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Chapter 11 : Revelation
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Severus had chickened out, watching his son brush his teeth and ready himself for bed. His damp black hair had fallen carelessly into his eyes, and instead of brushing it away, he used his own breath to attempt to displace the rogue locks. Unfortunately, with a mouth full of toothpaste, this technique only caused toothpaste to shoot up unexpectedly into his eyes.
“Agh,” Haiden had said, rubbing the paste from his now irritated eyes.
Severus scolded him and told him to be more careful and use more instinct, rather than deteriorate to mediocrity. Haiden had nodded, unaffected by Severus’ eloquent reprimand.
And as the seemingly insignificant vocal exchange occurred between the two, a small part of Severus had panicked, and thus he had failed to tell Haiden the truth.
But it wasn’t just this one time. Severus had neglected to tell his son the full truth for over two months, and now, with the impending departure of the Hogwarts Express the following afternoon, he had only a few hours left to convey the truth.
It could not be put off forever. The sorting hat would know for sure, and Severus dreaded what would happen, should Haiden find out in front of the entire school.
He felt like such a fool. He was supposed to be the adult, after all, and since when had Severus Snape ever backed down from a duty?
Sighing heavily, he reached his hand out and shook his son awake.
“A-wah? What? Who’s there?” Haiden asked groggily.
“It’s me,” Severus said quietly, using his wand to turn on the lamp. “There’s something I need to discuss with you.”
“Discuss with ─ now? It’s like…midnight!” he said incredulously.
“Yes it is, but this cannot wait. I need to ask you a question.”
“What?” Haiden asked, somewhat annoyed.
“Do you know who Harry Potter is?” Haiden cocked an eyebrow and stared at his father.
“Have you gone senile?” he asked seriously.
“No, I ─ just answer the question!” Severus said impatiently.
“Of course I know who he is. We’ve had this conversation. I swear I haven’t looked up anything about him in over two years.”
Severus smiled to himself, thankful for the sense of obedience he’d instilled in Haiden.
“Well, that’s what I want to talk to you about. You see, Haiden…I don’t really know how to say this but…you’re adopted.”
Haiden’s mouth hung opened in surprise.
“What?” he yelled. “How the hell is that possible? I look like you, even! My mother, she was…she was─”
“She doesn’t exist. Well, at least not in the capacity you believe her to be. She does exist, or…she did exist…”
“How is this happening?” Haiden asked forcefully, sitting up in bed. “And what does this have to do with Harry Potter?”
“Everything.” Severus spoke the word very softly, almost so Haiden couldn’t hear. Taking a deep breath, he continued.
“You were placed with relatives as an infant and…they were killed. Dumbledore brought you to me.”
“Oh my God…” Haiden gasped.
“And I wanted to tell you, I wanted you to know from the beginning, but it would never have been allowed, you had to be kept hidden.”
“Oh…my…God,” Haiden repeated.
“Harry Potter has everything to do with it because Harry Potter has everything to do with you because…” Severus paused. “Harry Potter has everything to do with you because you are Harry James Potter.”
“No,” Haiden said quietly.
“Your mother is Lily Evans Potter…your father is James Potter. The Dark Lord tried to kill you and you survived. Your looks have been concealed by a very powerful charm and potion for the past ten years, I─”
“No! No! It isn’t true, you’re making it up, it’s not funny, dad! You’re my dad, you’ve always been my dad, I am not Harry bloody Potter!”
He sprung suddenly from his bed, swinging his legs over the side of the bed and attempting to run out of the room.
Seemingly out of nowhere, a familiar pain hit him in the chest, and he fell.
“Dad! Dad…what’s happening?”
“It’s wearing off,” Severus said quietly, remorse filling his soul.
“What’s wearing off…ugggh,” Haiden moaned.
“The potion. Give it about a half an hour. You’ll pass out before then, of course.”
Sure enough, within five minutes, he’d passed out, and a half an hour later he awoke abruptly.
“Dad? Dad?” he asked frantically from his bed, where Severus had placed him after he’d fallen.
“I’m here,” Severus answered wearily.
“I feel…strange. What happened…oh God…” Haiden said, touching his forehead. Jumping in surprise, he pulled his hand away, and then put it back. His fingers lightly stroked the lightening bolt scar.
“Dad…” he trailed away.
“Haiden…I am so sorry.”
Disgusted, Haiden once again rose from bed, this time to examine his appearance.
