New Experiences ~ Severus & Harry ~ PG-13

Title: New Experiences
Author: [personal profile] lilyseyes
Pairing: Severus Snape & Harry Potter
Word Count: +/-3450
Rating : PG-13
Challenge: Harry's Birthday
Warnings: * AU, Harry is seven, mentions of child abuse/neglect*
Summary: Severus meets a child in need – what does he do now?
Part of the Worthy Child Series
Disclaimer: JKR owns the Potterverse – I just play in it. No money is made from these amateur works.
A/N: This was supposed to be a drabble in honor of Harry's birthday last month – it got out of hand a bit…






Severus carried his son down the steps from Gringotts, knowing Harry was still a bit groggy from the healing ritual the goblin healers had performed. Especially the purge of the Dark substance they'd found underneath his scar. Poppy had been right about the rune, but according to the ancient goblin specialist who had been summoned by Griphook, it had actually been protecting Harry.

A Horcrux the healers had gasped as they performed the evidentiary medical scan Griphook said the solicitor would need for the Muggle adoption. Harry had looked confused and Severus' heart stopped; he remembered the whispers of the Darkest magic among the Death Eaters just before the Dark Lord's fall. A potion had put Harry to sleep and the specialist arrived to add the runes necessary in expelling the shard of evil in his forehead. Severus was left to pondering the revelations their ancestry tests had produced.

Shifting Harry's weight as he reached the bottom the steps, Severus turned towards the children's clothing store. The parchment scrolls in his pocket crinkled as he did and Severus was still trying to reconcile the information they had revealed. It shouldn't have been a shock to learn he was related to the Blacks and the Malfoys, many of the old Wizarding families were interrelated, but it had completely jolted Severus, as it was on his supposed Muggle father's side. Or that Lily, allegedly Muggleborn, had actually been at least a half-blood and descended on her mother's side from the same Malfoy as Severus' father.

Severus snorted, imagining Tobias Snape's horrified expression if he'd ever learned he was from a magical family. He was still in disbelief over the news that Septimus Malfoy had fathered several illegitimate children, all girls and all Squibs, prior to his arranged marriage to Celeste Rowle. Although it was unusual for the time period, as many pure-blood squibs were killed as soon as their status was discovered, at least 2 of the children had been placed in the same Muggle orphanage in Cokeworth. Both appeared to have been adopted by local Muggle families and raised there. For he and Lily to have been brought up in the same neighborhood and have found each other at nine-years-old was incredible.

"Dad?" Harry lifted his head and looked around. "Where are we?"

"We are still in Diagon Alley, as you need some decent clothes to wear."

Severus wondered if he should have let the healers de-age Harry to allow him to re-age without the malnutrition and injuries he'd endured at the hands of his relatives. Sure that Dumbledore would object, Severus had declined, but if Harry's health didn't come around, he would take him back to Gringotts for the procedure. Harry's health was more important than the plans Severus was sure the Headmaster already had in place for Harry's Hogwarts days.

Stepping around a hag pulling a shopping trolley, Severus saw Twilfitt and Tattings' sign and headed for the door. A bored looking clerk glanced briefly from a side counter and flashed him a smile, before going back to folding and refolding a stack of trousers. Severus set Harry down, keeping a firm grip on his hand as they followed the signs to the children's section. His eyes wide, Harry clung to his hand as he looked around at the bright colored clothing, lingering on a gray shirt with a green snake slithering around the bottom.

"Do you see anything you like?" Severus asked, heart dropping as Harry's eyes got even wider.

"I get something new?" Harry asked tentatively, eyes darting back to the snake shirt.

Severus tapped down the anger spiking through him. "You need clothes to wear, don't you?"

Harry gave him a hesitant nod, before releasing his hand and stepping over to the shirts. It took several attempts to find the right size, but after Harry had tried three of the snake shirts on, they decided on the one that fit best. The clerk had become much more interested in what they were doing when she realized Severus was purchasing a whole wardrobe. Harry picked out a few things he liked before Severus sent him in to the changing room to put on his new shirt and matching grey shorts. He made arrangements for the clerk to owl the rest of the clothing to Prince Keep so they didn't need to carry the bags.

"Is this a special occasion, sir? Shall I wrap these?" The clerk gave him a smile.

It was Harry's birthday, Severus reasoned, why not let him open the clothes as presents. He knew those despicable relatives of his would never have given Harry any gifts.

