A/N- This story stretches the entire of 6th year. Snape and Harry form a relationship akin to something a family would have, until Snape eventually adopts him. They both then have to get used to Harry's fame and the constant danger their lives are in. It will be updated every 4 – 6 days.
Chapter one; The Rescue
It was cold, so cold. The brittle dirt was rubbing into his cheek and wounds, the stench of blood filling his nostrils and the, now normal, scorching sensation searing through his scar. Harry Potter, the boy-who lived, opened is once bright green eyes, now dull and empty; he looked around what he figured to be an old cellar or possibly a dungeon. It was dank and musty; the trickle of water could be heard but not seen. It was tantalizing to the young boy, if there was one thing he could ask for in this world, it would be a glass of water, not to stop the ongoing torture or even have his parents back.
He had been in Lord Voldemort's clutches for a week, but the days were starting to blur together. It had happened so fast, he could barely remember. He recalled being sprung upon by Death Eaters in Little Whinging, around the area he and Dudley had been attacked by dementors. He had been easily over powered and the Order member who had been tracking him, an old wizard by the name of Keith Barto, had been killed. Voldemort's recruits apparated to a dark old house and brought Harry to the Dark Lord himself. Then hours upon hours of torture occurred, constant promise for it to stop if he only just told them what the prophecy was, but Harry did not give in, no matter the amount of acidic potions they forced down his throat, or the continuous bouts of Crucios. The thoughts of his loyalty to his friends, even Dumbledore kept him going.
Harry groaned and gingerly rolled on to his back, his muscles screaming and feeling as if they were being ripped apart. Suddenly he heard it. Someone was slowly, quietly, moving down, what Harry assumed to be a hallway. He scrunched his eyes closed and begged it was not Voldemort himself or Bellatrix Lestrange. Harry heard a muffled spell and a cool, refreshing breeze filled the dank cellar and the footsteps ceased.
Harry whimpered as he felt another potion bottle being pressed to his lips. He voluntarily swallowed the liquid, thinking it would be better if he just gave in, instead of having the Death Eater pin him down. A cooling sensation crept to the very tip of Harry's limbs as the potion hit his stomach, he gasped in relief and cracked his eyes open.
Greasy black hair and a hooked profile filled Harry's vision, even blurred he knew who it was and would have never believed he would be happy to see his Professor. He felt himself lifted into the Potion Master's arms and let out an audible moan, his entire body sang in pain.
"Stay with me Potter" he heard Snape murmur, but barely acknowledged it.
Abruptly the dark man lunged forward at a run, his breaths brushing against Harry's cheek. Shouting filled the hall and spells sprang around them, even the dreaded green flash filled the darkness.
"Stupefy!" snarled Snape as he awkwardly twisted his torso to fire back at his opponents.
Harry fumbled in his pockets aimlessly, begging for his wand, which he knew he would never have returned.
"Avada Kedavra!" Harry heard the insane voice of Bellatrix Lestrange scream. His entire body tensed and he let a scream escape his lips. No matter how much he hated Snape, no matter how much he blamed him for Sirius's death, he did not deserve to die.
He felt himself tumble out of his teacher's arms and roll along the floor. He opened his eyes that he hadn't realised were closed and spun his head wildly looking for his Professor. Finally he spotted the snarky man, lying in a lifeless heap on the ground. Harry quickly diverted his head; he felt his eyes start to sting. He stared fixedly at the moist ground as he heard the Death Eaters close in on him. His only hope of escape was now dead. He knew Voldemort would relocate him once he discovered Snape had been a traitor and his position was compromised.
"Potter" he heard someone sneer as he was hauled to his feet by a middle aged Death Eater, his yellowing teeth mere inches from Harry's face "that was close, wasn't it?"
Harry squirmed slightly and looked back to his least favourite teacher. No one had touched him; his face was concealed by his arm and hair. He had not a drop of his own blood on him, he was however covered in Harry's, and whose wounds had started to bleed profusely during the attempted escape.
"Is he dead?" Bellatrix shrieked as she stalked over to Snape, her bare feet blackened by dirt and grime.
Suddenly Snape whipped over onto his back and yelled a defiant "Stupefy!" Bellatrix crumpled to the floor and Snape lunged forward attacking the man who was holding Harry captive. The Death Eater dropped and with him fell Harry.
