Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. No copyright infringement is intended.
Summary: What if Snape was Harry's father? What if Dumbledore informed him just before Harry came to Hogwarts? AU.
Snape couldn't stop grinning to himself on Christmas. Harry had no idea what part of his Christmas present would be.
He had overheard him talking to the mirror of Erised about a week ago while under a disillusionment charm so Harry couldn't see him.
Harry had apparently seen himself, James and Lily. He'd told the mirror that he really wished that he could be his son, meaning that they could be together as a family.
That he'd never have to return to the Dursleys.
And Snape was more than happy to oblige this request. He'd already planned on doing so eventually. He approached Harry. "Happy Christmas, Harry."
"Happy Christmas, dad." Harry grinned at him. "Thank you so much for the photo album. You have no idea how much it means to me."
Snape grinned back at his son. "I thought you might like it. There's more to your Christmas presents, though."
"Really?" Harry looked up at him in shock. He'd never gotten any presents from the Dursleys.
"Really." Snape ruffled Harry's hair. "We'll be apparating. I should warn you that it'll be disorienting, the first time always is."
"I thought you couldn't apparate within Hogwarts?" Harry asked.
"Heads of houses and the headmaster can, Harry."
Harry's eyes lit up. "Where will we be going?"
"Telling you would ruin the surprise, now wouldn't it?" Snape gripped his gently before twisting around and the tube like feeling appeared for a moment before they arrived.
"The ministry of magic?" Harry asked in awe, trying to look everywhere at once.
They put their wands in the tray before getting in an elevator.
Harry looked at the lit up button. "Wizarding child services? Why are we going there?"
"We have an… appointment with an old friend of mine." Snape smiled mysteriously.
As they exited, they saw a young witch outside who beckoned them into a small, enclosed office. "It's a pleasure to see you again, Severus. I must say it came as a surprise to hear that young Mr. Potter is your son."
"Indeed. Harry, this is Mary McDonald. She was a good friend of mine and Lily's at school."
"It's nice to meet you, ma'am." Harry smiled.
"Oh, aren't you such a dear. You may call me Mary. There's no need to be formal." Harry nodded. "I'm assuming Severus didn't tell you why you're here?" She said with amusement.
"No ma… Mary. He said it was a Christmas present."
Mary took out a small stack of paper. She beamed at him. "Severus, I'll let you do the honors of informing him."
Harry stared at Snape in confusion as he kneeled down next to him. "Harry, I would love it if you let me take you in as your official legal guardian and father. I… I've already missed 11 years of your life and left you with those horrible muggles, and for that I'm truly sorry. But I want to make it up to you, Harry."
"Really? You… you want to, uh… adopt me?" Harry couldn't remember a time in his life ever being so happy. He could feel tears of joy forming in his eyes.
Snape felt joy at seeing Harry so happy. "Of course I do, Harry. You're my son." He couldn't get anything else out before Harry hugged him.
"Thank you!" He cried. Much to his surprise, Snape hugged him back.
"I love you, Harry. Nothing will ever change that." Snape said after a few minutes when they broke apart. They turned back to Mary.
"All you have to do is sign here with what name you want to use from now on and it will be official." She said. "Do remember though, Harry, this will break the blood adoption James Potter instated. You're in for a rough night while you return to the appearance that you were meant to have. By the time you wake up tomorrow, though, it'll be over."
"What's a blood adoption?" Harry asked as he took the pen and papers.
"It's the reason you look like James Potter and not myself. It… deactivates, I suppose you could say, the birth father's genes and puts in the adoptive father's genes instead." Snape put a hand on his shoulder.
"So I'm not going to look anything like I do right now after this is done?" Harry asked, somewhat alarmed. How did one look in the mirror and see someone other than what they knew to be themselves?
"No you won't." Snape said, somewhat torn. "Given that you inherited most of James' appearance from the blood adoption, all those features are going to change. Maybe even the few features of Lily's. No living person knows what you looked like before he adopted you. It's going to be painful for the next few hours."
Harry nodded. He wasn't sure he liked the idea, but if it meant that they could finally be a family… He grinned as he signed his new name. The one he would have had if the situation had been ideal as his mother told him. Harold Severus Snape.
As soon as all the paperwork was done, Harry couldn't help but run over and hug Snape. "Dad…" He grinned.
"You're my son…" The words still left him in awe. They could finally be a family. "Thank you, Mary." He whispered, looking up at her.
"It was my pleasure, Severus. Just make sure to visit occasionally." She grinned before looking down at Harry. "You might want to take him home before his body and magic are too unbalanced to travel."
"Ah… yes, I suppose you're right. Goodbye, Mary." They left the office and headed out. "Ready, Harry?"
Harry nodded before they were sucked back through the constricting tunnel. It wasn't as bad when they arrived this time, though. Suddenly he was overcome by a wave of exhaustion and collapsed into Snape's arms. "Mm… I'm tired, dad."
