He smiled gently at the sleeping babe in his arms, before shaking his head distractedly. This was Snape, the bane of all Gryffindors, the man who had made the last six years of his life at Hogwarts a living hell. But, he couldn't help the gentle look that came across his face as he returned his gaze to the baby. Sure, the man was a git, but now he was an innocent baby. Of course, he was going to have words with Dumbledore, there was no doubt of that, but he was going to make sure that the infant had the happy childhood they had both been denied.
There was a soft'pop' that indicated the arrival of a house-elf. Looking up, Harry saw that Dobby had arrived.
"Hello Dobby." He greeted the elf. "Could you please go and get Headmaster Dumbledore and bring him here please? I fear we need to talk." Harry then frowned in thought. "Also, don't mention where the house is please."
Dobby looked confused for a moment before grinning. "Of course Master Harry Potter sir." He disappeared with another soft 'pop'.
Harry looked at the babe and laid him down in his cot before walking down to the living room, where he sat, staring at the empty fireplace as he slowly ate his breakfast.
Once he finished his breakfast, he continued to stare at the empty fireplace, wondering what he was going to say to the Headmaster. While he wasn't going to reject S... Severus, he wasn't too pleased with the arrangements. What would have happened if he had stayed at the Dursleys? Dumbledore knew that they didn't like anything to do with magic, and the fact that a baby just appeared out of no where was an obvious sign of magic.
He sighed, shaking his head. He knew that while Dumbledore had only really thought of meddling when he had sent S... Severus to him, Dumbledore had also thought of the babe's safety from Voldemort. What Dumbledore obviously didn't think about was the reaction that the Dursleys would have had to the sudden arrival to a baby that hadn't been there the day before.
Suddenly there was a soft 'pop' signalling the return of Dobby.
"Master Harry Potter sir. Dobby is back with Headmaster Dumbledore sir." Announced the excited house-elf.
"Thank you Dobby."Harry said with a smile in the elf's direction, causing him to beam. He stood and walked over to Dumbledore, smiling slightly at the shocked look on the old man's face. "Welcome to my home, Headmaster. I'll give you the tour, /after/we talk. Please, sit." Harry invited, indicating to the couches and armchairs. He sat in an arm chair and watched as Dumbledore sat on the couch with abemused expression. "Now, Headmaster, would you like some tea, or something sweet?" He asked.
Dumbledore shook his head, still shocked.
Harry sighed and looked at Dobby. "You may go Dobby, but please tell me if the baby upstairs wakes."
The house-elf nodded once and disappeared.
"Now, Professor Dumbledore, I'm sure you're shocked and confused, and I shall answer your questions after our talk." Harry watched as Dumbledore nodded. "Alright, now that that's out of the way, I have a question for you. What in Merlin's name were you thinking?!" He asked, his voice raising at the end of the question.
Dumbledore blinked. "What do you mean, Mr. Potter?"
Harry sighed tiredly. "Please Headmaster, no games. Why on earth did you send Severus Snape to me? You know very well that he hates me. When he returns to his true age, he's going to skin me alive, then attempt to skin you alive."
Dumbledore's eyes started twinkling. "Ah, but my dear boy, you are the only one I could trust Severus with."
Harry raised an eyebrow. "I can understand you sending him to be safe from Voldemort. After all, the wards around the Dursleys would protect me, but what I don't understand is why you sent him to me at the /Dursleys/! You know that they hate anything that they consider abnormal, and they would most certainly consider a baby that arrived out of nowhere abnormal. I wouldn't have been able to protect him from them. They'd probably have thrown him into that same damn cupboard as they did me!" Harry blinked, realising what he had revealed.
Dumbledore's eyes narrowed. "What do you mean Harry?"
Harry sighed."Most of my life has been spent in the cupboard underneath the stairs, it was my room. When my acceptance letters arrived the Dursleys figured that you knew where I was... living and decided to give me Dudley's second bedroom."
Dumbledore paled slightly.
Harry raised an eyebrow. "You mean to tell me that you didn't know? My first acceptance letter was addressed to the 'Cupboard under the stairs'. I'm fairly certain that something like that would stand out."
Dumbledore took adeep breath. "We have spelled quills that write the address of all students."He explained softly. "They are then delivered by owls."
Harry nodded."Well, that would explain things. Now, since you don't seem like you're going to reconsider your decision, and I, for one, cannot be bothered arguing with you, seeing as it gets me no where and gives you entirely too much satisfaction, how about I give you a tour of my home?"
Dumbledore nodded, still pale from Harry's revelation.
At Dumbledore's dazed nod, Harry began to lead Dumbledore around his home's second floor, leaving the more interesting first floor and basement/dungeons areas for later.
Suddenly there was a loud cry and a sudden 'crack' of magic.
