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Letters to my Father by LovlyRita
Chapter 21 : Please Wake Up
 
Rating: 15+Chapter Reviews: 10


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Twenty-one hours had passed since Haiden had fallen in what appeared to be a battle with some form of the Dark Lord. Severus stood idly in the Slytherin common room, glancing around at the startling familiarity of his green and silver clad surroundings. All the students were down in the great hall, eating dinner. They all knew that something was amiss, but they had no idea how grave the situation truly was. A breach of the castle had occurred, and they knew that Haiden was involved, but that was as far as their knowledge reached. And in a few moments, they would hear the news of his death.

He walked to the corner of the room, picking up a fifth year’s forgotten text book off a table. Everything seemed so useless and trivial now that his son was wrapped up in the sheets of his potential death bed. His heart had quivered several times during the evening, prompting Madam Pomfrey to keep a 24 hour watch on him. Once he became more stable, the plan was to transfer him to St. Mungo’s. Severus had doubts about this plan, as the boy had irreversibly transformed into his biological appearance, and Harry Potter arriving at St. Mungo’s would cause quite a stir.

Severus had met with Dumbledore earlier that day in his office, minutes after he had arrived back from the errands.

***

”Albus, I am fearing for the worst. He’s nonresponsive, and he has several lacerations covering his body. His heart has begun to experience arrhythmias and I’m worried that it won’t stabilize. I’ve been in my lab all morning concocting some potions to stabilize his blood pressure and his hormone levels. I’m not sure what’s going on, as I’m not a healer, but I’m hoping that perhaps some of these potions will help. If—”

“You must sit down, Severus. I know how very worried you must feel, as a parent to a child who is unresponsive. You must be devastated, and I know it’s tempting to bury yourself in your work, Severus, but Haiden needs you right now.”

“That’s ridiculous, Albus, I could help him, I have the knowledge to at least aid in some way. I feel as though I am wasting time right now, I should retire to my lab for some more tests.”

“Severus, sit, I insist. I am very worried about Haiden, and I have many questions about the events that have transpired. I am also worried about you, Severus. How have you been coping?”

“I am fine. I am perfectly capable of focusing my attention in this moment. I wish to not discuss it further as time is escaping from me, and I need to keep busy.”

“Did you know of his plans?”

“That’s not important now.”

“Severus, I am trying to understand the events that have transpired seemingly right under my nose. Please answer my question. Did you know of his plans?”

“How could I not have known? Albus,damnit, how could this have happened? I thought I was communicating with him, I thought I was talking to him, I don’t understand how this happened. He brought to me some concerns about Malfoy trying to break into the castle, but I brushed them aside. He even told me a while back that he knew about the stone, and I just ignored it. How could I ignore the signs? He tried to talk to me, Albus, and I shut him out, and I’m not even sure why. What kind of father lets his only son face the most dangerous wizard in the world?”

“You did not wish this upon him, Severus, so you must stop blaming yourself. This is no one’s fault. You have raised a very astute young man, who followed his instinct, and effectively saved the castle. The spell I placed on the room sent the stone to whomever the person in the room loved the most. As I suspected a few months ago, Voldemort is indeed looking to revive his body. When Haiden entered the room, he was looking for the stone, as was the Voldemort. But since he is incapable of love, Haiden sent the stone to you, the person he loves the most. That is why it was on your bed table when Minerva knocked at your door. I am sure that if Haiden hadn’t arrived when he did, Voldemort would have eventually found a loop hole in my spell and would have obtained the stone, but Haiden secured it safely. He is a hero, and you should be proud of him. He needs you now. I couldn’t have anticipated the effect this would have on his body. I’m not sure what has happened. My thought is that there is something we’ve missed. Has he been feeling ill lately?”

“I am at a loss for words, headmaster, forgive me. I am completely stunned. Has he been ill? Yes, he has, I believe. He’s been dizzy, and he had that sickness a while back that left him bed ridden. I’m not sure what’s wrong, but my guess is that whatever transpired down in that chamber, it was the final straw in the illness that has been building within him for a while.”

