clinic, Harry. Do you remember anything that has happened?"
Harry's gaze lowered to look at the sheets and he seemed to be thinking of what had happened. As he looked down though he caught site of his bandaged wrists and the old scars that were viable on the exposed part of his arm. Realization seemed to hit him and his breathing started to speed up as if he were having a panic attack.
Alan came over and calmly sat on the side of Harry's bed. Carefully the Healer titled Harry's chin up so that they met eyes.
"Try to breath with me, Harry. Come on calm down with me. Breath in and now out. Nice and calm."
Harry wasn't listening though, his mind was awash with panic. All his secrets were now out in the open and he didn't know how to handle it. Why had they brought him here? Why were they doing this to him? Why couldn't they have just left him there to die as he wanted to? He had to get out of here. He had to go somewhere no one could find him, and then he could atone for all the deaths he had caused by taking his own. It was the only way.
While Alan still had a tentative hold on Harry's chin, the young man knocked the Healer over with a small burst of accidental magic and tried with all his might jump off the bed. There was an invisible shield stopping him though, and he just fell back onto the bed. Panic stricken and in the heat of a panic attack Harry tried again and again to get off the bed resisting any offer of comfort just striking off any hands that tried to touch him. That is until two strong callused hands came and grabbed each of his arms gently, but firmly.
Severus saw when Harry broke free of the healers grasp and tried to get off the bed. While Alan was getting off the floor from where he had been knocked Albus had stepped forward and with gentle hands had tried to calm the young man. The potion master knew every attempt Albus made was going to fail, sometimes to break through to someone in the middle of a panic attack was to take the opposite rout of being kind and this was one of those times. So he had come out of the shadows and when Harry knocked away Albus's hands one last time he took hold of Harry's arms so they could do no more damage.
"Mr. Potter! Calm yourself this instant!"
Harry had stopped thrashing to-and-fro at those words and looked up at the potion master owlishly. Shocked his breathing stopped altogether as he just stared at the man.
"That's better Mr. Potter, now take a breath in."
Shakily Harry took a small breath into his lungs and then let it escape.
"Now do you care to explain what that little display was about?"
Harry took another shaky breath and small; quiet words escaped. "Please, let me go. I have caused too many deaths, let me go."
"We cannot do that Mr. Potter. Not when it is obvious, you are going to hurt yourself."
Harry's eyes lowered to look at the bed and noticed that not just the glamours on his arms were down, but everything was. Roughly he pulled his arms out of Severus's grasp and wrapped them around his body tightly.
His knees then came up to his chest and Harry's wrapped himself into a tiny ball and began to rock himself back and forth. Severus was tempted to reach out and stop the young man from further curling into himself, but with a gentle hand on his shoulder Alan stopped him from doing so. Alan then came and sat down on the side of Harry's bed to place the gentle hand on his shoulder instead. Harry flinched back, but Alan kept the hand there until Harry relaxed into the touch.
"Yes, we know Harry and we are here to help you. Please let us."
Silently Harry's shoulders began to shake, but no noise came from him until they all heard the strangled voice from between the knees and arms.
"You'll just hurt me. I don't want to do this anymore, just let me go."
Taking advantage of having his hand on Harry's shoulder Alan started to send him some calming magic trying to soothe him as much as he could.
"I promise you Harry, no one in this room with hurt you. We just want to help, that's why we're here."
"Yes Harry, now can you please uncurl yourself. You haven't eaten in a long time, and you need to have something in your stomach."
"I don't deserve any food."
Alan sighed and shared a significant look to the other two in the room. "Come on Harry. If you don't eat on your own I will have to take more drastic measures and you won't like that. Just eat a bit of this chicken broth and applesauce."
Harry uncurled himself a bit and looked up hopefully. "Will you take it from me?"
"No Harry, but I might pace you if you eat too fast. Eating too fast will make it come right back up, and then we will have to get food into you some other way."
Harry gave a small nod and uncurled himself a little more. Alan pulled the tray over that the nurse had brought in and placed it gently on the young man's lap.
"There you go Harry. Remember to eat slowly now."