"Master Harry Potter sir, the young master is being awake." Dobby said anxiously and unnecessarily .
Harry nodded once and walked swiftly towards his room, ignoring the now twinkling eyes of Dumbledore. Entering his room, he paused to find a red-faced screaming baby.
He winced, and looked lost for a moment, before a memory, faint and distant, like a fragment of an ancient dream, surfaced in his mind.
/He was crying, hot tears streaming down his face. Suddenly, there was a warm, loving presence picking him up and holding him close. Calming, he looked up and saw loving green eyes./
Harry blinked. 'Was that what mum did when I cried?' He thought to himself, before sighing tiredly and striding over to the cot and lifting the screaming Severus from the cot, murmuring soft words to him and gently rubbing his back. "Shh..." He muttered as the screaming babe quietened. "There's nothing here to hurt you. Shh."
Soon the screams turned to soft hiccups as Severus was lulled into silence.
Dumbledore smiled at his two boys. "I told you that you were the best for it." He said smugly.
Harry didn't even turn to face him when he answered. "No you didn't. You said I was the only one you could trust Severus with, not that I was the best for it." Harry pointed out.
Dumbledore flushed lightly but before he could say anything, Harry continued.
"Also, I forgot to mention this before. What is he going to wear?"
Dumbledore blinked. "Clothes of course."
Harry sighed and rolled his eyes as he rocked Severus back and forth, hoping to keep the babe calm. 'Gee...Clothes, why didn't I think of that.' Harry thought to himself sarcastically. 'I've already promised to give him the childhood that we were both denied for however long I have him, so clothes would be a definite yes. But, in Dumbledore's defence, he doesn't know about my promise.' He looked at Dumbledore, who was looking slightly confused. 'Did he even /thinkthis through, aside from the 'let's be manipulative and hope Harry and Snape, err... Severus form a bond and that they therefore won't kill each other' part?'Taking a deep breath, he explained to Dumbledore what the problem was."Professor, have you thought of what a ruckus the press will make when it leaks out that /Harry Potter is buying baby clothes? They'd all have afield day speculating who I got pregnant, how long we've been together and whether we were married or not."
Dumbledore blushed again. "I hadn't thought of that." He admitted.
Harry sighed again. "You probably were too concerned for Sn... Severus and too focused on meddling to think this through. I'll be able to transfigure him some clothes for now, but I'll need some more, not to mention toys, books and the like. All costs can be charged to Vault 854, which is one of my personal vaults, and all items can be sent by owl, or Fawkes." Harry placed the now calm Severus on his bed, before reaching into his trunk and pulling out an old shirt from the Dursleys. Quickly cutting it into several pieces with a severing charm, he then transfigured the pieces of material into a singlet, a t-shirt, a jumper, anappy, a pair of pants and a pair of socks, all in various shades of green. The jumper even had a silver snake on it.
Harry then conjured a changing table and placed Severus on it. Picking up the nappy Harry looked at it in confusion. He knew that they were needed, and how they were meant to be worn, but how to put it on the babe before him escaped him.
Dumbledore chuckled lightly as he stepped forward, noticing Harry's dismay. Taking the nappy out of Harry's hands, he proceeded to show Harry how to put a nappy on achild, and how to remove one. When Harry sent him a curious look, Dumbledore merely shrugged and stated that he had many grandchildren.
Once Harry had finished dressing Severus, he picked up the now wide awake babe and then continued to show Dumbledore around his home.
"Harry, I ask again, how are the wards around your home so powerful? They're even more powerful than the ones surrounding Hogwarts herself." Dumbledore asked, as he looked around the library.
Harry winced. He had been dodging this topic all morning, and had been doing fairly well until they had past the Room of Magic, which he had named fondly. The Room of Magic was where all the wards, spells and basically, /magic/, were grounded. As they had past the Room of Magic, the magic inside, feeling its caster, its /creator,/in a sense, outside, had reached out towards him lovingly, letting him bask in its power, purity and overall warmth. Unfortunately for Harry, it was so powerful that Dumbledore had been nearly knocked off his feet in the magic's haste to greet its creator. After that happened, there was no way, short of erasing Dumbledore's memory of the event, to avoid the questions that spilled forth.
Harry sighed."Over the course of last year, I flooed myself here and set wards around the property. I would order new books in about wards and study them before heading out and casting them."
Dumbledore narrowed his eyes. "And how did you manage not to miss any of your classes?"
Harry blushed slightly. "After the... incident at the Department of Mysteries, I found aTime-Turner in my robes after I collided with some shelves. After class I would use the Time-Turner and go back as far as possible before going to the Room of Requirement and flooing out of Hogwarts to here, where I would cast the wards."Harry said softly.
Dumbledore sighed, then smirked. "I was wondering how long it would take for your Slytherin side to wake up."
