Author Notes: A Happy Easter to those who celebrate this day!
This is the third installment of Stories for My Daughter, individual one shots of Severus Snape and his adopted son, Harry Potter. The back story is AU so you will find young Harry happier and more cheerful here than in canon.
Yes, I still haven't gotten to that back story, but in the meantime, enjoy this one! There's also a tiny appearance at the end by two certain Guardians :)
Summary: Twelve year old Harry Potter is determined to have his Easter egg hunt. Featuring an unsuspecting Severus Snape and some spirited little eggs. Father/Son relationship.
Appreciation: Thanks Sheankelor for her lovely description of an Easter egg basket since I've never received, made or even seen such a collection of pretties in my life.
Warnings: Severe OOCness, silliness and loads of fluff!
Disclaimer: Harry Potter is the brainchild of JK Rowlings.
- Story Start -
Harry Potter sat on the floor of his dorm room, thin arms wrapped around his bent legs and chin resting on his knees. He heaved a sigh as he stared out the window at the heavy sheets of rain falling from a stormy grey sky.
Molly Weasley had kept her promise and sent a bag of Easter eggs early this morning. The bedraggled lump of steaming feathers lying on a towel in front of the hearth was Errol, the Weasley family owl, who was still recovering from his heroic flight at dawn.
Harry, Ron and Hermione had planned to have their egg hunt at Hagrid's right after breakfast. It was ten o'clock now. Thanks to the rain, Easter this year was shaping up to be a real washout.
A similar sigh had Harry looking over his shoulder. Ron hopped down from his bed and came to sit cross legged next to him, his glum expression mirroring Harry's. The rest of their friends were downstairs in the common room or at the library.
"The eggs are getting restless."
Harry looked down at the heavy waterproof sack in Ron's lap, its neck tightly secured with twine. The sack was quivering and he could hear the muffled, high pitched chattering coming from inside it.
When Ron prodded it with one finger, they heard a giggle and the sack squirmed again.
Muggle Easter eggs stayed where they were hidden and waited to be found and picked up.
Wizarding Easter eggs sprouted little legs the moment they were set down and scurried around giggling and evading one's clutches. The spell only wore off after a day or once a bite was taken from the egg.
"Well," Harry began, "I suppose we could -"
The sound of the door opening had them swinging around in unison, Ron hunching over the sack to hide it.
"I thought you two might be up here," Hermione observed with her hands on hips. "Since it's raining, why don't we go to -"
"Not the Library, Hermione!" Ron interrupted. "It's Easter! Easter Sunday!"
"And we've already finished all our homework," Harry quickly reminded her.
Hermione looked from one pleading face to the other and sighed.
"Fine," she agreed. She frowned down at the bag and then at the heavy downpour outside the window.
"So what should we do with those? Oh, let's just release them in the Common Room. It doesn't look like it's going to stop raining soon and the grounds will be muddy."
Harry shrugged and looked at Ron.
"The Common Room?" The redhead didn't look pleased. "Everyone will be there! There won't be enough for the three of us!"
Harry's head swiveled back to Hermione. Her frown deepened.
"Ron, that bag is huge!" she protested. "Too much chocolate will ruin your teeth and there's bound to be lots of sweets at lunch! And at dinner!"
Ron just scowled at her, hunching over the sack again.
Harry gave him a sympathetic smile. Having a large family that wasn't well off meant you had to skimp on certain things and miss out on others. But at least Ron's parents were still alive and he had many siblings to play with...
Harry shook his head, not wanting to dwell on the past right now. He had a wonderful home here at Hogwarts, two best friends and an adopted father who loved him.
Severus Snape always tried his best to live up to his reputation of the evil Dungeon Bat of Hogwarts, but inside his grumpy and scowling exterior was a man who cared deeply for his adopted son. No one knew that better than Harry Potter and the little squeak that came from his left shoulder seemed to agree.
Smiling, Harry reached up and stroked the tiny head of Alfred, the little white mouse he had adopted last Christmas.
"Hey!" he said suddenly.
Ron and Hermione stopped their bickering and looked at him.
"We can have our egg hunt in my dad's quarters!"
- o -
Severus Snape was sound asleep in his bed.
He had told himself the night before not to get up at the crack of dawn like he usually did, and to enjoy a well deserved lie in instead. It was Easter Sunday and he was quite happy - determined, actually - to skip a breakfast that would no doubt consist of nothing but sweets and chocolates.
Sleeping on his side with one hand under his pillow, he was roused from a wonderful slumber by a tickling sensation going up his bare arm from wrist to elbow.
Cracking one eye open, he saw a bight pink orb with horizontal, wavy orange stripes on his elbow. He blinked at the lurid colour combination and the orb came into sudden, sharp focus.