Snape nodded. "Don't worry, Harry, that's normal. Your body's changing rapidly and rather than try to weather the storm, it's deciding to sleep it off instead." He picked Harry up and carried him to the guest bedroom for the time being. He smiled as the boy fell asleep instantly. He could already see the changes starting.
Lily watched in amusement as her husband slept with his head next to their sleeping son, holding the boy's hand. She couldn't help but remember how he'd longed to be able to do that after she had informed him she was pregnant.
She couldn't wait for them to wake up so they could be a proper family for the first time. Sev still didn't know that she was alive. It was a little known fact, after all.
She was so busy thinking that she was startled when Harry sat up. "Mom?" He looked at her tiredly.
She smiled at him. "It's me, sweetheart."
"I'll explain later, you need your sleep right now." She brushed his hair back from his face.
A thought occurred to Harry. "What time is it?"
"8 o'clock in the morning." She said, looking over at the digital clock.
"It's time to get up, anyway." He waved it off. He was anxious to see his new appearance.
As soon as he got to the bathroom, Harry took a deep breath and looked in the mirror.
His eyes were the same shade of green that they had been before, but they were deeper set than they had been. He had a broader, taller frame. It looked like he'd grown at least 3 inches since yesterday. On the whole, he looked as much like Snape as he had looked like James before. Thankfully, he noted, he'd inherited his mom's nose.
Finally feeling more awake after a few minutes of inspecting his new appearance, he went back to the bedroom. He grinned when he saw his parents talking to each other. He still didn't know how it was possible that his mom was alive, but it didn't really matter.
Snape smiled when he looked up to see Harry in the doorway to the bathroom. His son looked just like him but with a different nose and eyes. "Come sit, Harry." He said after a minute.
As he sat down, he stared at his mom for a moment. "How…?"
Lily sighed, looking at Snape and seeing the same question in his eyes. "He forced me out of the way with a stunner. I don't know why he didn't just kill me, but he didn't. I already know what you're going to ask since it's commonly believed that I caused it by sacrificing myself, but I don't know how you survived the killing curse, Harry. I'm sorry."
"Lily…" Snape murmured to her. "It doesn't really matter. Don't worry about it. Where have you been all these years?"
She grinned. "At the house in Godric's Hollow."
"What?! But the house was destroyed that night. I saw the inside then and I've seen it every year on that anniversary."
"I fixed it up, of course. Then I put spells on it similar to the one's that make muggles see ruins where Hogwarts is." Lily said softly. "I come by here every year around Christmas, but you've never been here before."
Harry nodded before looking down and fidgeting. "Are you coming back to Hogwarts with us, mom?"
"I don't think Professor Dumbledore would let me, Harry." She said.
Snape looked thoughtful. "He might if I remind him that he owes me a certain… debt."
"Sev!" Lily scolded. "That's just wrong. After all he's done for you…"
Snape snorted. "Like hide my family from me? Yeah, and look how that ended up…"
"You asked him to do it!" She said. "Besides, you have me and Harry now. What difference does it make?"
Snape remembered Harry was there. "Let's not argue, okay? I love you and I love Harry. There's nothing in the world I wouldn't do to keep you both happy and safe. I just found you after all these years, I'm not going to let you put yourself in danger unnecessarily. Unfortunately, no matter what I do, Harry is stuck up to his eyeballs in this war, but I won't let you get involved, too."
Snape stood in Dumbledore's office the day before term started. The man had insisted he come and Lily reassured him that she and Harry would be fine for the hour or so he'd be gone.
"It would appear that your suspicions were right about Quirinus, Severus. We found him in the third floor corridor, dead in the room with the potions puzzle you made."
"So the man stupidly went in there and I assume took one of the poisons by accident? Figures." Snape rolled his eyes.
"Yes, well, be that the case or not, we still have one problem. You've asked every year since you became a teacher here to take the DADA post. I think I've managed to break the curse on it. Since we're short a DADA teacher would you like to take over?"
Snape's eyebrows shot up. "I would love to, but I can't teach Potions and DADA at the same time. My schedule is busy enough as it is, especially now."
Dumbledore smiled. "Yes, I do believe congratulations are in order. I'm happy for you and Harry."
He smiled before becoming serious. "If you don't mind, I do have one suggestion for a new Potions professor." Snape instantly recognized the opportunity.
"Oh? You trust someone enough to take over the post? I never thought I'd see the day. Do tell."
"Well, you see…" Snape explained finding Lily very much alive in his house and what all had happened since.
"I can't believe Lily's alive after all these years. I truly thought… oh well, it doesn't matter. Yes, I must agree that Lily was brilliant at Potions at school. If she agrees, I think she'd make a great teacher. I'm glad that you have your family back, Severus. I hated keeping it from you."
Snape shrugged. "As I've said so many times before, we can't change the past."
"And you know that better than anyone."