"Yes, please," Severus answered politely. "Could you also include a small selection of those toys as well?" He pointed at a display of animal plushies. "Particularly the dragon and the smaller snake."

Perhaps a birthday party was in order.




Harry smoothed down the front of his shirt and smiled as the snake tried to chase his hand. He'd never had clothes that were bought especially for him. Peering around the curtain, Harry saw Severus waiting alone and shyly stepped out. With his eyes downcast, Harry walked over to his new father.

"Thank you for the clothes, Dad, I really like them."

Harry flinched back as a hand descended near his face. The hand hesitated before continuing on to his shoulder, where it lightly squeezed.

"I'm pleased that you like the outfit, Harry. You look like a proper young wizard now."

Looking up, Harry saw his dad was smiling at him and he stood up straight, just as his stomach growled loudly. Harry opened his mouth to apologize, but his father took his hand instead and tugged him forward. Stumbling a little on his new trainers, Harry managed to keep up as they walked down the cobblestone street. Harry's eyes darted from one side of the street to the other, astounded at all the colorful displays in the store windows. He had never seen so well before! All the colors and amazing things!

Suddenly, Harry was lifted into his dad's arms and cringed, thinking he was in trouble.

"You're fine, Harry," Severus said quietly. "Up here you can see everything better and I don't have to worry about you walking into something."

Harry nodded, relaxing as his dad moved on, taking them into a place where there were people eating. Something smelled really good and Harry's stomach gave another loud rumble. He tried to bury his face in Severus' shoulder, but his dad wasn't letting him, lifting his chin with a finger.

"Come, little one, you act like you've never been in a restaurant."

Stiffening, Harry fisted the black robes under his hands. "I—I had to hide – they left me in the car…"

Severus went very still before giving Harry a tight squeeze. "Well then, you shall learn now."

A lady in a frilly blue apron showed them to a table and Severus put Harry down so he could slide into one of the chairs. The table was too high and Harry could bare see over the top of it. His eyes widened when Severus took out his wand and waved it at his chair, making it grow taller. Harry grinned as he looked around, taking the small book the lady gave him.

"That is a menu, Harry," Dad told him. "It lists all the food the restaurant serves."

Harry nodded as he opened the book, seeing the printing on it, black on white, clearly. There was a dragon breathing fire in the top corner and a unicorn jumping along the bottom. Smiling at the creatures, Harry frowned when he saw most of the words are too hard for him to read, although he recognized the words salad and soup.

"What would you like for lunch, Harry?"

Harry looked up, a little tendril of panic swirling in his stomach. "Um, soup?"

Severus shook his head and reached over to gently tug the menu out of Harry's hands. He turned to the lady in the apron.

"We'll both have the Shepard's pie, with milk for my son and tea for me, please."

The lady bowed as she took the books and walked away. Harry watched as Severus picked up the serviette in front of him and shook it out, spreading it over his lap. Copying him, Harry smoothed his serviette and tucked the edges under his legs to hold it there. A tea pot appeared in the middle of the table, along with a covered basket and two teacups. Harry grinned as a small glass appeared beside him, filled with cold milk. He sat as still as he could, hands clasped in his lap, like he'd been taught when around normal people.

"Harry? Look at me, please."

He looked up, feeling nervous. "Yes, sir?"

Severus looked at him intently. "I realize it is going to take a little time, but you need to realize our family will be nothing like those people." He reached across the table for Harry's hand.

Giving him his hand without hesitation, Harry gripped the long fingers like a lifeline. Severus had kept every promise he'd made to Harry and he'd even become the dad Harry had always longed to have. He knew the Dursleys had acted differently towards Dudley than they had towards him, but Harry didn't want to be a pig and a bully.

"Dad? Will you teach me how I'm supposed to act?" Harry asked hopefully.

"I'm sure we will learn how together, son, as I've never been a father before either." Severus squeezed his hand. "Did you know that today was your birthday?"

Harry blinked; his primary teacher had told him what his birthday was, but Harry had forgotten. "It is?"

Severus smiled at him, Harry's hand swallowed up by his larger one. "Yes, and I believe Max, Mixie, and the other house-elves would love to have a birthday party for you. What do you think?"

His eyes widened and Harry's breath caught in his chest. "A party? For me?"

"Yes, I think it’s a grand idea—"

His dad was interrupted by two steaming plates of Shepard's pie which popped up next to them. Harry grinned and reached to grab his plate, pausing until he got a nod from Severus before he took a spoonful. Favors exploded on his tongue and Harry was sure it was the best thing he'd ever eaten. A sudden though occurred to Harry and he carefully swallowed his mouthful before he looked over at Severus.

