Harry was so overwhelmed by the emotions he could feel, and it wasn't the full scope of emotions either. Severus and Marcus had the ability to make their emotions so low it was like a simmer and it was barely registering with Harry who was so used to everyone's emotions screaming at him in high definition. The love Severus felt for Lily was…overwhelmingly enduring, entwined so closely with devotion, obsession and desire. Which was natural, since most people felt all these things for people they loved just in various different amounts. What made this so overwhelming to Harry was that he wasn't used to such intense positive emotions.
Harry had spent his entire life with the Dursley's, they loved their son, to a fault. The Dursley's liked each other. Loathed the very air he breathed though, and that hatred and loathing was stronger than any 'love' they felt. They Dursleys spent so much of their lives hating on others, that they very rarely felt positive emotions. At school the most he felt coming of everyone was tiredness, annoyance, then excitement for the day to finally be over. He had been young then, and the emotions on top of his own left him near catatonic. Fortunately, his magic helped Harry cope until he could stand everything being thrown his way.
"You made Voldemort come after me and my parents?" Harry said utterly befuddled, wondering if that's exactly what they were trying to tell him.
"I did," Severus acknowledged, the piercing pain in his heart hurting some more hearing it stated out loud for the first time.
"He's partly to blame," Marcus interrupted rudely, but incensed that professor Snape would take the blame for himself. "He warned your parents who chose to go into hiding when professor Snape told them I presume." Giving Severus a glance in silent query.
Severus gave one jerky nod, yes, that was true.
"They used the Fidelius charm, which hides everyone in sight, making them safe from any harm." Marcus calmed here, before reluctantly continuing without bite. "They chose the wrong Secret Keeper, the wrong person to trust with their lives. Sirius Black your father's best friend, betrayed them to Voldemort and in the end, he found them and attempted to kill all of you."
"But what did the prophecy say that could have led to Voldemort targeting my parents? I was a baby!" Harry protested, so confused, and so very grateful not to be feeling the full force of their emotions right now. It enabled him to think, to feel his own emotions, being around too many people was tiring. Generalising the prophecy without realizing that it was entirely about him.
Severus swallowed thickly, inhaling sharply, he couldn't do it to an eleven-year-old boy. He didn't want to make an eleven-year-old boy feel to blame for something he had no control over. No more control over he had of what occurred after giving the dratted thing to the Dark Lord.
"That was wrong," Harry said, cocking his head to the side, "So, he wasn't targeting my parents…he specifically targeted me."
Severus felt a wave of amazement, honestly impressed that he could make such deductions. He was going to have to be a bit more careful. He could not in all honesty, change his emotions, as a spy if the Dark Lord had, had an empath then he would have been found out within moments. It made him realize something pertinent, "Dumbledore's not got a clue who he's up against." Pure delight thrumming through him.
Marcus' grinned, his delight looked sadistic and proud. "Oh, yeah, Dumbledore isn't going to be able to pull his crap on him, now, is he?" rubbing his hands in sheer delight. Merlin, there was no way Dumbledore would be able to trick an empath. Who would have thought he'd be ecstatic to find that Harry had an ability that would safeguard him?
Harry remained stoic, his mind reeling, "Why would he be after me?" his voice slow and quiet, his mind trying to put pieces together when he didn't yet have the entire jigsaw. Normally he'd bask in any positive emotion sent his way, but right now he was just confused, a little lost really.
"You are quite assiduous," Severus murmured, brow furrowed, the boy would sense any lie he attempted to tell clearly. If he gave him half-truths it would likely be detected as well. However, telling an eleven-year-old didn't sit right with him. "I could tell you, it's likely Dumbledore doesn't want you to know…knowledge is a currency that's unmatched. However, it is information you won't be able to take back, it's not good so the choice is yours." In the end he gave the boy the choice on what he wanted to do, and how much he got told.
"Professor Snape means what he says, it really is something big if he's warning you," Marcus informed the teen, gripping his arm and squeezing it in reassurance. "Most eleven-year-olds would never be able to cope with such information. Unfortunately, you've been through more than most and could handle it." It was too late for 'Harry to have a childhood' and trust adults, be a child, that chance was long gone.
