Wow. I am shocked at the number of responses in such a short period of time!
Between the reviewers and the poll on my account (drum-roll please)
Option (c) wins!
Well, I will try to incorporate some parts of (a) as well (like many of you requested).
Would you also like me to incorporate aspects of option (b) too? Or is that too much/overkill? (I'm still going to have Death as a character, just a matter if you want a pairing with her or if you want time travel...)
I hope you enjoy this next chapter!
Harry woke up drenched in sweat. It was just another nightmare. It was just another nightmare, he chanted over and over. As soon as he calmed himself down, he looked over at his alarm clock. 4:10 a.m. it read. He thought he may as well get up and get ready for the day. He needed to be at the cafe by 5 anyways.
As he threw on a green collared shirt, Harry reflected upon how he almost never actually gets up at his alarm set for 4:30. He most always woke up prior to that time due to the constant plague of nightmares. There wasn't much of his past that didn't cause one.
He then placed a pair of contacts onto his eyes. After moving into the muggle world, he sought out little tricks that would make it harder for the wizarding world to find him. Most witches and wizards knew they could spot him if they saw three things: one, a lightning bolt scar above his brow. Fortunately for Harry, this scar faded at the release of the horocrux. Next, they could recognize him from glasses adorning his face, making him look very much like his late father, James Potter. Switching to contacts took care of that. Finally, the untameable 'Potter hair' was something few could miss. Luckily for Harry, the muggle world was leagues ahead of the wizarding one when it came to hair style options. Thanks to an amazing stylist, his hair was cut into a style known as a 'quiff.' He also died his hair a deep red, in honor of his mother, though the roots still showed the black it once was.
Every day he walked out that front door, none would guess that he was Harry James Potter. To further disassociate himself from his fame, he also took upon a new name: Hadrian Peverell. And once he arrived at his shop and had his first cup of coffee, none could guess the troubles that plagued the man in both his past and every night.
The rush of the morning that many coffee shops experience did not happen at his cafe due to the location in which it sat. It was hidden in a quaint little suburb, and only locals knew about it, just as he liked it. This also meant that he actually knew his regular customers, like the little old couple who liked having traditional black coffee with a piece or two of an apple streusel. Or like the young mother of three who always came in asking for a caramel macchiato. Or his old professor who just walked in.
"Morning," the man thought for a moment, "Brat."
"Hey!" Harry exclaimed.
After everything that happened to them both in the Wizarding World, Harry had come to know that the professor did not, in fact, hate him, but rather was interested in seeing the boy both live and thrive. Snape had eventually become a mentor to the lad, and even friends over time.
Harry then asked, "So what would you like, and why are you here?"
"I can't just come visit you at random?" Severus responded in mock humor. At a look from Harry, he continued: "Oh all right. Espresso con panna. Anyways, the old man is up to something again, at least, that is what the goblins say. None of us know what, exactly, he will try though."
"And both you and the goblins want to ward both my house and my shop to high heaven?" Harry filled in.
Severus responded: "I don't understand why you haven't already, even after all that he has done to you."
"It keeps things interesting. You really don't want to know what I would do if things get boring around here."
"Harry," he sighed in exasperation.
"What. It isn't like the old man can do that much damage. There's this nice lass called Death who helps me with damage control."
"Harry," he intoned again. "That's not the point. Also, I doubt she likes cleaning up the messes that you know you can prevent if you actually tried."
Said entity they were speaking of snuck up on them: "There's also this thing called not talking about someone when they are not there."
They both jumped and turned to look at her.
"And what's your opinion of all this?" asked Snape.
"Hm? Oh, you really don't want Hadrian to be bored, so if little things like this can prevent that disaster, I don't mind," she replied.
"See!" Harry exclaimed.
Severus responded: "This is going to be so much trouble as is. You both know that Murphy's Law is intertwined with your existence."
"So is Lady Luck."
"I give up. Can I have my coffee now?"
"Here. Just keep me posted if you or the goblins hear anything more."