Is it - is it true? Could it be? A complete fic?
Never mind that. I believe I owe you all a huge THANK YOU! Thank you for sticking with me when I didn't update for over a month, when I had no idea what to write next. Thank you for the suggestions and the beautiful reviews, along with all the favorites and follows that let me know that you genuinely wanted to continue reading. Thank you for everything, my dear readers. I cannot express my gratitude to you.
This story hit 300,000 views the other day! I may be in slight shock. Nevertheless, thank you so much!
I'm going to go get started on that sequel. Keep an eye out for it, and I'll probably add a note onto the end of this fic when I get it up. ;)
Now go on! Go read that last chapter!
Glimpses – Chapter 20
Snape jumped at the small voice from behind him. His head snapped up from where it had been buried in his potion-stained hands and turned.
"Harry," he greeted, still slightly startled. "Why did you –?"
He was cut off by his adopted son.
"Just practicing," Harry remarked, grinning cheekily and moving to take the seat beside Snape at the table. He allowed the man to pour him a mug of steaming tea, which he drew close to his face. The steam wafted up lazily, warming his pointed chin.
Snape cast a quick charm to check the time as breakfast appeared on the table. He sucked in a deep breath through his teeth, observing the fluffy scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, and warm buttered toast with a cool, calculating glance.
"It is just after nine. You still have several hours until the train leaves, son. By all means, refrain from calling me 'Professor' until then." He helped himself to the food before him. "It makes me feel old," he added with a wry grin.
In reality, the Potions Master was quite stressed. He had never had the experience of sending a child off to Hogwarts before, and although he would be at the school the entire time, he felt as if he was letting a very prominent piece of his life go without sufficient protection.
"Dad? How are we getting to the station?" Harry asked, stuffing his mouth full of bacon. "We can't Floo, can we?"
"We most certainly cannot. We will Apparate, which is another means of transportation in the magical world."
"Apparate?" the boy questioned around the food in his mouth. "What's that?"
"It is the most effective and quickest way to travel. One disappears from one place and reappears in another. Much like the Muggle idea of teleportation, I believe," Snape informed quietly. Harry nodded in response, continuing to eat.
"My trunk is by the front door for when we are leaving."
Snape simply nodded, staring absently at his toast, his mind on other things.
"Hold on tightly to my arm, Harry," Snape instructed, shrinking Harry's trunk and placing it in the pocket of his robe. The boy clung to his hand, biting his lip in his nervousness. "This may be uncomfortable. Please do not vomit." The pleading note in his voice conveyed that the request was far from a joke.
Harry felt his father take a step forward, and attempted to step with him, only to find that the stone floor was no longer beneath their feet. He felt as if he were being squeezed on all sides, unable to cry out, unable to shout, unable to escape. His entire body was being stretched beyond its normal proportions. Snape had asked him not to get sick, but at this rate, he didn't think he was going to be able to control it.
They landed on solid ground in an alleyway, and Harry doubled over, fighting the urge to throw up. He felt a cool glass vial pressed into his sweaty palm.
"Please," came Snape's voice. "It will help."
Harry promptly knocked back the foul-tasting potion, shuddering slightly. The liquid pumped through his body, rapidly erasing every hint of nausea from his system. He straightened, giving his father a shaky grin.
"Shall we?" Snape gestured toward the street, from which Harry could see the entrance to King's Cross Station. He grasped his father's hand tightly as they made their way out of the alley and into the crowded station.
"There's so many people," Harry murmured, his head whipping back and forth in order to take it all in. Snape was hurrying them down the walkway, finally stopping dead between Platforms 9 and 10. "Didn't the ticket say Platform 9 ¾?"
Snape shushed him gently, leading him forward. Harry watched with interest as his father moved to press one pale hand against the brick barrier, only to fall right through. Harry was pulled with him, and suddenly he found himself in an entirely different world.
People were gathered in groups all along the platform. Harry saw owls and cats running all around, and peered down at his own owl – Anthony – whose cage was held tightly in his right hand. A few children were already dressed in their swishing black robes, while parents were clad in brighter colors such as scarlets and blues. Harry pressed closer to Snape in apprehension, letting himself be pulled forward again.
Snape pulled him onto the train, finding an open compartment for him and settling him into it. He returned the trunk to its normal size and stashed it above their heads before taking the seat across from Harry.
Harry broke the comfortable silence first, giving the insecurities that had been rushing around his head a voice.
"I don't think I can do this," he whispered quietly, staring at the carpet beneath his feet. Snape did not respond for several minutes, and Harry glanced up, finding himself even more uncertain than before. He caught a strange look leaving his father's eyes, and opened his mouth to speak again, but closed it again quickly.
"Harry." The man's voice was soft, reassuring. He waved his wand and the shutters flew down, blocking them from the prying eyes of students both in the corridors and out on the platform. "You will be fine. I will be with you as soon as you get to the school, and remember than when you are there, you are always welcome in my quarters. Your bedroom is always free." He paused to smile for a moment. "Do you think you can make it through the train ride? You'll make some new friends, I'm sure."
The words fell heavy on Harry's heart. But feeling slightly more reassured, he questioned, "You'll be there for me?" Snape nodded, and Harry moved to hug him, sliding easily into the older man's lap.