Harry stared between them; he could sense how serious they were. He wasn't used to being treated seriously, hated, yes at home. Ignored, yes, at school, but never regarded seriously. To be seen by people who actually cared. Hagrid cared, but he cared like he did for creatures, like Hedwig. Licking his lips, "He was after me, wasn't he?" Harry whispered, it's the only reason they'd be reluctant to state as such.
"Yes," Severus nodded his agreement, "He was."
"Why?" Harry simply asked, knowing this time he would get his answer. "What was said in that prophecy?" and yes, he knew what a prophecy was, the Muggles had prophecies too, seers as well, in their movies and programmes. He'd seen the half of one animated programme his cousin seemed to like, about a seer and prophecies. He said half because when his aunt realised it was even remotely abnormal 'freakish' as she called it, it was banned from the house.
"I never heard it all," Severus said honestly, exhaling before he spoke again, "Sybil Trelawney is a descendant from a well-known seer Cassandra Trelawney. She doesn't have an ounce of Cassandra's charming ways and talents. She wrote books, toured the world, and predicted many, many things, and did personal calls and was in fully booked halls with everyone eager to hear her words of wisdom. Sybil has to this day, only given one prophecy, and that one is regarding to you."
Marcus drummed his fingers against the couch, impatiently, it was clear he was just stalling now. Although, given his reactions thus far, it was likely self-preservation that made professor Snape act that way.
"I heard three verses of it, the one with the power to defeat the Dark Lord approaches, born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies." Severus eventually managed to get the words out.
Marcus gasped, gaping like a first year Mudblood, at the word's professor Snape had just spoken. Holy Morganas tits, he glanced at Harry for a second before back to professor Snape. Seriously? He was going to have the power to defeat the Dark Lord? Just how much power did this kid have? He'd heard tales about the Dark Lord, his abilities, his grandfather had been a supporter. Despite his best efforts, his son hadn't had any care for the war, less so when he was born. If his grandfather found out about this…Merlin, he'd likely have a heart attack.
Too bad he couldn't tell him a damn thing.
Not that he'd put Harry in danger that way. Not after all he'd been through.
"My birthday is on July 31st," Harry commented, which did line up with 'the seventh month dies' quite literally.
"Indeed," Severus murmured, resignation thrumming through him, he didn't deserve any forgiveness anyway. "Those words heralded the Dark Lord's desire to…take care of a problem before it became one. In doing this, he lost the respect and admiration of many, it was why so many people did not bother to seek the Dark Lord out once news reached everyone of his…defeat, nobody attempted to save him from his folly." Moving his hand so that he was hand in hand with Harry's in a silent reassurance. Contrary to popular belief it wasn't because they thought he was 'gone' and they were relieved he wasn't torturing them. Or because they were never going to win. No, it was a simple matter of realizing their leader was too far gone. If he could go after a baby, a toddler, when they've never harmed a child before, what could he do to their own offspring?
"My grandfather isn't one of them," Marcus said, barely able to keep the bitterness from his tone. If he hadn't, he knew professor Snape would have kept digging. He had to be so careful to ensure that he didn't display any of the signs that his professor looked for. Not that he'd been regularly abused, no, just when he was with his grandfather.
"No," Severus agreed, dark eyes gleaming with murderous thoughts. Flint and Nott (the older generation) knew him in his younger years, saw the deterioration and did nothing. They revel in the pain and despair that the Dark Lord caused. They'd passed that savage and incontrollable impulses down to a few of his own generation. Bellatrix, Bartemius Crouch Junior, and Fenrir was a class of his own. "He isn't." he thanked Merlin Marcus' parents weren't close to the grandfather. It's likely how Marcus and his father hadn't ended up warped.