"Dad? Does having a birthday party mean I getta have a cake?"

"Of course—"

"Severus?" A voice asked and Harry looked up to see a tall man with blond hair standing by their table.




Severus bit off a curse when he saw Lucius Malfoy standing beside him, staring at Harry. They had actually become close, near the end of the first war, when the Dark Lord's behavior became increasingly unstable. Lucius had never been particularly friendly while at Hogwarts, especially with the four-year difference in age, but he had recruited Severus at the Dark Lord's request as soon as Severus' potions prowess became apparent. It was Severus whom Lucius had come to for the fertility potion when he and Narcissa had been unable to conceive after they were married.

"Hello, Lucius," Severus stood politely and inclined his head, before turning towards Harry. "Allow me to introduce my son, Harry Snape. Harry, this is Lord Malfoy."

Harry stood and bowed his head as Severus had. "Nice to meet you, Lord Malfoy."

Nodding with approval, Severus motioned Harry to sit down and eat, while he did the same. "Sit, Lucius," he said as he picked up his fork. "Harry and I were just discussing how we should celebrate his birthday."

Lucius remained standing, his eyes narrowing as he examined Harry's face. "Birthdays are a wonderous time for the young. How old are you then, young Mr. Snape?"

Severus could feel Harry shooting him a look, but he waited patiently for his son to speak for himself.

"Seven, sir." Harry's voice was quiet but didn't waiver and Severus gave him a small smile, reaching over to brush his fringe off his face.

"Sweet Merlin!" Lucius gasped, dropping into a chair and staring first at Harry and then at Severus.

"Muffliato," Severus muttered as he flicked his wand and slid it back into his sleeve. "Harry has only recently come into my care; his previous caregivers were less than generous in their providing for his needs." A hard look punctuated his mild words, while Harry continued to eat.

"But, he's—"

Severus cut him off with a sharp sneer. "I suggest you determine exactly where your loyalties lie, Lucius. Above all, you need to know our mutual friend will return some day, as he created Horcruxes. My son was one of them."

Harry looked up at him, no doubt recognizing the word, but Severus reached over and tapped his plate. "Eat a bit more, little one, and you may have some ice cream for pudding."

"And what of the – changes we were hoping to make, Severus, the traditions and teachings?"

"The ones that seemed to get lost last time?" Severus asked, pushing his plate away from him. "I have accepted my inheritance and taken control of my son's inheritance, along with the corresponding seats in the Wizengamot. We can start to make those changes there."

"Dad?" Harry pushed his plate away as well.

Severus slid the glass of milk toward Harry. "Drink your milk and we'll go."

"I have questions, Severus," Lucius said as Severus placed his serviette on the table.

“And my son has a birthday to celebrate.” Severus met his eyes. “Perhaps we can arrange to have Draco come over for an afternoon, after you've had time to choose your priorities."

Throwing down several Galleons, Severus pushed back his chair and stood, pulling Harry's chair back. Both skirted around the befuddled Lucius and they walked out of the restaurant without looking back. With a concerted effort, Severus pushed his swirling thoughts of Malfoy, Horcruxes, and Dark Lords to the back of his mind as he led Harry towards Quality Quidditch Supplies, diverting at the last moment to Florian Fortescue's for the ice cream he promised.

While a delighted Harry savored every lick of his small ice cream cone, Severus called Max and had him deliver orders to several shops. He'd never had a birthday party himself, but Harry was an abused child who appreciated everything Severus had given him and easily pleased. Severus knew Harry would be thrilled with any gift to celebrate his birthday and Severus knew he had to be careful not to overwhelm the child.




Harry woke up slowly, stretching in the warm cocoon of his blankets, and smiling as he remembered he was in his very own bed. And it was his birthday! Harry thought excitedly as he quickly sat up. Sliding out of bed, Harry pulled the bedding up and smoothed the duvet. He quickly got dressed in his new clothes and went to the bathroom to wash up.

His dad was waiting at the bottom of the stairs when Harry came running down and he swooped in to grab Harry, twirling him around. Kissing his forehead, Severus set him down and took his hand, leading him into a large room Harry remembered from his first night. The room was bright with sunshine and Harry was amazed to see a pile of wrapped packages on the table in front of the fireplace. A lady Harry vaguely remembered sat on the couch, smiling at him.

"You remember Madame—"

"Poppy."

"—don't you?"