"Do you think you will be able to manage?" There was a hint of emotion in Snape's voice as he wrapped strong arms around the boy.
"If you have my back, I think I can," Harry whispered into Snape's black robes, hugging him fiercely.
Snape gently pried him off, setting him in the seat. He reached into his pockets and presented Harry with a handful of gold Galleons.
"Money for treats," the man muttered. "Do try to refrain from eating yourself sick."
Harry took the money gratefully, smiling up at his father. "Thank you, Dad. I'll see you soon?"
Snape nodded, and Harry felt himself pulled in for one last time before his father was gone.
Snape sat at the Head Table, eating his steak in sullen silence. He was normally silent at meals during the school year, but this was different. He had turned to his right to speak to Harry and make sure that he was eating only to find that the boy was not there. Rather, his place had been taken by a bumbling, stuttering Professor Quirrell, whose purple turban smelled suspiciously of garlic, and Snape was finding that he sorely missed his son in the eight hours since he had last seen him.
He glanced up as the doors to the Great Hall burst open, eagerly searching for Harry. He wanted to know if he had chocolate smeared on his face, if he had made any new friends, if he looked happy. Was this what it felt like to be a proud – albeit worried – father?
He noted with a small amount of satisfaction that Harry did not have chocolate on his face, and he was surrounded by a small girl with bushy brown hair, a red-headed boy that could only by the newest Weasley to attend the school, and none other than Draco Malfoy. Snape was surprised to see Draco in the group, yet amused at the distance the boy was keeping from the Weasley boy.
Harry's eyes were searching the Head Table, and they finally fell on him. His face split into a wide smile, although his eyes betrayed a small bit of the apprehension he felt toward the sorting. Snape graced the boy with a small smirk in response.
McGonagall began calling out names, and Snape watched as his son grew progressively more and more uncomfortable. He yearned to run down and wipe away all of the boy's worries, but knew that it was neither the time nor place for such comfort.
"Potter, Harry!" rang out across the Great Hall, and noise bubbled up on every side. Snape couldn't hide his scowl at the reaction.
Harry ran up and sat on the stool, glancing toward the bushy-haired girl – Hermione Granger – who had been sorted into Gryffindor, and Draco, who had been sorted into Slytherin as soon as the hat had made contact with his head.
The brim of the hat fell over Harry's eyes, covering his glasses completely. It looked so ridiculous that Snape had to take a quick sip of tea to stifle his chuckle.
Muffled whispers carried throughout the room as the hat stayed silent for several minutes.
"Hatstall?" drifted up from somewhere along the Ravenclaw house table.
Suddenly, the Sorting Hat's brim burst open and made its long-awaited announcement.
The Great Hall – in its vast entirety – fell completely silent at the decision. Words fell flat. Sentences were cut off. Entire conversations were abandoned, every semblance of interest in the topic lost.
Harry hesitantly pulled the hat from his head, peering anxiously around the Hall in the silence. He hopped awkwardly off of the stool, his trainers scuffing against the stone floor. He stood there before everyone for several moments.
Snape, just as shocked as the students, shot a surprised glance down the table to the Headmaster. Dumbledore stared back, eyes wide. Everything in his expression suggested that there would be a long discussion on the topic later that evening.
Snape looked back at Harry, who was still standing in front of the silent Great Hall, his eyes frantically searching up and down the Slytherin house table. The green eyes locked onto Draco's slightly-surprised grey ones.
The platinum-haired boy stood suddenly, letting out a loud cheer. The tense silence shattered like glass. Sound erupted on every side, bombarding Snape's ears as Harry anxiously walked over to the Slytherin table and took a seat beside Draco, who smiled warmly at him.
Snape made a mental note to thank the boy and send a very approving letter to Lucius later that night.
Harry Potter the Slytherin. Well. That was far from anyone's expections.
"Are you sure this is okay, Dad? Everyone else seemed really surprised," Harry asked, masked apprehension clear in his eyes.
Snape leaned forward from where he was sitting in the armchair, setting the thick book he had reading onto the coffee table.
"Harry, everything is perfectly fine. It was just a bit of a shock," Snape reassured the boy. "Slytherin. . . does not have the best reputation sometimes, and no one expected you to be sorted there." Harry looked as if he were about to ask another question, but stopped when Snape added, "But guess what this means?"
"What?" Harry questioned cautiously.
"I am your Head of House, and I therefore may punish you as I choose." Snape emphasized his point by throwing his head back and letting out a false maniacal laugh.
Harry's eyes widened in mock fear before he let out a snort of amusement. Snape followed suit, chuckling as well, wrapping his arms around the boy as he moved forward to pull him into a hug.
Harry hugged him back, whispering uncertainly, "It doesn't matter what people think?"
"Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind*," Snape whispered back.
"Unfortunately, I was not the first to use that line. I believe it is attributed to some Muggle writer," Snape muttered.
Harry giggled, and Snape pulled him closer, tightening his arms around the child.
"I love you, Dad," the boy murmured into Snape's cloak.
"I love you too, Harry. Nothing can take you away from me now."
* I believe this quote is generally attributed to Dr. Seuss. I did not come up with it on my own! :P
Once again, thank you! I'm going to go on over and mark this fic as complete now. Maybe I'll actually get some sleep in the future now.
*sobs* What do I do with my life now?
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