Harry latched onto that, emotions first and foremost, realizing that Marcus was afraid of his grandfather. It must be who hurt his back, who hurt Marcus. The thought of opening his mouth and telling professor Snape what was going on and what he'd seen was strong. Instead, he peered at the older wizard, and he knew, deep in his gut if he told anyone, Marcus wouldn't be his friend anymore. He didn't want to lose his friend, but it didn't mean he couldn't try something. He unlike Marcus wasn't afraid of his grandfather. Just like Marcus wasn't afraid of the Dursley's and he was.
He did see the irony of it, since Marcus had helped him and without his input.
"I know this is a lot to take in, and I understand if you need time to come to terms with it," Severus murmured soothingly, "If you don't want to trust me, that's fine, I will still get you out of the Dursley's and Marcus can be the go between." Reassuring Harry that he would still be protected regardless of his feelings for him. He wouldn't blame Harry for being furious over his part.
"I…don't blame you," Harry said, how could he? "I…never knew them anyhow."
Severus frowned, not sure how to feel about that.
"He didn't even know what his parents looked like," Marcus reminded professor Snape quietly.
"I always thought they were unemployed louts who got themselves killed in a car accident." Harry added, feeling guilty for all the bad things he'd thought about them. "I didn't know…they only look a couple years older than me."
Severus inhaled sharply, in a few years' time, they would only be a couple of years older than their son when they passed. Pain echoing in his heart, of course, how could he mourn someone he didn't know about? Who he thought so badly of? What the Dursley's had done was reprehensible. Perhaps it was time to begin tormenting them. "Hold on," Severus murmured, standing up, he moved towards his bedroom.
He closed the door behind him, and made a beeline for the bookcases to his left, and plucked the one he wanted out immediately. It 'looked' like a book but the reality was it was a box with a spine that looked like a book so it went amongst the books without looking out of place.
Opening it up, revealing all his keepsakes, from preserved daises, transfigured flowers and gifts from Lily. Underneath it all was an old faded album; he took it out and smoothed his fingers over it reverentially. Within the album was a picture of his mother young, on her way to Hogwarts judging by the background and lack of house colours. Then his parents on their wedding day, his mothers bump clearly visible. It's the only picture he had of his father, who he barely resembled. He never could bring himself to set fire to them. They were miserable people and made terrible parents. They'd made his life such a misery, the only light of his life had been Lily.
Shaking off his thoughts, Severus found the few pictures that Mrs and Mr Evans had taken of them. They didn't move, and Severus found one that only had Lily in it. Once he was dead this would all be Harry's, he'd make sure of it. Until then he was sure he could spare a few pictures of Lily, unfortunately he didn't have any of Potter.
Copies were made, before the pictures were swiftly ensconced again, then he picked up the year books from when he attended Hogwarts. He painstakingly looked through them all, copying every single one that had Lily in them as well as Potter. By the time he'd gotten through all seven years, he had quite a pile for the young boy.
Although, many had Black in the picture, which was likely something Harry would come to dislike. Unfortunately, Black and Potter had been stuck to one another like burrs. It would be quite rare to find one without the other, so he'd leave that for Harry to decide whether he wanted to keep them or not.
When he opened his door, he found Harry doing his homework next to Marcus. Which reminded him, he'd need to figure out a way to repay the young wizard for his actions. The thought of what could have happened left him cold. He might not have survived returning to the Dursley's to come back to Hogwarts for his second year.
Severus moved towards them, eyeing the parchment or rather the writing, it was absolutely atrocious. Although, slightly better than it had been before, considering his injuries and the pain he'd been in…he understood all too well. Still, "You need to keep practicing your writing, if you need any help let me know, and I'll help you with your calligraphy."
"Practicing for half an hour before bed will help a lot," Marcus agreed, "Takes years to master, but well worth it. When you write to an establishment, it's the first point of contact. Messy writing indicates a lack of care, and if you don't care about your writing, they won't want anything to do with you, or any business you may have decided upon." Explaining just how important it was and in a similar way he'd been told about how important it was.
"As the Last Potter heir, you'll be doing a lot of writing when you're older," Severus murmured, approving of the way Marcus was dealing with Harry. It seemed to be the right approach, but he wasn't a child anymore, but also, he wasn't an adult quite yet. There would be a lot of information he wasn't aware of yet, or just didn't think of.