"Sir!" he rasped, his eyes pooling with tears of pain as he was scooped back into Snape's arms.
"Silent Potter" Snape snarled as again he was attacked from behind. He was pursued up the hallway by four Death Eaters, two who were in the elite ranks.
Spells were screamed and Harry's scar seared. The pain was like nothing he had felt before, he felt like his head had been slammed against a brick wall and that his scar was on fire. The betrayal he felt for Snape was not his own and he desperately tried to seal off his mind, from the red-eyed monster.
"Sir! He's coming! You have to go! He's coming!" Harry screamed in a strangled sob as he tried to fight off the attacks to his mind.
Snape tightened his grip on the distressed boy and quickly turned to face his opponents.
"Impedimenta!" Snape roared, before he pointed his wand at the cracking, algae covered ceiling and yelling "Reducto!"
There was a deafening crack as the ceiling collapsed, crushing the men who had fallen below it.
Snape clung to Potter and quickly pulled the specialised portkey Albus had made out of his pocket. Merlin let this work. He tapped the old candle holder with his wand, readjusted Potter in his grasp and finally the object glowed a radiant blue, he felt the familiar tug on his navel and he and Potter were whisked away.
Severus Snape landed unsteadily on his feet and quickly leapt out of the way when Potter vomited over the side of his arm. Snape glanced down, prepared to scrougify the mess before he had noticed that the boy had vomited blood.
"Poppy!" he yelled as he hurried across the hospital wing and placed Potter on the third bed along the aisle.
"Severus? What on earth? Why are you..." she slowly faded out as she took in the state of the boy that the Professor was leaning over.
"By the twitching in his back, the burns on his legs and most likely the excessive Crucios I think we should put him in an induced coma" muttered Snape as he efficiently stripped the boy of his soiled clothes. "Poppy?" he snapped, as the witch just stood there, shell-shocked.
"Severus" she breathed "How... how did you get him back?"
"It is no matter! I need you assistance!" he snarled, striding swiftly over to the potion cupboard and snatching a restorative potion.
"If you are planning on putting him in a coma, I suggest you do not give him that" Madam Pomfrey stated once she seemed to pull herself together.
Snape stopped what he was doing and glanced at her
"The potion will help settle his insides; I shall just give him a stronger dose of the Cotics potion."
"Very well" she sighed before turning back to her patient. Once she got a closer look she was even more distraught. Harry had weeping burns covering his legs; his torso was twitching uncontrollably in several places and his hair was matted together with a mixture of blood and grime.
"Oh Harry!" she sighed as she slowly and gently wiped the blood from his face. All she got in response was a low grunt.
"Potter, I need you to drink this" Snape said, slowly approaching the boy.
"Yes sir" Harry feebly said as he accepted the bottle and put it to his lips. Again he felt the wonderful cooling sensation disperse across his body.
"Once that is settled I will give you a mild sleeping draught, so you sleep while Poppy works on you" lied Snape.
Once Harry was certain his stomach was not going to rebel the potion he had just consumed he took the draught from his Professor.
In a matter of a few quick minutes the boy's breathing had become very deep and he almost looked peaceful.
"You really should have taken him to St Mungo's Severus; they have much more expertise than I when it comes to the Dark Arts"
"Albus trusts you Poppy, I am sure you will be able to make this boy recover"
"Oh yes, he will most definitely recover, I will make sure of that if it is the last thing I do" she snarled darkly, internally startling Snape.
"It is quite amusing about the amount of people who would die for this boy" Snape stated as he grabbed a stool and dragged it across the floor to sit next to Harry.
"And you would not?" Pomfrey snapped, her head whipping around to face the Professor with a look of utter loathing on her face.
"Poppy... I will do anything to win this war" Poppy seemed to become blustered and started focusing back on Harry "speaking of the war and Albus, I must tell him his Golden Boy has survived, may I use your floo?"
"Yes" came the curt reply from the nurse. She obviously did not appreciate the dismissive attitude the man used about Harry.
Snape strode over to the hearth and floo-called the Headmaster.
"Oh Severus! You are back!" and before Snape barely had the chance to remove his head from the hearth the tall and thin figure of Albus Dumbledore had strode into the room. His long white beard flowed down his violet robes and his blue eyes glistened behind the half-moon spectacles when he laid eyes upon Harry.
