Disclaimer: I do not own any characters or settings mentioned in this story. This is a non-profit fanfiction, and all named characters and settings are the copyrighted property of J.K. Rowling.
Severus Snape was sobbing. Clutching the cold, lifeless body of his one love to him, Severus cried, shedding the tears that he had suppressed for his entire life, releasing all of his pain and longing and regret. Lily was so innocent, so pure and shining, and now her body lay dead in Severus' arms. It wasn't fair. Dumbledore had all but guaranteed Lily's protection, but the Dark Lord had somehow ambushed the family in the depths of the night, killing them all. How could they? How could they let Lily die like this? Severus hated them for doing this to the one he loved most in the world. Severus hated the Dark Lord for killing her. He hated Dumbledore for failing to protect her. But most of all, Severus hated himself, for being unable to save her.
A soft sound behind Severus had him whirling around, wand out and ready, thinking that the Dark Lord was somehow still in the area, even though Severus already knew that the Dark Lord had been killed while attempting to destroy the Potters. But the only thing that the lumos at the end of his wand revealed was a baby boy, cooing softly in his sleep amidst the debris and charred wood of the ruined house. The little boy was healthy and very much alive, as Severus could see, with raven dark hair curling wildly everywhere and a brilliantly red lightning bolt scar on his tiny forehead.
His eyes were closed, but Severus knew at once that it was the son of Lily and James Potter. The boy was practically a spitting image of the elder Potter, the one who had tormented Severus during his time at Hogwarts and had stolen Lily from him. Hate welled inside Severus, along with contempt and anger at the innocent little child before him. How very typical, Severus thought, that his precious Lily would have had to die, while the little spawn of Potter lived on.
Severus raised his wand, intending to kill the child of James Potter just out of spite for his father, when the little baby boy opened his eyes and looked straight at Severus. He gasped, and his wand fell from numb fingers, the lumos flickering out as the wand dropped to the ground. The boy's eyes were sparkling green, clear and almost luminescent in the sudden darkness, filled with innocence and a bit hazy from having just woken from slumber. They were beautiful eyes. They were Lily's eyes. They were the eyes that he had fallen in love with.
Severus couldn't kill the boy. The boy with the eyes he loved. No matter how much the boy resembled the man he hated with all his heart, as soon as the boy looked at him Severus' cold, icy heart melted to that warm touch of spring green. Heart aching at the woman he had loved and lost, Severus picked up his wand, reigniting the lumos. Severus knew that the Aurors and Dumbledore would be arriving in minutes, no doubt having felt the same strong Dark magic that Severus had. Severus knew that Dumbledore would take Harry, and make Harry into a boy who would one day do anything that Dumbledore asked. Knowing that what he was doing was beyond foolish, and was probably the stupidest thing that he had ever done, Severus walked over and picked up the boy, who was staring intently at him without making a sound.
As soon as Severus picked him up, the little boy smiled and clapped his chubby little hands, showing tiny white baby teeth. The little boy reached out and patted his hands all over Severus' face, making Severus huff in annoyance and slap his hands away. The boy looked downcast, his innocent eyes darkening with hurt. Seeing the pitiful expression, Severus scowled. "Don't look at me like that," Severus mumbled to the boy, though it was obvious he didn't understand a single word. "I'll have to get rid of that scar on your head. If I'm going to raise you, I can't have people suspecting that I've abducted the child who vanquished the Dark Lord."
With a few quick waves of his wand, Severus cast a powerful, near-permanent glamour on the boy, watching as the livid scar faded until all that was visible was smooth skin. Almost as an afterthought, Severus added several spells that were a permanent Notice-Me-Not charm on the boy, so that those who had known James Potter and might recognize the boy from his resemblance to the man would never be able to make the connection. Thus, nobody would ever have reason to even speculate that the boy had any relation to the dead Potters. After casting the spell, Severus made it so that the magic wouldn't work on himself, so that he would remember forever whose child the little boy really was, with midnight black hair and emerald eyes.
In order to ensure that the glamour would be undetectable even with the most thorough magical analysis, Severus cast some more charms that erased the magical signature from the spells, so that the spells would go unnoticed and that the glamour would be irreversible until the boy's seventeenth birthday. When Severus was finished, the boy in his arms looked like any other child, except for the astonishingly intelligent eyes, with completely unblemished skin.
The boy waited silently as Severus completed the intricate spells, staring at Severus all the while. The boy almost looked as if he understood the gravity of what was happening, Severus thought, but then dismissed the idea. It was impossible. The boy was hardly a year old; he couldn't even speak yet, much less understand what was happening. Shaking his head at his thoughts, Severus knew that taking the boy was going to put him at odds with both Dumbledore and the Dark Lord, when he resurrected himself. Severus scoffed at the idea. He was already an outcast, he didn't fit in anywhere, and it was stupid to start caring about that now. He was already in no-man's-land, not accepted on either side of the war between the Dark and Light. And he would take the Boy-Who-Lived with him, so that when the boy grew up, he would be free to make his own decision.
But the world would not be permitted to know that the boy had lived, or even retain some hope that he had done so. Looking around, Severus saw a small pillow, almost the same size as the boy. Placing the boy to sit down next to the pillow, Severus waved his wand over them both, chanting the spell corpus imitatum. It was a Dark spell, but with all the residue Dark magic lingering around in the house, Severus thought that a little more Dark magic wouldn't do any harm or cause any undue notice. The pillow transformed into a body, an exact clone of the boy. The only difference was that the body was dead. The spell was classified as Dark because it was completely undetectable and allowed necromancers unlimited supplies of dead bodies, which they could create by just imitating themselves. However, in this case, it would be used to fake a death.
Severus picked up the dead copy of the boy and placed it in the mound of debris that Severus thought was once the cradle. Erasing his magical signature from the house, Severus picked up the real boy and looked him in the eye once again.
"So they named you Harry Potter," Severus said, "But Harry Potter is dead. To all the world, you will be nothing more than my godson, an orphan that I took in. Hadrian will be your name. Fitting isn't it, that you shall be named the dark one when you must be the brightest of us all. Hadrian you shall be, and you will know nothing of your past, nor your future." Severus' words rang with finality as he determined the future of the boy who vanquished the Dark Lord. Solemnity and understanding sparked in the boy's eyes, before he leaned into Severus' shoulder and fell asleep. With a sense of changing destinies, Severus covered the boy in his cloak and Disapparated into the night, leaving no trace behind.
Author's Note: This is going to follow the storyline pretty closely, but from a different angle. Hope you guys like it. I know a bunch of stories have been published about this, but I just felt like writing it my way. Please review!