Harry looked up and saw the smirk that was now only evident in the Headmaster's eyes. He smirked in response. "It's been awake for a while, Headmaster, you just haven't noticed it." Suddenly, his eyes lit up with realisation. "Who is going to teach Potions, and who's going to be the Slytherin's Head of House?"
Dumbledore's eyes twinkled mischievously. "I am going to teach Potions, and the Slytherin's Head of House is going to be our dear Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor."
Harry groaned."You're placing Tonks as Head of House? /Are you truly mad?/" Harry questioned.
Dumbledore shrugged. "Mad people never really know, do they?"
Harry had to fight the urge to slam his head into a wall at Dumbledore's response. Sighing resignedly, he led the grinning Headmaster out of the library and down to the dungeon area, where he would brew potions, and train, whether it be magical or physical training.
Coming back upstairs, Dumbledore requested to be shown the Room of Magic, and Harry, rather reluctantly, led the Headmaster back to the Room. Entering the Room behind the Headmaster, he smirked, noticing the look of awe on Dumbledore's face as the magic washed over them.
Severus, who had been reasonably quiet on the tour, suddenly perked up and began babble in baby talk to both the magic and Harry.
Harry watched in slight amusement as the magic decided to show off for it's young guest, crackling and popping with power and colour, causing Severus to giggle with delight.
Harry looked down at the child in his arms. "Sure, laugh now, but when you return to your original age and find out that the Headmaster has placed Tonks as Head of Slytherin house, you won't be laughing as much." Harry mumbled to Severus, watching as he smiled up at him, causing Harry's eyes to widen with slight shock. "It's like he doesn't even remember that he hates me." Harry said softly.
Dumbledore nodded."I don't believe he remembers who you are, or his... extreme dislike of you."
Harry snorted. 'It was just like Dumbledore to decorate the truth a little, make it seem more appealing.' He thought to himself. "Well Headmaster, I'm sure you have many things to do back at Hogwarts, like purchasing Severus new clothes and the like. Send them with Fawkes, I'm sure he'll know how to find me."
Dumbledore nodded again. "Of course Harry. Now, I would still like to see you after the Sorting Feast to discuss where you shall be staying."
Harry raised an eyebrow in slight alarm. "Where I'll be staying?"
Dumbledore chuckled lightly. "I don't think your room-mates would appreciate sharing their quarters with Severus Snape, no matter how old he is."
Harry nodded. "Of course." Leading Dumbledore back to the living room, he was about to call for Dobby when the old wizard placed a hand on his shoulder. "Yes?"
The old man looked at him with blue eyes filled with curiosity. "The other professors and I have been most curious to know why you gave up the Head Boy position. Would you care to tell me why?"
Harry sighed, he knew he was going to be asked this question. "While it would have been an honour to be Head Boy, I figured that this year I would have too much to concentrate on, what with the NEWTs and Voldemort. I know that I'm expected to defeat him this year some time."
Dumbledore looked into Harry's eyes and couldn't help but wince, seeing the resignation in the boy's... no, young man's eyes. He shook his head distractedly. 'Harry has never been a boy. The minute he re-entered our world, he had our hopes and dreams thrust upon his shoulders and not once has he complained about their weight.' He thought to himself, feeling both pride and shame. Pride for how Harry had turned out and shame at himself for adding to Harry's worries.
"And now that Ihave to take care of Severus, well, I certainly don't have any time." Harry concluded, then called for Dobby, who appeared but a moment later. "Dobby, can you please take Professor Dumbledore back to Hogwarts please?" Harry requested, watching as the house-elf nodded frantically.
"I'll see you at the start of term Professor." Harry said, watching as Dumbledore nodded his head in farewell, before disappearing with Dobby.
Harry stared amoment longer at the point where Dumbledore had been standing before looking down at his once again silent charge. There was something about his charge's silence that disturbed him. Surely the babe couldn't have already learnt the values of being quiet at such a tender age.
Then again, /he/had learnt at an early age the values of silence. The quieter he was, the less chance he had of being noticed, which increased his chances of going to his cupboard without any bruises.
He shook his head, trying to dispel the negative memories. Shifting his gaze back to his charge, he smiled gently.
"Well, little one, let's hope you'll have a decent childhood this time around." He murmured, smirking slightly as Snape gurgled up at him. 'Where's Colin when you need him? Perfect opportunity for blackmail material. I can just see adult Snape's face when he sees pictures of him smiling and gurgling happily at Harry Potter/.'/ Harry thought with a grin, before a pungent odour filled his nostrils and made him look down at Snape with horror. "Please Merlin, no." He muttered.
It seemed like Harry Potter, Boy-Who-Lived, had come across one of the few things parents, willing or not, feared.
The dreaded horror of a dirty nappy.