"Oh," Harry said thoughtfully, "It's a little difficult to write with it, but much better since the potions earlier, what was it you gave me?"
Severus' lips twitched, right now he didn't need to read minds to know whether the boys mind was right now. "There is no need to attempt to find out their names to make them on your own. Anything you need, you need only ask. You will not be injured to have a need of the potions." He was determined to see that through. "Once you're finished your homework, you may help me with a potion, and I shall educate you on the best way to prepare the ingredients."
Harry's eyes positively lit up, and Severus felt a pang recalling his class. "Yeah!" he exclaimed excitedly.
Severus asked, "Do you like Potions thus far?"
"Yes," Harry said eagerly, "I knew I'd be good at it since I am good at cooking."
Severus' eye twitched, "Potions is a little different, the ingredients interact differently. The way you cut or cube or slice a carrot is vastly different to a potion ingredient. It is my job to teach you, now, did you get Sebastian Princes volume 1 in rudimentary potions brewing did you?"
Harry stiffened, feeling cornered, mouthing the words in confusion, "That…that wasn't on my list."
Severus glanced at Marcus, before realization dawned, "I see, forgive me, it seems you weren't given the Muggle born Hogwarts package. Your fellow classmates, most of them, already know this information having been tutored before getting into Hogwarts. Which means you won't have the timetable for Muggle born and Muggle raised students."
Harry shook his head, rapid and determined, shuffling about his bag before withdrawing his timetable and handing it over. He wasn't used to just being believed – and Severus did believe him – so he went ahead and proved it.
Severus pursed his lips, "Would you like to join the rudimentary class?" which was open to all Muggle born and Muggle raised students for the entirety of their first year at Hogwarts.
"Yes, please," Harry said quietly.
Severus flicked out his wand and tapped the boys' timetable, and on Saturday for two hours, rudimentary potions showed up on his newly adjusted timetable.
"Are there other classes that offer that?" Harry asked cautiously.
"No, but there are plenty of extracurricular classes you may take," Severus explained, since it was clear there was a mistake on Harry's educational opening. "Who came to see you to explain Hogwarts and the magical world?" and he was going to have a bloody word with the, the sheer audacity of them not explaining things adequately irritated him so. "Do not say Hagrid." He was aware Harry had interacted with Hagrid enough to get a horrendous version of the Dark Lord's name and such.
"Hagrid." Harry said bluntly, "I didn't really get an explanation about much but he did buy me Hedwig, my owl, she was my very first gift." Such adoration in his voice as he spoke about her, she was everything to him.
"I understand Hagrid took you to Diagon Alley, but who came to visit and ensure that you understood everything?" Severus requested, feeling like he wasn't going to like the answer.
"Nobody came, when the letters begun coming, they were put in the fire. The Dursley's did that all week, until Sunday, when they thought they wouldn't get any due to it being…well Sunday and no post comes on that day." Harry said brow furrowed, "Then they came, it drove my uncle mad, he had all of us leave for a hotel in London, but…three large sacks came…I've never seen my uncle so…purple." Amusement playing across his face, amusement he hadn't felt when it was happening but was funny now.
Severus gave him a nod of understanding, to continue.
"He made us leave the hotel and took us to a place in the middle of the sea, a hut, it was July 30th when we arrived, with just a few hours left, it was cold and dark and only a few hours before midnight. I stayed up as I always do, hoping and praying for something…anything good." Harry confessed, "And it came, finally something good happened."
"What happened when Hagrid came?" Severus asked, quite perplexed.
"Well, Uncle Vernon took out his shotgun and tried to threaten Hagrid, who just twisted the shotgun like it wasn't metal. He gave me a cake, unfortunately my cousin ate it," wrinkling his nose, a moue of disappointment on his features, he'd have liked to have at least had a taste. "Hagrid got mad at my cousin, and cast a spell on him, gave him a pig tail, although he did ask me not to tell anyone." Feeling a little bad for revealing such information.
"And then what?" Severus prompted; it didn't sound like a setting where he'd be educated about the magical world.