“I have a suggestion. He is ill, and we cannot reinstate the spell that has been concealing his identity. My guess is that it is the very spell we used to protect him that has had a hand in making him so sick. I do not believe we will be able to put it back on him. I think it may be time for him to face the world as Harry Potter.”

“Albus, you cannot be serious. He is still a child! He is not ready for the media attention, for the stares and the fame. The wizarding community will eat him alive! Not to mention the fact that the Dark Lord has shown his face for the first time in years! This is a horrible idea. I will not allow Haiden to be subjected to those things.”

“He must be. It is time. I will make an announcement to the school this evening announcing Haiden’s valiant efforts to protect the school, and I will tell them that he died from his injuries. Next school year, Harry can start as a second year. Everything will be as it should be, Severus. You should want what’s best for him.”

“I will not allow you to control his life! I am his father, I should decide! He…he is my son, Albus! You made that choice, you bestowed parenthood upon me, and I should be the one who makes the choices concerning him! And I believe he is not ready to take up this crown that the minister will no doubt give him. He’ll be royalty in the eyes of the public. I can’t let that happen. He won’t be able to be a boy anymore.”

“Severus, I fear that we have no choice. Without a way to conceal his looks, there is no way he can continue going to school as Haiden. You cannot keep him in a box, you must allow him to flourish on his own. He is ready, Severus. You must let him go.”


***

That was it, then. Slytherin house would be coming back into the common room in a few minutes, feeling empty and saddened, and hopefully guilty, about the way they’d treated their housemate.

Severus threw the book back on the table and moved toward the staircase that descended down into the dorm area. Upon reaching the first years’ quarters, Severus felt a knot form painfully in his throat. This was where his son spent all of his time, being tortured and ignored by his fellow classmates. Disdain for his house spread like wildfire in his mind, and he cursed lightly before stepping in to the room.

Haiden’s bed was still unmade from the last time he’d slept, but other than that things were relatively tidy. Severus felt somewhat intrusive as he sat down on the soft mattress, but he needed to feel close to his son’s things, to feel overwhelmed with the essence and spirit of his belongings. His night table held a small candle and some odds and ends, but what caught his eye was a small, leather bound book sticking out from a drawer. It was ratted and magically sealed, and Severus immediately assumed it was a diary of some kind.

The spell placed upon it was elementary and easily broken by him. Again, he felt as though he had no place illegally thumbing through his son’s personal belongings, but he needed so badly to feel close to him. Haiden’s tiny scrawl filled the worn pages, and Severus’s stomach twisted when he read the first words.
“Dear Father.”
Flipping through the book quickly, he saw that each page was a letter addressed to him, from Haiden. They began around the first of the year at Hogwarts. The first letter addressed to him knocked the breath straight out of his lungs. Very concisely, were the words I hate you. Haiden

There was no anger in Severus’ thoughts, but instead there was pure, genuine sorrow. What had happened to make the boy hate him so much that he had to put it into words? Severus remembered the painful months after Haiden learned his true identity, and assumed the letter was addressing his feelings at the time. Or so Severus dearly hoped.

The journal was a startling insight into the mind of a young man grappling with his new found identity, and Severus was astounded by the maturity and eloquence of Haiden’s words. He drank each phrase in and read the letters carefully, believing that each one was truly a gift from God. A letter from Christmas finally prompted the tears that Severus had kept at bay for hours to fall freely, covering his cheeks and dripping down onto the ink of the page. His breath came in ragged gasps as he reread two excerpts over and over again.

But I think mostly, the reason that it hurts so bad, the reason that I can’t face you is because I really do want to be your son. I wish so much that I really was.

I liked having dinner, and I especially liked talking about my mom. I think maybe you might have loved her, but I don’t really know about all that.

Fearing the imminent return of the Slytherin house from dinner, Severus quickly dried his tears, still feeling despair for his son, and grabbed a quill from the stand. He flipped passed the final letter, where Haiden has predicted a dim future for himself, and used the same general form to answer all of Haiden’s letters.

Dear Haiden,

You could never know or comprehend the immense amount of respect and love I have for you in my heart. I have never been more proud of you, son, and your mother would be equally, if not more, delighted by you. You are a smart boy, Haiden, and I have never been more honored to call you my son. No matter what you look like, or who may hold biological ties to you, I shall always consider you to be my own flesh and blood. Your choices often cloud others’ judgement of you, but regardless of what path life takes you down, I will always, always love you.