Harry nodded shyly, twisting his finger into his shirt. "You made me all better."

The lady smiled. "That is my job, love. Come here and let me look at you."

His dad gave him a nod and Harry walked over to stand by the couch. He glanced at the presents on the table and flinched when Poppy reached toward his face. He froze, eyes on the floor as the hand continued slowly to cup his chin and lift it. Poppy was still smiling but her eyes were sad as she turned his face a little to look at his scar.

"I'm so glad to see that it has faded since your trip to Gringotts, Harry."

"Yes, ma'am," Harry answered as Severus sat down on the end of the couch.

"Sit beside me, Harry." Severus patted the cushion beside him. "Let's open your presents first and then we will have tea with birthday cake."

With wide eyes, Harry climbed up beside him, his heart beating fast in his chest. He'd never been given a gift before and he stared at the green wrapped box in his lap. Reaching up, Harry drew his fingers across the top, giving Severus plenty of time to yank the box away, like his aunt had once done to him. The box didn't move and Harry looked up to see the two adults looking at him expectantly. His fingers found a corner and began tearing the paper slowly and when no one stopped him, Harry ripped the paper completely off. Inside was a plushie snake, green with golden eyes.

"Oh, thank you!" Harry breathed, lifting the toy out as Severus removed the box. "I love snakes!"

The next box had jumpers in different colours and then a warm jacket. Another held a toy dragon, which Harry left on his lap to keep his Snake company. Several boxes held trousers, shirts, and what Severus called sleeping wear. Poppy gave him some Wizarding coloring books and sweets. Harry was feeling a little overwhelmed by the last package, until he opened it to find underpants and socks inside.

“Dad!” Harry squeaked as he buried the offending clothes under his other presents.

Severus laughed and then took out his wand. Harry watched curiously as one more gift came floating into the room. It was a long and slender, but not heavy as it settled on his lap. With a nod from Severus, Harry ripped off the green and silver paper, but his hand faltered as he uncovered a broom. His eyes welled up with tears and Harry wondered if he’d misunderstood what his new father about having chores. Taking his hands off the broom, Harry brought them up to his chest and clasped them in front of his heart.

"Harry?" Severus leaned over and wrapped an arm around his shoulders. "What's wrong?"

Just shaking his head, Harry blinked rapidly, trying not to cry.

"Oh, Severus! He thinks it's for cleaning!"

Harry lifted his head when he heard Poppy and looked up. Severus gave him a hug and then stood up and lifted the broom from Harry's lap. Disposing of the wrapping paper, Severus moved into the center of the room and beckoned Harry over. After taking a deep breath, Harry slid off the couch and walked over to stand by Severus.

"You are never to do this in the house again," Severus told him as he set the broom on the floor. "Give me your hand."

Harry obediently stretched out his hand which his dad positioned over the broom.

"Now, say 'up' firmly."

Harry looked up at him and then down at the broom. "Up!"

The broom springing up to smack his hand startled Harry and he almost dropped it. He could feel the magic running through it.

"Now, put your leg over the broom and kick-off gently with your foot." Severus held the broom for him while Harry climbed onto it.

Pushing off with his foot, Harry was startled when the broom flew into the air. He looked at Severus, who gave him an encouraging nod, and flew carefully around the room.

"Pull up on the handle to go higher and push down on it to go down. Your broom has spells and charms on it that will keep it from going too high or too fast while you learn how to ride it."

Harry's cheeks hurt, he was grinning so widely. His whole body felt lighter and he could feel the broom humming with magic as he circled the room again. He felt lighter and happier, realizing that his dad hadn't lied to him. As Harry circled by the doorway, he saw a Max carrying a large cake with candles into the room as Mixie carried a tea tray. Pushing down on the broom handle, Harry went lower until his feet touched the floor and he gently laid the broom down next to Severus, before he flung himself into his dad's arms.

"Thank you so much, Dad, for everything!" Harry hugged him hard and giving Severus a kiss on the cheek.

"You are so welcome, little one." Severus hugged him back.


Comments

Having worked for CPS, I have heard similar tales before about new placements. I’m so happy for Severus and Harry, the poor dears.
Yes - you and me both! Happy-ever-after is my solution!
Brilliant! I love how patient Severus is and how you are not rushing Harry`s recovery. Love the flabbergasted Lucius-just made me lol! Now Poppy just needs to be able to hide her emotions a little better. Love the broom scene-well done and emotionally a rollercoaster! Thank you for the update!