It was an egg. An egg with tiny yellow legs and feet.
Severus almost shouted out in surprise were it not for the fact that he was a trained spy. His other hand slid out from under the pillow, fingers closed around his wand.
The egg didn't have eyes, but was sentient enough to sense the threatening presence of a wand. It promptly squealed in fright and pooped its entire contents - two full tablespoons of liquid chocolate - onto Severus' elbow.
The egg toppled off of his elbow to land on the sheets, legs waving haplessly in the air. It was propelled from the bed and through the air when Severus bolted upright, long hair hanging in his face as he looked around his bedroom in horror.
It was overrun with more of these horrible little creatures, all of them squealing and scampering over his bookshelf and dresser, giggling from behind ink pots and sitting on his quills and parchment, swinging from his bathrobe (those had little hands as well as feet) and waving at him (ditto) from its pockets, playing hopscotch on his bedsheets, blankets and bathmat.
Three frightened squeaks brought his gaze to the bedroom door where three huge pairs of eyes stared at him - one blue, one brown and one bright green.
Severus pressed his lips into a thin line. He should have known.
- o -
A frantic half hour later, the same bulging sack lay on Severus' bed, its neck tied up and its contents quiescent.
Severus Snape stood barefooted at the foot of his bed, still clad in his chocolate splashed nightshirt. He glared down at three guilty looking twelve year olds whose faces, hair and robes were equally stained with chocolate.
"I am so going to kill Fred and George," Ron muttered to Harry and comforted himself with thoughts of what his older brothers would get once their mother found out about this. He would have to leave out the part about using Snape's quarters, of course.
Harry darted a quick look around his father's bedroom and winced at the splotches of dripping chocolate decorating every possible surface. The twins must have somehow intercepted Errol and not only replaced the sweets inside the eggs with melted chocolate, but cast a spell to make the eggs poop when anyone tried to capture them.
Cries of 'Come here, you evil little devil!' and the freezing charm 'Immobilus' were particularly effective in this regard.
"Now what have you three got to say for yourselves?"
The deep, silky tones of the Potions Master prompted much blushing and shoe scuffing from the three Gryffindors.
"I'm sorry, sir," Hermione quavered, on the verge of tears. They were going to get a thousand point loss! And detention until they graduated! Possibly for the next ten years after that too...
"Sorry, sir," Ron mumbled, still trying to cheer himself up with hopes that his mum would use the Dreaded Wooden Spoon on the twins' behinds.
"I'm sorry, dad," Harry echoed. "We wanted to have it outside, but it was raining kneazles and crups and... it's all my fault."
He looked up at his adopted father, all teary eyed and quivering lip although he wasn't sure it would work this time. There was a very sorry sounding squeak from his left shoulder where Alfred perched with drooping, sticky whiskers.
Faced with those familiar tear drenched green eyes and turned down lips, Severus Snape had to increase the power of his glare. Just because it was Easter (even though it was still raining) was no excuse for these three to disrupt his precious sleep (even though they had managed to sneak in without him noticing) by turning his bedroom into an egg hunt (even though he had left his door ajar).
Severus hardened his heart against three penitent expressions, six tear filled eyes and one subdued mouse. He thought of setting them to clean up his bedroom without magic, but the thought of sticky little fingers and curious little minds going through his wardrobe and personal possessions made him shudder.
Cauldrons, he decided. Nothing like scrubbing out cauldrons.
- o -
Two hours later, a huge stack of gleaming cauldrons sat on the counter. Three sweaty and exhausted children wiped their foreheads and hands dry, heaving a collective sigh of relief at one another. In addition to their stained robes, Ron sported a purple smudge on one cheek, Harry a blue smear over one eyebrow and Hermione's hair had escaped its bindings and was all over her face.
"I'm starving!" Ron groaned. It was well past lunchtime.
"Me too. Let's go tell my dad we're done," Harry suggested and led the way from the potions lab, oblivious to the nervous glances his friends exchanged behind his back.
- o -
When the fire in the grate flashed emerald, Severus looked up from his latest Potions Monthly to find Minerva McGonagall's face in the flames.
"Severus, have you seen Potter, Weasley and Granger around? They missed lunch."
Severus glanced at the clock. So they had and something twinged in his chest.
"I have set them scrubbing cauldrons," he told her.
"After they had turned my bedroom into a chocolate wasteland complete with squealing and screaming natives who have not been toilet trained."
Minerva's eyebrows shot up. Then her lips twitched despite how uncomfortable it must be kneeling in front of her fireplace.
"But it's Easter."
Severus sighed and closed his magazine, prompted by Minerva's words as much as that annoying sensation in his chest.