“Look…just look at me…will you look at me, dammit!” Haiden cursed, yelling at Severus.
Severus turned his tired eyes to him, the view of Harry Potter examining his appearance in the room a knife through his heart.
“I know,” he said quietly.
“And you hid this from me the whole time…”
Unintentionally, Haiden had sparked Severus’ temper.
“Do you think it was easy for me? Do you think it was easy for me to take you in? Your parents had just been murdered! James Potter was one of my oldest enemies, and I took you in anyway! I kept you safe, I fed you, you have friends, what more do you want! What the hell do you want from me, boy? I gave up my life for you, I gave up what was comfortable, I conformed to everything just for you! And yet I am still here, willing to care for you, even though you’re not my son!” he yelled, the weight finally lifted only to be replaced by hot guilt.
“You’re right, Severus, you’re not my father. Which means, I don’t have to do a damn thing you say!” He narrowed his eyes menacingly at Severus.
“Don’t call me that! I-I don’t want to be here anymore, I don’t want to see you anymore!” he yelled, and then without warning bolted from the room.
Anticipating the response, Severus quickly raised his wand and forcefully yelled, “Stupefy!”
With a loud thump, Haiden hit the floor. Energy flowing through him, Severus rose from his seat and picked up the boy’s thin body. Placing him back in bed, he grabbed a small vial from the night table. Uncorking it with his teeth, he studied Haiden’s frozen countenance.
“You can’t tell anyone,” Severus said quietly, attempting to harness his anger. “Harry Potter absolutely can not come back from hiding today. I know you know this. Most of all, you cannot tell Draco. You must understand that his father would kill you if he knew who you were. I am now going to perform the magic to fix your appearance. When I allow you to move, you must promise that you won’t run, or else I will be forced to put you in a full body bind until tomorrow morning. Is that understood?”
Haiden couldn’t answer, but Severus could see in his eyes that he would comply.
Saying the words and forcefully pouring the liquid down his throat, Severus was able to change Haiden’s appearance back to what he’d known for ten years.
Severus removed the stunning spell, and Haiden moved his aching limbs.
“Do you have any idea how much that stung?” Haiden asked harshly. “I’m not okay with this, just so you know. This is absolute bull─”
“Don’t you curse at me. I may not be your biological father, but I’ll be damned if I’ll let you talk down to me. Now get some sleep. I have loved you since you came into my care, and I will continue to protect you, whether or not you recognize me as your father. But I have taught you to respect people, and that is what you are going to do, do you understand?”
Nodding his head gruffly, Haiden settled back into bed.
“I’m locking this room. If you so much as take a footstep away from this bed, I’ll see to it that you don’t escape, do you understand me?”
“Yes sir,” Haiden said quietly.
“Good,” Severus said, quickly vacating the tension-filled room.
Back in his own room after safely locking Haiden’s, Severus sat down on his bed and attempted to massage the knots from his temples. He hadn’t meant for the anger to boil within him, but Haiden’s disrespectful tirade had conjured Severus’ temper. It would be an interesting day tomorrow as Haiden would begin his schooling most unhappy.
“It’s the last call, are you sure you have everything?” Severus asked, attempting to continue parenting though Haiden refused to take an active role as a son.
“Of course, father,” Haiden drawled, a sickening sweetness dripping off the end of his words.
“Right. Off you go, then. I’ll see you at school?”
“Unfortunately,” he said, eyeing Draco from across the station.
He then bounded off toward his friend, seemingly happy to see Draco, without a second look back at his father.
Gritting his teeth, Severus controlled his anger and quickly apparated outside the Hogwarts grounds to begin preparations for the arrival of students.
“I just want to get to school. I don’t know why I have to take this stupid train and cross the river, I’ve been there my entire life,” Haiden sneered to Draco.
“Yeah. We should have had preferential treatment. All these stupid first years are so scared. We should go straight to second year, in my opinion.” The two boys laughed in their train compartment.
“I can’t wait to go to the Slytherin common room,” Haiden said pensively. “I’ve never been in any of the common rooms, but I can’t wait to go! It’s going to be awesome.”
“You’re telling me! Father has told me all about it, so I’m sure it’s going to be great!”
A small knock at the door interrupted their conversation, so Haiden rudely yelled for the person to go away. The person ignored the warning and shoved the door open.
“Excuse me,” the little girl with bushy brown hair said, “But a boy named Neville has lost a toad. Have you seen it?”