Dad


Replacing the journal in the drawer, Severus stood and left the room behind, deciding to go back to the hospital wing. As he made his way back to the common room, he saw Draco standing there, by himself.

“Why aren’t you at dinner?” Severus’ voice was firm, devoid of any of the emotion that had been there a few moments ago.

“Haiden was my best mate for a long time, sir. I’m sorry that he’s gone. We had a row before he left last night, and I felt really terrible. And I just wanted to tell you that, even though we weren’t friends, he really was my best mate when we were growing up. I never thought he’d die, you know? I thought many horrible things about him when he started hanging out with those Gryffindors, but I never wanted him to die. I just don’t get why he wanted to do be a mudblood lover. He could have even hung out with Ravenclaws if he wanted. But why mudbloods? And why a Weasley?”

Severus raised an eyebrow at Draco’s convoluted apology for the treatment of his son.

“Thank you for your words. I’m sure somewhere deep down inside you were being sincere. Haiden spoke highly of you for many years. I will miss him very much. Thank you, Draco. I suggest you head back to dinner, or go to your dorm.” He then dramatically turned, signaling his exit. Draco was left standing in the middle of the room, looking smaller than Severus had ever seen him.

***

Severus returned back to the infirmary, where two vaguely familiar faces were standing at the entrance. It took all of his energy to make eye contact with them, and when he finally did, it nearly broke him again. Hermione Granger, the first year Gryffindor, stood there with her housemate, Ronald Weasley—The very people that had uprooted Haiden’s standing with the house of Slytherin. Haiden acceptance of them as friends, particularly the girl, had disrupted his entire life and everything he knew. But they also saved his life, in more ways than one.

“P-professor Snape, we j-just wanted t-t-to tell you how very, very sorry we are, that Haiden…that Haiden…died,” Hermione sniffed, fresh tears escaping her eyes.

“Yes sir,” Weasley added, his tone solemn. “He was a good friend to Hermione…and to me, on occasion. We’re sorry for your loss, and we just wanted to come up here to pay our respects.”

Severus nodded curtly, pitying the poor children who had befriended his son.

“He always spoke very highly of you, and, to be able to know his secret, we feel very close to him, and I just…I just thought he’d pull through.” It was the word that Severus had dreaded coming from anyone’s lips ever since Haiden had fallen into his care—Secret. His secret. They knew.

“His secret?” Severus asked slowly, not wanting to give away the answer in case the secret was something mundane and needless. Hermione wrinkled her eyebrows at him, clearly confused. The Weasley boy looked frightened, as though too much had already been said, and he wanted his mother to come save him.

“Yes, sir. His secret identity,” she continued. At those words, Severus rushed toward the two, his face stern.

“You must be quiet! The two of you have presented me with quite a problem,” he said while weighing the options. He would have to wipe their memories. It was the only way. They’d have to forget their entire adventure in the bowels of the castle in order for the plan for Haiden to work. He grabbed his wand from his robes and pointed it at the two children. Their faces displayed instant shock at the new development, and the girl began to sob fearfully. No, this was not the way. When Haiden woke up—if Haiden woke up—he would remember them. He would relish the opportunity to speak freely, to be his true self, without worrying. He couldn’t deny his son the opportunity to have real friends. He lowered his wand as quickly as he had pointed it at them.

“There’s something that I need to show you. Come along.” He said some words that made no sense to the two Gryffindors, and the doors to the infirmary disappeared for a few seconds, allowing them to pass through. “It’s a special spell that keeps people out. When they get close to the door, they remember something they have to do and run off. It is similar to the spell used to protect muggles from magical things. Or magical things from muggles, whichever suits your fancy,” he explained.

He pointed to the end of the room, where a small figure rested on a cot. Taking small steps, Hermione moved closer. She reached the bed, and gasped loudly.

“He’s alive!” she exclaimed, a wide small replacing the tears.

“What?” the Weasley boy asked, running to her side. “I don’t believe it.”

