Severus Snape had been studying a potions journal, when someone knocked on his door. He looked up annoyed. He didn’t know who it could be as he rarely, if ever received visitors. He got up, put his journal on a table and made his way over to the door. If this was for no good reason then someone was about to get an earful. Severus was only in his twenties but he had a presence that said don’t get on the wrong side of me.
“Yes” he said sternly as he opened the door but froze at the sight that met his eyes. There was a soaking wet, sniffling small child with bleeding knees was staring up at him. Severus stared at the child for a minute and then the child spoke.
“Please sir, I’m lost, and I’m sorry to bother you” But at that moment the child sneezed loudly. This broke Severus’s revelry.
“Come in out the rain, child” said Severus softening his voice. It was still something of an order as Severus could see that despite the child’s boldness at knocking, he was still wary of a stranger. Sensible boy Severus thought as he opened the door properly and ushered the boy in. The boy gratefully stepped in but stood awkwardly as Severus closed the door.
“Come along” Severus said gently as with a gentle hand against the boys back led him through to the sitting room. Because the rain had caused a chill in the air Severus to light the fire, so he led the boy to a chair by the fire. He lifted the boy onto the chair and spoke softly.
“Don’t worry child, you have nothing to be afraid of, I’m going to clean your knees and get you out of those wet things.”
“Thank-you, sir” the boy said smiling shyly.
“What’s your name?” said Severus as he looked out bandages, tweezers and other first aid items. Making sure the boy couldn’t see, he heated up a jug of fresh water and brought it over.
“It’s Harry, sir” said the boy.
“Well Harry, my name is Professor Severus Snape and I’m a teacher” said Severus briskly as he laid everything out.
“Sir” said Harry hesitantly. “I hurt my hands.” He held out bloodied glass imbedded hands. Severus inwardly winced in sympathy.
“Hold them over this bowl” Severus told the boy moving a small table with a large china bowl next to him. Harry did as he was told and Severus poured warm water over them, getting rid of the blood and dirt. Severus then took a pair of tweezers and extracted the pieces of glass in Harry’s hands. Harry bit his lip as it stung but didn’t make a sound. However he couldn’t hold back a whimper of pain when his hands were wiped with anaesthetic but his hands were then wrapped in some soft light material. Harry started to relax; he’d picked the right door to knock on.
“I’m going to get some blankets and a tower, Harry and then we can get you out of these wet things” said Severus as he stood and headed out the sitting room. It only to a moment to summon said articles and then he headed back in where Harry was waiting. He gently pulled Harry’s sodden jumper and t-shirt off him. As Harry’s clothes were so loose on him it wasn’t difficult and he then gently dried him with a towel. Harry was then wrapped in a soft warm blanket. Covering Harry’s knees with a towel, he helped Harry out of his trousers so he could tend to Harry’s knees.
A little while later Harry was snuggled up on the sofa covered with blankets, warm and dry. His hands and knees still stung a bit but were clean and bandaged The Professor had disappeared to make something hot for Harry. And Harry was feeling very happy and safe.
~ ~ ~
Severus quickly prepared a hot meal and a drink for the little boy in his living room and summoned a potion to prevent the boy from becoming ill. As he did this, he wondered how Harry had become lost. He would have to find out where the boy had come from and assure the boy’s family that he was safe. Judging by Harry’s cast-offs and thinness, Severus didn’t think his parents were well off. At least Harry was obviously well behaved.
Harry, a very common muggle name Severus thought. Harry was the name of Lily’s son. Of Potter’s son. Severus sighed softly. This Harry was not the offspring of his great love and his great rival, though funnily enough the boy did wear glasses and have dark hair like Potter.
But it didn’t do to dwell on such things, not when Severus had other things to attend to. With a last flick of his wand, the tray of food and drink was ready and he carried it through to the sitting room. As he came over to the sofa he could see Harry gingerly holding a towel and trying to dry his glasses with an end.
“Here Harry, you eat this up like a good boy.” Severus said carefully laying the tray on Harry’s lap. “I made you broth so you will only have to use one hand and also a nice hot drink.”
“Thank you sir” said Harry and taking up his spoon, began to eat.
“Harry”, Severus began after Harry had had a few spoonfuls. “Do you have any idea where your parents might be?”
“They’re dead, sir” Said Harry sadly taking a drink of coco.
“Ah” said Severus. “So who do you live with?”
“My aunt and uncle but they’re away on holiday just now. My uncle’s sister is looking after me and my cousin.”
“What is your last name?” asked Severus meaning to phone the police as Harry’s aunt was sure to be looking for him. Harry’s eyes had been on his food but as he was asked this question he looked at Severus properly with dry glasses. And as Severus stared into bright green eyes, Harry said
“It’s Potter, sir.”
Severus just managed to keep his face a mask but inside he was reeling with shock. This was Lily and James’ son. He had Harry Potter, the boy who lived, but could he be mistaken. No, there it was, the lightning bolt shaped scar on the boy’s forehead. The boy’s previously wet hair had covered his forehead. Suddenly the situation was a lot more complex. Severus didn’t say anything for a few moments, but then frowned. How could Harry’s family have allowed him to become so completely lost and vulnerable. They knew he had to be protected.
“Harry, how did you become lost? Did you wonder from your aunt?”
“No sir, Aunt Marge took Dudley for some food and left me in the park” said Harry.
Left him in the park Severus thought in disbelief.
“I was supposed to wait on the bench for them sir, but I really needed the bathroom, and then I was watching a magic show. It wasn’t far from the bench, I wasn’t long and I ran back to the bench and waited. But they didn’t come and I thought they had come back but I wasn’t there so it was my fault. I waited but it got dark and I went looking for them and couldn’t find them. I got wet and these men scared me
and then I fell and then I knocked on your door, sir.”
Harry was looking very miserable as he finished. He felt that somehow it was his fault. To his surprise Severus, who had been sitting on the wooden chair he had first placed Harry, got up and sat beside Harry putting an arm round him. Harry was so unused to attention like this he didn’t realise how awkward Severus felt. He leaned into the
embrace as Severus said.
“Hush child, you did nothing wrong, you’re safe here. Now finish your dinner then drink this medicine like a good boy.”
Harry finished his food, and then obediently drank the “medicine” that Severus gave him, though it didn’t taste very nice. But to make the taste go away, Severus gave him a little bit of chocolate which Harry enjoyed very much. Severus then scooped the small boy up and carried him upstairs. He showed Harry the bathroom and gave him a pair of pyjamas that he had shrunk. Once Harry had changed and used the bathroom, Severus led him into his bedroom. Severus’s room was the only bedroom that was clean, with a made up bed so he planned to let the boy sleep there for the night. Since it was still early for Severus, he could easily fix up another room for himself. He lifted Harry onto the middle of the bed and tucked him in. Harry snuggled down suddenly feeling sleepy.
“Goodnight sir” he said as he closed his eyes.
“Goodnight child, and sleep well. Do you need a night light?”
“No sir” said Harry with a sign and a few moments later was fast asleep. And Severus quietly left the room.
~ ~ ~
Next chapter, Severus invetigates.