Author: Gillian Middleton
Summary: Against his better judgement Severus Snape let a part of himself be used in a spell six years earlier. Now the consequences of his actions cannot be avoided any longer and Snape finds himself the father of a five year old boy!
Warnings: AU. A take on the 'Snape is Harry's father' storyline
Rec Expl.: These two stories go straight to the heart. This is a realistic tale of how hard it would be for Severus Snape when he finds himself unwillingly responsible for a five year old Harry Potter. It is a tale of how hard it would be for Harry to learn to live in the magical world. It is a tale of the two of them learning to love each other and grow accustomed to a love that cannot ever be defined, the love between a parent and a child.
Harry scurried across the sitting room, leaving tiny wet footprints on the pale green rug. Eyes on the small marks Snape sank back down into his chair. Not for the first time he was doubting his own ability to raise a child. This child. Harry had been raised by Muggles and was in danger from Death Eaters. Add to that the damage his childhood had caused and he was more than a handful, he was a bloody vocation.
"Can you comb my hair?"
His life's work appeared at his right arm, and Snape spread his legs and let the child stand between them, leaning trustingly against his thigh.
He summoned a comb from his own dressing table. "The night shirt fits then?" he said inconsequentially. It was fairly obvious it did, along with the dark green plaid dressing gown belted around his waist and the soft little slippers on his feet. The house elves had excelled themselves.
Harry nodded. "But I haven't got a brush or a comb." He closed his eyes blissfully as his father ran the old tortoise shell comb through his damp locks. "Can I grow my hair long like yours?"
Don't aspire to be like me, child, Snape thought achingly. Don't wish to emulate your bad father, or your foolish adopted father, or your blind Muggle mother. Be your own self, Harry. Grow up to be a good man.
"When you're as old as me," Snape managed, his throat tight.
Harry opened trusting green eyes and smiled easily. "I'm glad you're my dad," he confided.
Mountains of problems diminished before his eyes like snow in the sunshine.
"So am I," Snape said, honest in his own way as always.
Harry yawned widely, knuckling his eyes as he snuggled back against the snowy white pillow. Snape tugged the covers up and sat down in his usual place on the side of the bed.
"Harry," he murmured, "I've decided we should go to London tomorrow."
Harry's sleepy eyes widened. "Are we going to see Li again?"
"Not this time. I have some business to take care of. Perhaps when it is over we might go back to that shop you like so much."
"The toy shop!" Harry enthused.
"Perhaps." Snape stroked the coverlet, long fingers tracing the rich dark fabric. All evening he'd wondered how to approach this, how to begin. Sitting here by his boy's bedside it all became very clear. He took a deep breath.
"You know I love you, don't you?"
Harry's small brow wrinkled and he tilted his head. "Yes," he said with certainty.
Snape breathed out. The swift sureness of that reply warmed him. "And you know, no matter what, that I will never leave you behind again, don't you?"
"Yes, daddy," Harry said again.
Little fingers fiddled with the counterpane and Snape stroked them with his own hands, hands that were so like his son's.
"So if anything were to happen, if either of us should get lost, or, or separated, then I don't want you to worry. No matter how long it took, no matter how hard it was, I would find you."
"I know you would," Harry said confidently. "Don't worry, daddy. I won't get lost. I promise."
"Thank you, Harry," Snape whispered. "That's my good boy."