“What I’m about to tell the two of you is secret. You must not tell a soul, ever. If this gets out, I’m afraid I’m going to have to wipe your memories so that you won’t remember anything. And also everyone you tell. So please save me the work and be trustworthy, alright?” Severus asked, joining them at his son’s side.

Hermione looked at him harshly, which surprised him.

“We’re Gryffindors,” she stated simply.

“Right.” Severus barely hid his irritation. “Gryffindors. Fantastic. Do you swear not to tell a soul the information I am about to divulge to you?”

“Swear,” the two said, clearly feeling important in some way. Though it was because of a lifetime of old biases, Severus truly detested Gryffindors.

“Haiden has been transfigured for a number of years using ancient magic—”

“—the inflecto spell,” Hermione interrupted. Severus could not hide the surprise on his face as he looked at her inquisitively. “After Haiden was taken into the infirmary, I didn’t know what else to do, so I went to the library. I did some research and came up with it. You used it, didn’t you? And the accompanying potion? That’s fascinating, and it’s also very difficult to perform.”

“That spell was in the main library?” Severus asked. Hermione was instantly crimson, refusing to make eye contact with her professor.

“Sir, Haiden left his invisibility cloak with me when he went down into the chamber, and I used it to go into the restricted section to look up the spell.”

“Twenty points from Gryffindor for your obvious lack of care for our rules.”

Severus was irritated as she displayed her unchallenged talent for being a know-it-all, and even angrier at the fact that she’d broken numerous school rules. However, she had done it all for his son, and that kindness he could not deny. In that regard, he took twenty points off rather than one hundred. Hermione looked ashamed, but relieved.

“Yes, it was the inflecto spell. After a number of years, it began to wear off, so we had to apply it more often. The past few weeks, he’s been feeling sick, and we have attributed that to the potion. We can’t give him the potion anymore, since he has been unresponsive , and his body is having some type of adverse reaction to it. The decision was made to announce Haiden’s death, so that when he wakes up, he can come back to school next year as Harry.” The words were painful as he said them, but Severus knew in his heart that it was necessary, and he watched as the two children drank the words in.

“Harry Potter will be at Hogwarts? That’s brilliant,” Weasley said quietly, staring at his fallen friend.

“You said when he wakes up. So he’ll wake up, right? He’s just sleeping?”

“Yes. Just sleeping,” Severus lied, “and he needs to get his rest. I’m glad I can trust the two of you to keep his secret, but I must ask you to go back to your common room now.”

The two nodded and left shortly after that, promising profusely that the secret was safe with them. Madam Pomfrey returned to the infirmary soon after the Gryffindors departed to check Haiden’s vital signs and overall health. There was no change.

***

Severus sat vigil by Haiden’s bed for several days, awaiting any change. Dumbledore would occasionally come in and switch shifts with Severus, so that he could eat and shower. After three days had passed, Severus was beginning to give up hope, thinking that the announcement the headmaster had made to the students may actually become reality. On the evening of the third day, he told Dumbledore his thoughts.

“Nonsense, Severus. There’s no reason to give up hope yet.”

“The longer he’s in this coma, the harder it will be for him to wake from it. We’ve tried every spell and potion available to us, and nothing has worked! Albus, you must understand how hard it is for me to suffer.”

The old wizard moved closer to the grieving father and put his hand on Severus’s left shoulder. It was an odd gesture, but it was strangely comforting.

“You must allow his body time to heal from whatever ails it. Before you know it, he’ll spring to life!”

As if on cue, a low rumble issued from the boy’s mouth, the first sound he had made in days. It startled Severus and he stood quickly, rushing passed the evening light pouring through the window to his son’s side.

“Haiden? Haiden! My God, Albus, look!”

Haiden’s eyes stayed completely shut, and he did not move. However, a change in his facial structure initiated. Haiden’s delicate Potter features transformed into a grotesque looking pulp, which made Severus’s stomach turn. However, it transformed again quickly after that, and his nose began to reshape. His mouth reformed, and his eyes flew open for a moment, and then squeezed shut once more. He was still incapacitated, but the green residing in his irises was brighter than it had ever been. His hair transformed from a messy coif into a sleek, straight black which fell passed his shoulders. The lips that formed looked like Lily’s lips, and the new nose had a slight hook to it.