With shaky hands, Harry picked up his spoon and slowly dipped it into the broth. Carefully he began to start to eat the luke warm soup and applesauce. Relief filled through everyone in the room as Harry finished off half the soup, but for very different reasons. For the young adult on the bed, it was nice to finally get something in his stomach. He knew he was undeserving of the food, but his body was taking over, and he knew he had to eat something before his body rebelled. For everyone else it meant that not only had Harry started to feed his body, but it also meant that those tentative spoonfuls were the first steps to recovery.
When Harry could eat no more he placed his spoon down on the side of the tray, but continued to look down at the food. Gently Alan took the tray and gave it the House Elf that was waiting to take it back to the kitchens.
"Feel a little better or does your stomach hurt?"
Alan sighed and looked at the other two. "I'm sure you are. Now Harry, I healed you while you were sleeping, but I have to give you a quick check up to make sure I didn't miss anything. Are you ok with that?"
Harry looked over at the Healer; hopefully. "Will you let me out of bed then? Can I leave?"
Sighing once more Alan shook his head. "No Harry, we can't let you leave even if you are well physically it is obvious you are still hurting inside. Would it make you more comfortable if Severus and Albus left the room?"
Harry lowered his head and slowly shook his head. "No it's ok."
"Ok then Harry, can I ask you to swing your legs off the bed? I'm going to check your breathing and lungs with stethoscope here."
Harry did as the Healer told him to, he was just too tired to do anything, but listen at this point. When his legs were over the edge of the bed, he hesitantly looked at the Healer.
"Will this hurt?"
Slowly the Healer shook his head. "No Harry, it's just like the ones muggle doctors use."
Quietly Harry admitted he had never been to a muggle physician and could not help the small blush that escaped.
"That's ok Harry, do you want me to tell you how it works?"
With a small sigh Harry let out a breath he hadn't known he was holding. Wirily he thought of what a disgrace he must look like. Here he was seventeen, the defeater of the dark lord none the less, and he was scared of what a Healer might do to him.
"Ok Harry, I'm going to lift your shirt a bit and I'm going to place this metal end you your chest. I'm going to ask you to take a deep breath so I can hear how you are breathing. Are you ready?"
Harry gave a small nod, but closed his eyes as Alan rose his shirt a bit and slipped the end of the instrument up to rest on his chest.
"Ok Harry, take a nice deep breath for me. Very good. Now once more, nice, and deep."
Alan removed the stethoscope from under the young man's shirt and smiled at him when he saw him open his eyes again.
"That wasn't so bad was it? Now, I have to check the back of your lungs. Are you ok with me being behind you?"
Harry looked down. "Not really..."
Alan gave the boy a reassuring smile. "That is ok Harry. I'll just stand up here and reach behind you, ok? For that though I'm going to need you to remove your shirt so it is less awkward for the both of us."
"Do I have to?"
"Only if you don't want me to be behind you."
Harry sighed and started to fiddle with the buttons on his hospital pajamas. When every button was undone, he slipped the sleeves off his arms and placed the shirt beside him.
"Ok Harry, I'm going to reach around and place this on your back and then I'm going to ask you to take a few deep breaths."
Harry nodded, but when the Healer rested the cold metal on his back he flinched a little. After his Uncle hitting his back so many times over the years, it was hard to let people behind him or touch him there. It always made him feel insecure.
"Take a deep breath for me Harry, good now another one, and one more."
Alan took back the stethoscope from the young mans's back and smiled at Harry.
"Your lungs seem fine. Now since your shirt is already off I'm going to ask you to lie down so I can check your stomach, ok?"
Harry reluctantly moved so that he was laying back against the pillows and Alan came and stood next to the bed.
"Are you ready Harry?"
The young man nodded. "What are you going to do?"
The Healer smiled. "I'm just going to feel your stomach, and inner organs to make sure everything is ok. I'm going to place my hands on your stomach, and you're going to feel a slight pressure and a small tingle. That is just going to be my healing magic checking everything, ok?"