"All right. I shall order some lunch for them before sending them back to Gryffindor Tower."
"Consider it done!"
Minerva beamed at him before vanishing from the fire, leaving Severus to blink at it. The knock at the door made him look up.
"Come in," he called and three sweaty children trooped in.
"All done, dad," Harry announced.
Severus folded his arms across his chest and gave an austere nod, repressing the urge to run a wet washcloth over his son's face and a comb through his messy hair. He might even do Granger and Weasley's. If forced.
"Very well. I shall order -"
"I smell food...!" Ron interrupted him with a near delirious moan.
Before Severus could do more than blink again, the redhead had darted to the door of his bedroom and dived inside with Harry and Hermione hot on his heels.
In the ten seconds it took Severus to realise that his newly cleaned bedroom had been invaded yet again, a picnic on the carpet beside his bed was well underway. On a rug printed with bunnies, flowers and eggs were large plates of sandwiches, cakes and muffins, glasses of iced pumpkin juice... and a huge basket of Easter goodies.
Severus stared at it from the doorway. There were hard boiled coloured eggs, chocolate eggs, marshmallow candy coated eggs, jelly beans, candy and chocolate coated malt balls and Easter bunnies, all of them resting on a bed of shredded green paper that Severus was sure was made out of mint chocolate. He suspected Minerva had told the elves to cancel the spell on the eggs since none of them had legs or were moving.
Harry beamed up at him, chewing away with bulging cheeks. Alfred was perched on his arm, nibbling at a piece of cheese.
"Thanhks, dad! Happy Eashter!" Harry said unintelligibly, almost spitting out a bit of sandwich.
Ron and Hermione followed suit, gabbling out similarly incomprehensible words while beaming up at him.
Severus was Slytherin enough not to mention who had ordered the lunch. He simply came inside the room and bent down to snag himself a sandwich before sitting down on the edge of his bed. He hadn't had his lunch either.
- o -
As the unexpectedly enjoyable meal drew to a close, Severus went out to answer another floo call, this time from Albus. Minerva wasn't the only one who had noticed the trio's absence.
After a few minutes of reassuring the Headmaster that he hadn't used any part of Harry, Ron or Hermione in potions or to stuff Easter eggs with, Severus reentered his bedroom to find all three miscreants asleep on his bed, lying across its width. He surveyed them with raised eyebrows.
Granger was at the head of the bed, facing the headboard with her arms around his pillow - his pillow! - and Weasley next to her, flat on his back with his face half covered by bushy brown hair and - despite its nuisance - snoring his head off. On his other side was Harry, curled up on his side with one hand under his cheek.
Refusing to let that enchanting sight sway him in the least, Severus folded his arms across his chest and glared down at the three of them. Not one of them had remembered to wipe their mouths or fingers after devouring the Easter goodies. It was left to him to clean things up.
He went into the adjoining bathroom and came back with a wet washcloth which he used to clean mouths and fingers, using a different corner for each child. Not one of them stirred.
Banishing the washcloth, Severus glared down at them again and realised there was one girl and two boys all in the same bed. No doubt they were still at the stage where kissing anyone who wasn't family meant contracting cooties, but it was left to him to observe the proprieties.
He conjured up two plump pillows and tucked them between Weasley and Granger. Since he had gone to all the trouble of cleaning them up and separating them by gender, he supposed he might as well let them sleep a bit longer. But only because he wasn't in the mood for any cranky behaviour.
Severus' gaze then slid to Harry who looked like a sleeping angel. Before he knew it, he was bending closer and smoothing back a lock of unruly hair, catching a glimpse of bright black eyes before Alfred disappeared inside Harry's shirt.
When long lashes fluttered, Severus froze, caught in the act by sleepy green eyes. Harry gave him a tiny smile, reaching up brush his lips against his adopted father's fingers before closing his eyes again.
Completely disarmed by that gesture and making sure the other two were still asleep, Severus allowed the faint smile to remain on his face as he went out of the room, leaving the door ajar.
- o -
A few minutes later, a magical window opened in the wall. Two pairs of eyes peered at the three sleeping children on the bed and the adult on the sofa outside.
"Happy Easter, you little ankle biters," said the huge gray rabbit with green eyes.
"And to their teacher as well," added his companion, a boy with silver hair and smiling blue eyes.
They each blew a puff of glittering dust through the magical window, sending thoughts of hope and fun to the four sleeping occupants. Then the window closed and the two Guardians melted into the shadows.
Oblivious to his visitors, the Potions Master of Hogwarts continued his well deserved nap on the sofa in his living room while his adopted son and two best friends occupied his bed. And although he would never reveal this even under the most fearsome of tortures, Severus Snape wouldn't have it any other way.
- Story End -
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