“My word,” Albus said, as soon as the transformation has completed. There was a new boy lying there now, one that Severus had never seen in his life. The scar on his forehead was clear as day, and yet he no longer looked like James Potter. He looked like…

“How is this possible?” Severus asked. His breath came in short rasps as he stared at an improbable fact. Dumbledore’s smile stretched from ear to ear, and his eyes twinkled in that annoying way they always seemed to do as he turned to the stunned potion’s master.

“Severus, I believe you have some explaining to do. My eyes must deceive me, because I believe I am looking at the son of Lily Potter and Severus Snape.”

“How?” was the only word he could choke out, unable to tear his eyes away from Haiden.

“Of course I do not have all the details, but it would seem that the ancient bit of magic that we thought was rare was being employed by someone else. Haiden was receiving double doses of the potion his entire life, and we were unaware of it. It seems as though the increased dosage has slowly been poisoning him. I’m not sure what kind of manipulation she made to it—dare I say that Lily was better at potions than me, even as a student—but whenever the batch we made wore off, his Potter form returned. But it seems as though that was a mask as well, as we are looking at the real Harry Potter—or should I say, Haiden Snape.”

Severus was rigid, and he felt completely numb. His son. His son. With Lily. His Lily. Not Potter’s.

“There was a few times…starting in ’77 and going forward, when Lily and I—“

“Severus, I’m sure you understand that I am not in need of the details of the event that lead to this moment. Suffice it to say that I am completely and totally flabbergasted by this turn of events. Severus, congratulations on your son. I would have, of course, told you nearly 12 years ago, had I known.”

She kept him from Severus. She didn’t want him to know about Haiden. She was embarrassed because she was married and bore another man’s child. She transfigured him because she didn’t want to hurt Potter.

The thoughts hurt as fast as they flew through his mind, and he tried to make some sense of the situation, to try to understand why Lily had failed to divulge this tidbit of information. He felt his mind wander back to a lost conversation he’d had with her.

***

“I’m pregnant,” she said, staring out into the vast ocean.


“You’re what?” he asked incredulously, shock clearly visible on his chiseled features.


“I’m pregnant. Five months, actually.” Severus gaped at Lily.


“Five months? But the last time I saw you…is the baby…is it?”


“It’s James’s. And for the sake of the baby, I have to be attentive to my family.”


“How do you know? I mean, five months ago…five months ago…”


“It’s his." Lily's voice was firm as she shushed Severus with her eyes. “I can feel it. I just know. And he knows too. He’s…we’re…very excited.”


***
She knew then, he realized. She’d always known, and she hid it to keep her family together. Severus swore under his breath, and looked again at the boy who was his own flesh and blood. His son.

“I almost killed my only son by hearing that prophecy,” he said quietly, looking at Dumbledore with tears in his eyes. “I killed the love of my life, and I almost killed my only son, Albus. I am the bane of all existences.”

“It is true that your choices define who you are. But you did not kill them, Severus. I cannot deny the darkness residing in your past, but you have risen above it, and you have conquered most of that which plagues you. He is here now, and he is your son, and you have to be a good father to him. There is no use dwelling on past mistakes. What is done is done. Now I do not wish to hear of this again from you.” The words were stern, and they penetrated through the thick cloud of sorrow lodged around Severus.

“I feel strange saying that I have a son, even though I’ve been saying it for years. But he truly is mine. Mine. But what are we to do now? We can’t send him out in the public looking like this! How am I to be a double agent for you, Albus? The Dark Lord will surely kill me when he finds out.”

“I have been mulling that over myself, and this is going to sound ridiculous, but if he can handle it, I think we should keep him under the cloak of being James’ son.”

“NO!” Severus roared. “No! I’ve been living this lie for years, and now I finally find out he is my son, and you want to make him look like that imbecile again? Dumbledore, I implore that you think about this!”

“And once again, you have made your decision based upon what you want, but what about Haiden? If he is left looking like you, think of the questions, of all of the press. You’re right, Voldemort will come after you. I think we should continue with the potion, if he can tolerate it. If not, we’ll have to send him away. “

Severus nodded, fully aware of the dire situation the new revelation placed them in. He looked back at Haiden, who looked more relaxed than he had only an hour before.