With that Alan placed both hands on Harry's stomach and applied a little pressure while sending some healing magic to scan everything. Gently he moved his hands around to feel every inch and was quite aware that Harry was squeezing his eyes shut tightly.
When he was finished, he removed his hands and slowly handed the shirt back to the young man.
"Why don't you put this back on and then we have to talk a little about your injuries. Is there anyone you want to be here or that you wish were not here?"
As Harry was slipping the shirt back on he shrugged his shoulders. "I don't want to bother anyone."
Albus stepped forward and gently looked down at the young man he saw as a son. "You are not a bother Harry. Both Severus and I are here for you, and I am sure that if you wanted any one of the Weasley's here they would be here in a heartbeat. I can go call Ginny if you want."
Harry looked down to fiddle with his buttons, but in reality he was just embarrassed. He was remembering that last time he had seen Ginny. She had come to try to get him to come home, but he had said some pretty nasty things to her. He had even sent a few hexes her way to make her leave. Surely, she would not want to be near him anytime soon.
"No, she won't want to see me."
"I'm sure she would Harry. I know she loves you very much."
"Ok Harry, but at any time you want me to call her I will and that goes with anyone else."
Harry gave a small nod and looked at the Healer. "When can I leave?"
Alan sighed. "When I feel you are well enough to do so and even then I will only release you into someone else's care."
Alan sighed and sat on the edge of the bed near where Harry was. "As I said before Harry, even if your body is healed you are still hurting inside. Wounds like that need time and help to heal."
"I don't need any help; I've survived this long."
"But you don't want to survive any longer, and that's the problem Harry. You do need help, and we are more than willing to provide it."
Harry looked down. Although he was inwardly seething that they would not let him go and do what he really wanted to do, he felt a strange warm feeling forming in his gut. He was so confused. He still wanted to end it all, but now a part of him was longing for the care these people were promising even though he kept telling himself that they didn't really mean it.
Alan gently pulled the covers up from where the boy had kicked them aside earlier. "We can talk more about your living situation later Harry. Right now, I want to tell you more about what is going on with your body, ok?"
While looked down at the quilt Alan had pulled up Harry gave a small nod.
"You were in pretty rough shape when you were brought in. We cleaned all the dirt from you, and then I broke the glamours you have been keeping up for some time. I have to ask you Harry, how long have those glamours been in place?"
Harry shrugged his shoulders. "I don't know. My accidental magic put them up in my first year, and then I learned how to cast them myself in second. I've kept them up ever since."
"That's a long time to keep glamours up Harry. Why did you put them up instead of seeking help?"
"I didn't think anyone cared. I'm just the freak who can't be loved by anyone."
The emotionless voice Harry spoke that statement in made everyone in the room flinch, but it was Severus who steeped forward to try to somewhat comfort the boy.
"Harry, if you would have said something to me I would have done everything I could have to take you out of that home."
Harry looked up at the man in black. "But why? You hate me; you always have hated me. I remind you too much of my father."
Severus sighed as he pulled the chair up beside Harry's bed and sat down.
"Did you watch all my memories, Harry?"
Harry slowly shook his head. "I couldn't watch any more after I found out what I had to do to defeat Tom."
The man sighed. "I had hoped you would have. I never hated you Harry. You may look like your father, but you are more your mother than you will ever know. You see I was your mother's best friend, and I loved her very much. When she died I was devastated. Every time I saw you I couldn't think of anyone else, but Lily. So when I saw you I felt pain and unfortunately I took it out on you. I'm sorry Harry; I never meant to cause you so much hurt. I wish you would have come to me or I had seen something, I would have helped you no matter what."
Harry looked up at the older man with a slight glistening in his eyes. "You would have?"
Severus nodded. "Yes Harry."
Harry then looked back down into his lap. "I almost did come to you, third year after you saved us from Remus. No one's ever protected me like that before, but then I convinced myself you would just mock me."
"I would have never mocked you Harry, not ever about being hurt."
"I didn't know that."
"I know Harry and I'm sorry."
Alan patted Severus gently on the arm. He knew how bad the man felt about treating Harry so badly all these years. He then turned back to Harry.
"Even if you didn't confide in Severus here, why didn't you tell anyone else?"