"He is alive, Albus" Snape intoned, stepping up beside the old man
"Just" Dumbledore whispered and Snape had never seen the wizard so distressed. His face was contorted into utter misery as though the boy might as well be dead. He cautiously placed his age-spotted hand onto Harry's chest and looked to be searching for a heartbeat.
"He will recover Headmaster" Poppy whispered as she slowly moved his hand from Harry and pulled the sheets up to cover his wounds.
"Severus... Are you injured?" Dumbledore asked, gesturing with his arms at Snape's cloak, which seemed to be covered in blood.
"No Albus... this is not mine"
"I am... glad to hear it my boy" the Headmaster whispered as he attempted to pull himself together "can you recount to me how you got to him? What happened when you got there?"
Snape sighed and took his seat by Potter again. He hunched over and pressed his knuckles to his head.
"He was easy to find, I knew where the Dark Lord kept most of his hostages, even where the different safe houses were, ironic really... how they were called safe houses" Snape scoffed before continuing "I was asked to take over watch for Jugson, I think he was going muggle baiting with Lucius"
"Muggle baiting? Who?" Dumbledore interrupted
"I believe they were going after the Prime Minister, do not worry Albus, I alerted Shacklebolt"
"Well done my boy"
Severus merely grunted and continued
"So I took over guard duty and seized my chance to grab Potter, he was a mess Albus. He has been subjected to most of all of the Death Eaters and the Dark Lord himself. I watched them torture him endlessly and he did not break, they wanted the prophecy, but he did not give it to them. He did not even beg" Snape stated grimly as he glanced at the boy by his side.
"He saw you watch them torture him and still trusted you to take him?"
"He did not know I was there, I stayed in the shadows... I do not exactly know why I was never appointed to punishing him, but I am a grateful, it made my mission much easier.
"Once I grabbed him we were foiled almost instantly, I can only imagine that there were alarms set on the door. I carried him down the hall as we were being attacked and pursued by the Dark Lord's ranks. Bellatrix was naturally there and was doing her best to put an end to me, maybe even Potter. She threw a killing curse at us at the same time I was hit in the back with a blasting curse; I tripped and lost my grip on Potter. The convenience of the killing curse was well timed and it looked as though I had been struck by that. To my surprise the boy was quite distressed"
"Of course he was Severus! He has seen that curse to much in his life!" cut off Dumbledore as he shifted in his seat and looked across the hospital wing to Madam Pomfrey's office.
"It is no matter anyway" snapped Snape, "Obviously I was not killed and preformed a surprise attack while my ex-colleagues focused on Potter. I grabbed the boy and headed off on the run again. He started screaming and I knew that the Dark Lord was on the move. I threw a spell at the ceiling and it collapsed onto the others and Potter and I escaped. I activated the emergency portkey you had organized and we ended up back here"
"It could have ended worse I suppose. It is a shame about you being compromised, but sadly it could not be avoided. You were obviously in the perfect position to get Harry and for that I am forever thankful"
"I did what needed to be done Albus" snarled Snape as he went to stand "If you do not need me at the moment, I have a few potions I must attended to that Mr. Potter will need. Oh and here, I retrieved this before I got to Potter; they seemed to enjoy torturing him with his own wand"
The headmaster gave a slight nod of the head, accepted Harry's wand and watched his Potions Master exit the hospital wing. He turned back to Harry, placed his wand on the bedside table and watched him. He seemed so peaceful now, his black hair was now sticking up in all directions instead of being plastered to his face with blood and his chest rose and fell reassuringly.
It had been so close to losing this boy, this precious boy, who was the only one who could end this war and kill the most dreadful wizard to walk the earth.
Dumbledore gently stroked the hair out of Harry's face and his thumb lingered over the distinct lightning bolt scar, before he stood and strode out of the hospital wing.
Poppy Pomfrey bustled across to the bed where the fifteen year old boy lay, situated at the far end of the room. He was mumbling in his sleep again, something that had been frequently occurring.
She quietly turned up a lamp and was startled by what she saw. Professor Snape was leaving over the boy, pressing a potion to his lips and muttering a swallowing charm. He looked up at her with a fierce expression and quickly sat back down and gestured that she should see to Harry.
"What are you doing up here Severus? It is almost two o'clock in the morning!" she chastised as she wiped Harry's sweating forehead; he seemed to have broken out into a fever.