“Reviewing the choices, you are probably right, Albus. If only he would awaken, so I could share the news with him.”

“Give him time, Severus. I’m off to think this situation through, to decide the best course of action—which I will, of course, run passed you first.”

Severus nodded, still stunned at the news. He sat down again, still staring at the boy. His thoughts of Lily were at the forefront of his tormented mind, trying desperately to remember any blatant clues that he would have missed. He had been so seduced by the Dark Lord and his unrealistic promises. All he had ever wanted was to be included and respected, and when he was younger he never realized that he had all of that and more whenever he was with Lily. But Lily had been gone for nearly eleven years, and Dumbledore had made a good point about him moving on.

Severus was completely entangled in his mind for hours before falling asleep with a heavy heart.

***
Haiden opened his eyes slowly, feeling groggier than he ever had in his life. It was completely dark wherever he was, but he could hear the slow breathing sounds of someone sitting next to him.

“Dad?” his voice was scratchy from its three day vacation.

“Eugh,” his father replied, clearly still asleep.

Haiden sighed and tried again, louder this time.

“Dad!”

Severus’s eyelids flew open and he was on his feet in an instant, sleep completely forgotten.

“Haiden! How do you feel?”

“I feel…tired,” he said with a yawn, looking around. “Where am I?”

“You’re at Hogwarts in the infirmary. Do you remember anything that happened?”

Haiden pursed his lips and took a deep breath.

“Yes. I saw Quirrell, and he had the Dark Lord hidden under his turban. Well…not exactly like that, but you know. And, I transformed into Harry Potter, and Hermione and Ron saw it happen, so they know my secret. And…did I win? Did I keep the stone from him? I couldn’t find it, but I tried.”

The cadence of his words was very quick, as though he’d been waiting days to say those words but couldn’t make his mouth work.

“You did, son. You kept it from him. He was defeated, and somehow you destroyed Quirrell, although I’m not quite sure how.”

“Me neither. All I know is that he tried to touch me and turned to dust. Not sure why. Anyway, I am starving, and even though I’m tired, I actually feel a lot better. Dad, I…I’m sorry that I changed in front of Hermione and Ron. I know you always wanted me to keep it all a secret, but I swear I couldn’t help it! I have been feeling terrible for days, and I wanted to tell you, I’m sure you probably already know since I’m in the infirmary- I think I’m dying.”

Much to Haiden’s surprise, Severus laughed, almost maniacally. Haiden found no humor in his impending death, and his countenance said as much to Severus.

“No, no, you’re not dying. Listen, I have some…news for you. It’s new for me, so you’ll have to forgive me, but…you’re my son.”

Haiden wrinkled his nose. “I know that.”

“No, you don’t understand. Biologically. You were born of your mother, and I…I’m your father. I didn’t realize it. It turns out that this magic that we’ve been giving you your whole life, she did it first. And she made you look like James Potter. But right now, you look…like me. Hold on, let me light a candle and get you a mirror.”

Severus rummaged around while Haiden sat in the bed, stunned. Finally, a warm glow filled the room and his father had returned with a mirror.

“Look for yourself,” Severus urged quietly. His hands were steady as he placed the mirror in Haiden’s care.

Haiden suddenly felt extremely self conscious. He’d seen himself as Haiden, and he’d seen himself as Harry, but who would this new person be.

“What color are my eyes?” Haiden asked, without looking at the mirror.

“As green as your mother’s.”

“What about my nose?”

“It’s kind of a combination. Don’t worry, it’s not as awful as mine, I promise.”

“Am I pale?”

“Yes.”

“Is my hair like it used to be?”

“It’s longer and straighter, but it’s the same color.”

“Is my face shaped like yours…or…or like my mothers.”

“Like your mothers. You look very much like her, yet you also look like me. I can’t really explain it. You should look in the mirror.”

With a shaky grip, Haiden held the mirror up to his face and gasped instantly. He touched his cheeks, his new features, and brushed his hand across the scar on his forehead.

“I still have this stupid scar.” It was the only thing he could think of to say.

“I know. But do you see it?” Severus asked earnestly.