Harry shrugged his shoulders. "I'm not that important."
Alan looked at the young man, they would definitely have to work on his self esteem issues. "You are important Harry and I hope in time you start to see that."
Harry just continued to look down at his lap making the rest of the adults sigh.
"Let's move on then. I also found you were and still are emaciated. I know the last few weeks you have not been eating, but this is much more than just a few weeks of damage. How often did you eat at home?"
Harry again shrugged his shoulders. "I don't know, maybe once a week if I did all my chores and didn't burn the food."
Alan rested a gentle hand on Harry's knee ignoring the flinch. "You know that is not how she was supposed to treat you, right? Every child has a right to food."
"I was just an extra though; a burden. They never wanted me."
The Healer looked sadly at Harry. "Even so Harry what they did was not right."
Harry dutifully nodded, but it was quite obvious that he did not believe a word the Healer was saying. Again Alan sighed, but he let the subject drop, for now at least.
"Just one more thing Harry, there was a pretty nasty gash that reopened on your head. Do you remember how that happened?"
"I think I hit my head somewhere."
The Healer nodded. "Have you felt any dizziness or have you lost conciseness?"
Harry shrugged his shoulders.
"That's ok Harry. Do you mind if I check to see whether you have had a concussion? To do that I would just have to place my hands on your head and send you a bit of my healing magic so that I can see whether there is anything wrong."
Harry close his eyes, he was so tired. He was at the point that he would do anything just to get a bit of sleep so he nodded his head. Alan seeing the tired young man nod came a bit closer so that he could examine his patient. Gently he placed both hands on Harry's head sending a bit of magic through them and carefully moved them around Harry's skull looking for any lingering effects of a concussion.
While he was examining Harry he quietly whispered to the boy as he sent a bit more magic than necessary into his body. "You can sleep after this Harry, I promise."
Harry unconsciously lent into the Healers warm hands as he closed his eyes even further. In just a few minutes Alan felt Harry begin to take deep, even breaths so he gently lowered the young man back onto the bed. When he went to remove his hands though, one of Harry's arms shot up and grabbed hold of the source of comfort.
Alan just sighed and soothingly stroked the young man's cheek until he fell into a deep enough sleep to where he could remove his hand from the desperate grip. Then, when he was able to wiggle his hand free he grabbed hold of the covers and pulled them up gently and tucked Harry into his bed. When he was finished, he turned around and gave the two men in the room a sad smile and gesture to the door. They should leave before they woke Harry up; he could sense anger radiating from both of them of how Harry had been treated.
When they were out in the hallway, the Healer gently guided the two men into another private room and quietly closed the door behind them. He had to practically beg then men to sit down, but when he finally did get them into chairs he saw the threads that had been holding together for the sake of Harry slowly fall apart. Albus had rested his head in his hands and Severus looked as if he were about to hex someone to the next planet.
Letting Albus be for a moment so he could gather his own thoughts Alan went and rested a gentle hand on the fuming man's shoulder.
"I'm going to kill them! What kind of monster would only feed a child once a week and all those scars!"
"No, you are not Severus. If my information is correct the last thing Harry did before this breakdown was fight to keep you out of Azkaban, what would he say whether you landed yourself there anyway?"
Severus visibility deflated. "They really hurt him. How can they be allowed to live without any consequence?"
Alan sighed and nodded in agreement. "I know how you feel Severus and I know Harry will not want to pursue this, but I will. His name will not come up, and everything will stay private, but I am pressing charges. Those people will pay."
The Professor looked at the Healer curiously. "How can you do that without alerting the presses?"
The Healer smile. "I have my ways. It helps when you are friends with the Minister."
Severus nodded. "I forgot you knew Minister Bones. Can I do anything to help in that regard?"
Patting Severus on the shoulder lightly Alan shook his head. "No, I have everything covered. I just want you to focus on Harry and how to help him directly."
Taking a breath Severus nodded. "How long do you think he will have to stay here?"
"That depends. If he works with us, maybe a little over a week. If he works against us, it will be awhile."