"They refused to let me come, saying they didn't want me to learn about magic, and then he took me." Harry said, shrugging his shoulders.
"And you went?" eyeing Harry with alarm, Marcus glanced at Severus, how bad was his life that he would go with a stranger? If that had been someone on the dark side, the kid wouldn't have been seen again.
"Yes," Harry said, oblivious to the danger he could have been in. It's not like anyone had explained 'stranger danger' to him, or who he really was and what the other side would do to him if they ever got their hands on him. Or at least certain members of the dark side, since most of them would never harm a child and anyone still at Hogwarts was a child.
Severus could only thank Merlin the child would be at Hogwarts for the majority of the year. By then he'd have a new living situation for the child. That way Harry would be less inclined to walk away with anyone who came across as caring. Merlin, it was a shock that he was still alive. "Here," he said, handing over the pictures.
And with that his mostly finished homework was forgotten, as Harry flipped through all the pictures, seeing his parents grow from eleven to seventeen. Bravely asking questions about who was who in the pictures and where they were. He found out what happened to his fellow classmates' parents, the Longbottom's. He found out what Sirius Black looked like. "Can you visit Azkaban?"
"You won't be able to, no, not without your magical guardian's permission." Severus answered firmly. "Letters are redirected, nothing gets to the prisoners."
Harry frowned, "That doesn't sound right." And it genuinely didn't, he'd seen a few movies and that wasn't how prison worked.
"The Muggle world is vastly different to the Wizarding world, Mr. Potter, remember that." Severus said sombrely. He'd very much rather end up in a Muggle prison with his magic bound than end up in Azkaban.
Harry nodded, before taking a second look at the pictures awed beyond belief. They remained that way until Severus informed Marcus to take Harry to his dorm since it was almost curfew.
"Yes, Sir," Marcus murmured, "Come on kid, lets go." Waiting patiently until everything was put safely into his bag.
"Sir?" Harry said softly, waiting until the professor looked at him. "I forgive you, you tried to make amends, you warned them something was going to happen. You couldn't help what happened next." And with that Marcus and Harry left, and Harry? Harry felt the effects of his forgiveness had on his professor and how much he needed it.
Marcus saw to it that he got to his common room safely, silent but companionably. Harry hugged Marcus tightly, "Goodnight, Marcus." He murmured, saying the password to the common room and it swung open.
"Goodnight," Marcus returned, only leaving once the portrait swung shut entirely.
Harry noticed everyone was already up in their dorms when he entered properly, even the seventh years apparently, except for Neville, who was sat at the couch by the dying fire "Hey, Neville, are you okay?" noticing he had a letter perched in his lap.
When the young boy looked up, the firelight reflecting the tears, sniffling, he hastily wiped his face, "I'm fine." He tried to pretend everything was okay.
Harry moved to sit with him, "Are you missing home?" it was a foreign concept to him, but nonetheless asked. Just because he didn't have his mum and dad, he likely had other family.
Neville flinched, and then ducked further when an irate voice reached them.
"You're out late, curfew was ten minutes ago you're lucky you weren't caught out of bounds and cost Gryffindor points." the voice caused both of them to look up. The girl, Granger, was talking to them and apparently annoyed with them.
Both of them sighed, it was way too late to deal with Granger in any capacity. "Come on, Neville," Harry said, tugging the bewildered boy up, getting them up to the boy's dorm and away from Granger's know-it-all attitude. It hurt a little that Neville was so shocked that he remembered his name, or was talking to him at all.
A/n – so shall Harry begin the process for getting Sirius out of prison? Or will it happen as it did canonically? Harry's third year? I actually really love writing Sirius in the contract so I'd love to do it in another story, although I think My Child might be the better one of them both to allow that. That's not to say he can't be a good uncle figure in this, I want to mix it up a little, the only character I definitely wouldn't change is Dumbledore 😉 haha I honestly had a tough time of it writing him good in My Dark Protector 😊 can't wait for the scene I'm imagining between Flint's grandfather and Harry 😉 I'm going to have so, so, so much fun 😊 anyway R&R please and take care everyone