“Why do I care about a stupid toad? If I did see it, I’d probably kill it. Toads are nasty little creatures,” Haiden replied pompously. The girl raised her eyebrows at Haiden.
“Well, if you do see it, kindly don’t kill it. It belongs to someone else, regardless of what you wish you could do to it.” She smiled quickly, a hint of a defiant attitude shining through, and then she turned to leave.
The boys started laughing, though Haiden laughed more to cover up his shame. He was so mad at his father, he was so mad at his situation that he felt like being a horrible jerk to everyone who crossed his path. He’d become a bully, and though the girl didn’t seem to mind too much, he felt bad about being so rude. Still, it was like a drug. He couldn’t stop himself from being nasty.
“She was scary looking, with all that hair,” Draco remarked absently.
“You think? I didn’t think she was too bad...not that I was looking. Besides, Parkinson didn’t look too bad either when she got on the train.”
Draco raised an eyebrow at his friend.
“Parkinson? Gross. She’s a little rat, isn’t she? Girls are too annoying. I don’t think I’d care if I were never around them,” he commented.
Haiden laughed heartily. “You’re right…girls are too complicated to be around.”
Another knock at the compartment door brought Crabbe and Goyle into the conversation. The four boys conversed all the way to Hogwarts, laughing and hypothesizing about what their first year would be like.
Draco and Haiden stood side by side, waiting for their names to be called.
“Are you ready for this? I mean really, really ready?” Draco asked nervously.
“Yes. I just want to get this over with,” Haiden replied seriously. He’d lived at Hogwarts nearly his entire life, he’d eaten in the great hall and explored the castle, but now he felt like a stranger with thousands of eyes upon him. His sweaty fingers gripped each other tightly as the list began to dwindle.
“Granger, Hermione!” It wasn’t more than a minute later when the bushy headed girl from the train was sorted into Gryffindor. After a few more children went off to Hufflepuff, Gryffindor and Ravenclaw, Draco Malfoy’s name was called. He was immediately sorted into Slytherin, and Haiden cheered for him as he took a seat.
Alone now, Haiden was severely nervous. He briefly caught the eye of his father at the staff table and looked away quickly. He wanted so badly to be sorted into Slytherin so that he could be with his friends, but there was a small part of him that wanted to rebel against his father. What a perfect way to rebel than to be placed in Gryffindor. But then…he wouldn’t be friends with Draco anymore, and that would be awful. What an embarrassment it would be to get stuck in Gryffindor.
“Snape, Haiden!” Minerva McGonagall read the name loud and clear.
Slowly, the boy walked up to the stool and sat down. The hat was placed upon his head, and suddenly, a voice could be heard speaking softly in his mind.
“You are not who they say you are,” the hat said simply.
“I know,” Haiden thought, feeling silly thinking thoughts to a hat.
“You have a brilliant mind and ambition. There is definitely talent flowing through your veins, given to you by the heart of your father and the blood of your mother.”
“My parents?” Haiden asked, bewildered.
“Yet there is a lonely side, one that is thirsting to prove itself true, to belong, to love, and to be loved. You have a number of internal conflicts, this is definitely so.”
Haiden felt sweat running down his forehead in salty droplets; it hadn’t taken nearly this long for anyone else.
“But where shall you go to spend your next seven years? Quite the conundrum. You definitely don’t belong among the fair Hufflepuffs, and your qualities of bravery and valor rule out Ravenclaw. So is the decision I have to make, shall I put you in the house of the brave, or the house of the cunning?”
“Not Gryffindor…not Gryffindor…” Haiden repeated in his head, the stress of the situation taking a toll on his young body.
“Not Gryffindor, eh? You could be excellent in Gryffindor, there are friends to be made and happiness to attain. No? Better be… Slytherin!
Pleased with himself, Haiden smiled largely and handed the hat back to a stunned Minerva before taking his seat next to Draco.
At the staff table, Severus Snape beamed with pride, happy that he had nurtured Haiden enough to trick the sorting hat. Blood lines were common in one house, and as long as Severus knew, Potters had nearly always been Gryffindor. But, though it was his surname, Haiden wasn’t much of a Potter.
Dumbledore then rose and said a few words of precaution before the feat began.
Haiden’s heart rate had finally slowed and he chatted merrily with Draco while gnawing on some fish.
His life was in shambles, but at least he had made it into Slytherin. For that, he was immensely happy, blissfully unaware that his father was beaming with pride.
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