“Yes, I do. I…I really am your son. I’m your son. I’m Haiden Snape.” It felt odd, even though it shouldn’t have. He had lived as Haiden for years now, but it was true. He truly was Severus Snape’s son. “I’m happy. Really, really, happy.”

“I’m so glad. I love you, Haiden. You’re alive, and everything is going to be ok.”

“I love you too, Dad. I should go tell Hermione and Ron, they’ll want to know everything is alright!”

“Haiden, you can’t. You’ve been asleep for almost four days now. School has been let out for the summer, and everyone is gone. Furthermore, now that we know who you truly are, we must strive to protect you more than ever. Unfortunately, it is imperative that we conceal your looks using the same magic that we’ve been using your whole life. Do you understand why we need to do this?”

His father’s face looked sad as he explained what had happened over the past few days. Haiden was stunned that he’d been asleep for so long, but he understood what needed to take place. His safety went beyond looking like himself. And so, he would live a few days looking like the true Haiden Snape, and then he would be transfigured back to look like Harry Potter, a boy who no longer existed. Now that the Dark Lord had seen him, it was too dangerous. He would get to return for his second year, and he would get to be with his new friends.

The sun was beginning to rise, and the infant rays stretched across Haiden’s new face, lighting the emerald in his eyes. He propped himself up in bed, groaning at the stiffness in his biceps. It was a new day, and he was happy that he had a chance to face it.

***

Severus smiled at his son, who looked so much like the woman who always hung desperately to the edges of his mind. There were no descriptive words for the way he felt when he saw Haiden’s eyes open wide, or for his current feelings about the chances Haiden would now have. Whenever Voldemort truly decimated, that would be when Haiden could finally live a free existence.

But until then, he was just his little boy, and Severus would do everything in his power to shield him. The letters he had found had been a window into Haiden’s soul, and more than anything, he was so very proud that he could watch the young man who had wished so desperately to truly be a Snape flourish on his way to greatness.

“Son, I told you this story once, and I’m sure you don’t remember it, but I’d like to tell it again, if you don’t mind.”

“Sure, Dad.”

Once upon a time, in a far off land, there was a little wizard. His name was Bob. And Bob liked to eat snow peas. So one day, Bob went out and ate some snow peas. But the evil snow pea wizard was lurking behind him, and told him about the great things that would happen to him if he joined an evil snow pea society.

But, when he learned that he would have to kill innocent carrots in order to further the cause of the snow peas, he was disheartened. Bob was upset by this and decided that he didn’t like snow peas that much anymore. So, he went to the good wizard of the carrots, and appealed to him. And the carrot wizard admired his courage and told him to pretend to still like snow peas and spy on the evil snow pea wizard anyway.

So the evil snow pea wizard went to kill the young carrot, and he killed the most beautiful creature on earth, a red headed mother, and her husband. But the evil snow pea wizard could not kill the little carrot, and so, the carrot lived and the snow pea wizard died, and Bob got stuck with the little carrot and he was happier than he had ever been in his life. He helped the little carrot grow into a big carrot, and everyone lived happily ever after.”

“Dad?” Haiden asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Yes?”

“That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”

Severus smiled. He called for breakfast then, and Haiden ate quickly. And all the while, Severus stood back, watching the spectacle the starving boy made. He would provide for his son, and, the Dark Lord be damned, they were going to be happy at any cost.

***

A/N- well, that's the last full chapter of the story. Also the longest by nearly 2,000 words! I hope it answered all your questions, and there will be an epilogue, so stay tuned for that. I'm moderately happy with the way this has ended. I feel like I got a little wordy but I just had problems letting go! the dialogue from his thoughts of Lily comes from my story Imprudence. A while ago, I decided to make that a prequel to this story. It is rated (M), but I would check it out if you liked this one!! You'll notice the snow peas and carrots story from the 2nd chapter, that was, by far, the most commented thing I wrote, which is silly! I changed aspects of it, to cater to Haiden since he still doesn't know certain things about his Dad. I want to thank all my readers and reviewers, you have all been amazing! Oh yeah, how about that plot twist, eh?? :) that little baby has been floating around in my head for over a year, and I'm so happy you now know what I've known all along!!


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