Severus nodded and looked over at Albus who seemed to have risen his head and was listening to the conversation. The poor man was looking his age, every one of his wrinkles were visible and prominent, his eyes were red, and puffy from an obvious cry and he just looked so tired. Alan's glance strayed over to where Severus was looking and gave another sad smile.
Removing his hand from Severus's shoulder he came and sat next to Albus. "You ok there Albus?"
Alan nodded, but was not fooled. "It's alright not to be fine Albus. I know how hard this is, not only for Harry, but for those around him as well."
Albus gave a small nod. "I really am fine Alan, just feeling my age."
Sighing a little Alan gave Albus a gentle pat on the shoulder. "If you do need to talk, you know you can always come to me, right?"
"Why don't you two go home and get some rest. It's been a very stressful few hours and I am sure you want to be alert when Harry wakes again."
Albus nodded while Severus shook his head. Confused both Alan and Albus looked over at Severus.
"Why don't you want to go home Severus?"
"I am not going to leave Harry alone here. I know he will probably just sleep, but he has been alone his entire life, and I don't want to do that again."
Alan gave Severus a small smile. "Alright then Severus, you can stay if you promise to get some rest."
The Professor nodded. "Can I have a bed near Harry? As I said I don't want to leave him alone."
"That is fine Severus. I can set up a cot in Harry's room for you. Why don't you stay here for a moment and I'll go do that."
Severus nodded and Alan left the room to go prepare for Severus to spend the night. While the Healer left the room Albus came and sat a little closer to where Severus was. Gently he patted Severus on the shoulder and gave him a soft smile.
"I'm proud of you, my boy. I know you will take good care of Harry."
Severus sighed. "I'm glad you have such confidence in me Albus. How do you know I won't just end up hurting him as everyone else has?"
"I know you Severus and I know that you will only do what is best for Harry. Have some faith in yourself Severus."
"Are you coming by tomorrow?"
"Of course, I will. I'm going to have to set some things up with Minerva before I go so that they will not miss me too much, but I think Harry would benefit from me being at least close by in case he needs me, or in case you do."
Severus gave a small nod. "Do you think it would be wise to bring in the Weasleys for support since they are the ones who came to you? I know they care about Harry a great deal."
Albus gave a small shake of the head. "At least not now. You heard how he reacted at the mention of fetching them. I don't think he is quite ready to see them."
As Severus nodded Alan reentered the room and smiled at the two before him. "Your bed is ready Severus. Albus can I trust you to go home and get some rest?"
"Yes, you can Alan. I should go; I'll be back in the morning."
Albus got up followed by Severus, and the Healer walked them both out of the room. Albus went to the fireplace and flooed back to Hogwarts while Alan lead Severus back to Harry's room. As soon as the two got to the room Alan made Severus sit down on his bed that contently had a set of hospital pajama lying on it.
"Get dressed Severus and then I want you to get some sleep. Do you need a potion?"
Severus shook his head. "No, I'll be fine."
"I will leave you to it then. Call me if you need anything."
Slowly Severus nodded and Alan left the room quietly. Before Severus started to change though, he got up from the bed and walked over to Harry.
Softly sighing Severus sat on the edge of the bed and looked at the wounded young man. Softly he brushed the hair out of Harry's face and sighed when all the scars came to light.
Quietly Severus started to speak. "I really am sorry Harry for not being there for you before. I promise though, I am here now and you're going to have a hard time escaping my help."
Gently Severus began to card his long fingers through the young man's hair. When Harry began to whimper in his sleep Severus removed his hand and softly rested it on Harry's cheek.
"You're ok Harry. Calm down."
Slowly Harry lent into the kind touch and settled down into a more peaceful sleep. Gently Severus smiled.
"That's it Harry. I have to go and get some sleep before Alan comes back a scolds me for not resting. I'm right over here though."
Severus didn't know whether Harry could hear him or not, but in case he did it was worth him hearing the reassurances. Carefully Severus removed his hand from underneath the boy's cheek and walked back over to his bed. He quickly put on the pajamas on that Alan had left for him and got into his bed. He needed to be well rested for tomorrow.