"I wanted to see how he was doing" snarled Snape
"Well, he will recover but there will be scaring from the burns on his legs and his nerves system should heal eventually" Pomfrey stated sternly looking over the Potions Master, who had situated himself into the seat next to Harry's bed "If you are so desperate to spend time with the boy Severus you could just say"
"What?" growled Snape, his entire face darkened as he glared at the nurse.
"You seem very concerned about the boy... more than before"
"I risked my life for this boy; I even compromised my position in the Dark Lord's inner circle to save him. I do not want to see that effort wasted"
"Of course Severus, my mistake" Poppy answered mockingly, before she turned back to her office and walked away.
Snape glanced at the boy. He looked very vulnerable and no matter how much Snape tried to see it; he could no longer see that much of a resemblance to James Potter even in the boy's personality. Severus had witnessed Harry being tortured by the darkest witches and wizards in the world and he did not beg or break down. Severus Snape could never imagine James Potter being that strong and it disgusted him that he now had respect for the Golden Boy.
He snorted and leant back in his chair and let his head tip so he was facing the ceiling. He silently contemplated how this war was going to be won for the rest of the night.
Harry cracked his eyes open and was surprised to find that he was no longer in agonizing pain, instead he felt weightless. He turned his head to the side and was startled to see none other than Severus Snape lounging in a transfigured chair by the window. His raven hair was falling into his face, but it was clear that he was watching Harry very intently.
"Mr. Potter" he droned as he ran his hand through his hair.
"Sir?" Harry queried, he could quite clearly remember what had happened, but was still quite confused.
"Not even a thankyou Mr. Potter? Tut tut, I expected some manners since I saved your life only sixteen days ago"
All of Harry's bitter resentment towards Snape seemed to rise within him in that mocking sentence. It bubbled and infested inside of him until he could no longer contain himself.
"WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?" He screamed seeing his wand on the bedside table and feeling his body flood with relief once he picked it up "I HAVE DONE NOTHING TO YOU!"
"Calm yourself Potter! No need to get into any more trouble is there?" sneered Snape as he glared mockingly at the enraged boy. He was quite pleased that he was able to get a reaction from the boy that quickly.
"DON'T TALK TO ME LIKE THAT! I'VE JUST GONE THROUGH HELL AND BACK!" shouted Harry, his eyes blurring with tears.
"Oh dear Potter, you're more easily stirred than Black was" Snape scoffed
That was the last straw for Harry. Snape had no right to talk about Sirius since he had basically led him to his doom.
"IT'S YOUR FAULT HE'S DEAD, YOU BASTARD!" Spat Harry, his knuckles white from gripping his wand, which was steadily pointed at Snape's chest. "IF YOU HADN'T OF TAUNTED HIM, HE'D STILL BE ALIVE!" Harry screamed in a strangled sob. Snape was as white as a sheet and he said in his most deadly voice
"Typical Potter arrogance, screaming at me after I saved your miserable life. It is Black's fault he is no longer with you! He should have listened to Dumbledore, but no he ran off as the mangy stray he was" he finished in a whisper. Harry snarled as he wiped his tears away. "I know what I said must not have helped" Snape added as though it was an afterthought.
Then Harry saw it, something he never imagined he would see on the old potion master's face. It was regret. He blames it on himself, the man no one thought capable of sympathy blames himself for his enemy's death.
"Sir... I ..." Harry stammered as his professor stood to go. He lunged out to grab the velvety black cloak, which still had his own blood smeared on it. Snape glanced at him, went to say something and then stalked out of the hospital wing, leaving Harry with only his thoughts.
"WHY WOULD YOU TORMENT THE POOR BOY LIKE THAT?" Screeched Minerva McGonagall, her face beginning to purple around the edges and she looked as if she was about to lunge out and shake the Potions Master senseless.
"Yes Severus, I also would like to know what you were thinking" Dumbledore said sternly.
"None of you thought that the boy may have psychological damage? He was tortured for a straight seven days! I was simply seeing if he could rise to anger as he used to or if he was slightly cowed now"
"And? Was he? Are you going to tell him you were testing to him?" McGonagall questioned stridently.
Snape looked from Minerva's enraged face to Dumbledore's serene one and nodded his head.
"He is fine"