The next time Severus woke it was to high pitched screaming. Immediately opening his eyes Severus reached for his wand and looked for the intruder who surely must be present. As he sat up and looked around though all he saw was the young man on the bed screaming his heart out. Quickly he put away his wand and strode over to the other bed. He gently untangled Harry from the sheets and scooped him up into his arms. Then sitting down on the bed he placed Harry on his lap and let the boy's head rest on his shoulder.
While moving Harry the lights had flicked on and Alan had entered the room. Seeing that Severus had everything under control though Alan just sat back in the chair besides the bed letting Severus hold Harry on his lap.
Gently Severus wrapped both his arms around the young man and began to slowly rock him back and forth.
"Shhh, it's ok Harry. You're safe, and I have you."
Harry's screams quieted down, but as Harry's eyes opened tears filled them.
"It's ok Harry. I've got you."
"But...but I woke you. I'm sorry!"
Gently Severus stroked back Harry's hair and rested his hand on his cheek. "There is no need to be sorry Harry. Do you want to talk about your dream?"
Violently Harry shook his head and Severus let out a small sigh. With a quick look up at Alan, the man slowly pressed the young man further about his dream. It was important that Harry started to talk about things that troubled him.
"Talk to me Harry, it will make you feel better."
Harry lent into the man's gentle hand, and his eyes became hard and glossed over as if he were remembering a bad memory.
"Everyone was there. Mum, dad, Sirus, Remus, Fred, Moody, Tonks, Cedric, Colin, and everyone else who died. They surrounded me and were telling me that it was my fault and that I deserved to suffer for killing them all. They started to throw hex's at me, and they kept yelling. I...I..."
Severus gently stroked his thumb against the younger man's cheek. "You know it's not your fault, right Harry? You are as much as a victim, if not more, then all those people. You have been hurt your whole life and lost all the people who you love."
Continuing to look away Harry shook his head. So far tears were in Harry's eyes, but none had fallen. Severus could feel the young man shaking a clear sign that Harry was holding back large sobs.
"You know Harry; it's ok to cry. It's not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength to show how you feel."
Harry turned in Severus's arms and buried his face into Severus pajamas. In just a few moments, Severus felt the deep heaves and wet tears as Harry started to sob into his pajamas.
"That's right Harry. Let it all out."
Severus wrapped both arms around Harry's back and just held the younger man as he cried for the first time in a very long time. After a while Alan came closer and placed a gentle hand on Harry's back to send him a bit of calming magic.
After a long time Harry's sobs decreased and he turned to look up at Severus. When he did Severus took a hanky from his pocket and gently wiped away the remaining tears on the young mans face.
"Feel better Harry?"
Slowly Harry nodded and a small blush crept up on his cheeks.
"Good. Now can we talk some more about your dream?"
Reluctantly Harry nodded and looked away. Seeing the reluctant nod Severus gently continued as Alan sent a bit more calming magic into the young man.
" You know your parents loved you very much Harry. I may not have had a good relationship with your father, but I do know that he was very proud to have you as a son. Your mother too was very proud, the few times I spoke with her after you went into hiding all she could talk about were your accomplishments. I even remember the time you started to walk. She floo called me and she was practically gushing. I know with all my heart that if they were still alive they would still be very proud of you and all your accomplishments. They both loved you very much and it was not you who killed them, but Voldemort who did."
Harry's eyes glossed over again and he looked to the floor. "Are...are you sure?"
"I am positive Harry. I know for a fact they your parents loved you and place no blame on you."
Harry gave a small nod and again turned his face into Severus's chest. At the moment, he was very confused. Strangely he felt comfortable here in Snape's arms being held, but a part of him was telling himself he had no right to be comfortable. He also didn't really know how he felt about what his former Professor was telling him. Over the years, he had been told that not even his parents had loved him and now all of a sudden someone whom he had thought hated him was telling him his parents loved him very much. Was it true or was this man just setting him up to be hurt again?
Severus saw Harry withdraw into his mind and waited a few moments so the young man could think about what he was being told. He then gently rubbed Harry's back and continued.
"I know your godfather loved you very much too. We may not have seen eye to eye with much, but it was obvious by the way he looked at you that he loved you very much. That night he died he was ordered to stay put at Grimwald, but he came anyway. He couldn't leave you to get hurt in any way and rushed to the Ministry as soon as heard you were there. You may not realize it because you are still hurting from losing him, but he saved your life that night. He loved you so much that he sacrificed his life to save yours. You are not to blame though, he made his choice and he knew full well what he was doing."
Harry brought a hand up and covered his face obviously distressed by the subject. Severus just continued to rub his back soothingly trying to calm him. Another moment passed and Severus felt the tell tale signs of another good cry. At least Harry wasn't afraid any more of showing his emotions in front of him.
"It's ok Harry. Cry as much as you need to. I know you have not grieved for your godfather yet or for anyone else."
With that Severus pulled Harry a little closer to his chest and let him sob himself to exhaustion. After more than just a few moments and a stream of calming magic, Harry's cry's quieted and he slumped tiredly against Severus.
Gently Severus patted Harry on the back and started to rock him back and forth again.
"That's it Harry. Why don't you get some rest and go back to bed for a bit and in the morning we'll continue our talk, ok?"
Slowly Harry nodded against Severus, but was too tired to do anything else. Smiling Alan moved away from the two and let Severus stand and place Harry in the center of the bed gently covering him up with the covers. As he did so Harry looked up at the man in wonder.
"Why what Harry? Why am I here?"
Harry shrugged his shoulders obviously unsure of himself. So Severus sat down on the edge of Harry's bed.
"Or were you asking why I care?"
Harry blushed and looked down.
"I'll take that as a yes. Well, let me tell you something not many people know. Your parents didn't just gave you one godfather. They gave you two. Sirius and I. I really am sorry I was not there for you sooner, but I am here for you now."
Harry slowly nodded into his pillow.
"I made a promise to your mother to keep you safe. I hope that when Alan deems you well enough you will agree to come home with me at least until you can get back up on your feet."
Harry continued to look down, but he started to fiddle nervously with the covers. "I...don't want to be a bother."
"You will not bother me at all Harry. I am offering for you to come and live with me. I know I might not be the most pleasant man or the easiest to get along with, but I wish to help you in any way I can."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, Harry I am positive. I would not offer if I were not."
Again, Harry nodded against his pillows. "When can I get out of here?"
Severus looked to Alan and when he saw the small nod he looked back at Harry with a small smile. "As soon as you are ready Harry and not a moment more. You have to work with the Healers here to make you well again though. If you do not then, you will be here much longer."
"That is all we ask Harry, is that you try. Now get some sleep and we'll talk more when you wake up."
As Harry closed his eyes Severus reached out and gently brushed away Harry's hair from his face. The young man flinched away and opened his eyes at the first touch, but when he saw it was Severus he relaxed back into the pillows.
"That's ok Harry. Now relax and close your eyes, I'll see you in the morning."
Harry closed his eyes and slowly fell asleep to Severus stroking his hair. When the young man was fully asleep, Alan came over and rested a gentle hand on Severus's shoulder.
"You did very well Severus. Now, off to bed with you too."
Severus nodded and removed his hand from Harry's head. He then turned and walked over to his own bed and sat down. Alan came and sat next to him and put an arm around his shoulders.
"Relax Severus. Lie down and I'll give you some calming magic to help you sleep."
Severus did as Alan said and lied back onto the bed. Gently the Healer pulled up the covers and then rested one hand on Severus's chest and one on his forehead. Sending calming magic into Severus's it only took a few seconds for Severus to fall asleep.
When he was sleeping peacefully Alan took a step back and then recast the wards that would let him know if anything happened in the room while he was not present. He then took one lat look at Harry and then at Severus.
Shaking his head lightly Alan couldn't help but think just how good Harry would be for Severus and vice versa. Harry would get Severus to open up more to other people and Severus he knew would care for Harry as if he was his own son. Both these souls needed some care and this would give both of them a chance to heal.
With those thoughts and, a smile Alan silently left the room turning the lights off as he left.