An almost silent pop sounded in the sitting room of a house on Spinner’s End in Cokeworth, England. The owner of the home looked up from his writing to study the small creature who’d just appeared. The creature, a House-elf, stood at only a foot and a half tall, much taller than most of it’s species: it’s darker skin cloaked in a white pillowcase with the Potter crest of two rampant gryffins holding two wands crossed embroidered on the breast.
“Lynk has a letter from Lord Potter and news for you, Heir Prince.” The elf snapped his fingers and a roll of parchment tied up with a red ribbon appeared in front of the young Heir. “Lord Potter asked Lynk to tell Heir Prince to read the letter first.”
Heir Prince blinked at the elf before he grabbed the roll, removing the ribbon and unrolling the parchment.
As I write this, our son, Hadrian Septimus Prince sleeps in his cot across the room. He looks so much like you; the only things he really gets from me are his skin tone, his eyes and his inability to hold still and keep out of trouble.’
Heir Prince chuckled quietly at the small jab at himself that his Lover had added before the words fully registered. “I have a son,” he whispered, frantically looking back at the letter to find out more.
‘The only things that Hadrian didn’t inherit from either of us is his exact eye color – a startling green he received from magical contact with Lily; and his power levels – even at just under a year old, he has enough control to summon his favourite toys from the shelf.
He has your infinite curiosity; constantly looking around and studying everything he can see or get his hands on. It’s fascinating to watch him as he does so; the way his eyes narrow at certain things and his head tilts at others are very much you.
I talk about you to him a lot; apologizing for his not knowing you and enlightening him on your brilliance. He continually calls out for his “Papa”, something that saddens me to no end. He’s so bright, my little shining star in this eternal darkness that I find myself in.
I know that you mustn’t understand what happened and how we ended up this way, and I’ll try my best to explain, but this is hard to speak about, let alone write.
A month before I disappeared, I received a letter that had no signature or mark and contained only a few words and a picture. This picture, taken with a muggle camera, depicted Lily – tied and restrained – staring at the photographer with barely concealed hatred. The only words on the parchment stated that this person had her and I was only one who could get her back.
At the time of the first letter, I was already a month pregnant, but I had no idea how to tell you, or how to go about even bringing up the idea of children with you. I didn’t know how you’d react and I feared the worst, so I procrastinated time and time again until it was too late.
These letters continued, the words hardly changing but the pictures continually getting worse and worse as Lily progressed from unharmed to black and blue. When the final letter before my disappearance arrived, I’d had enough, seeing my blood-sister and charge like that infuriated me and I did the stupid Gryffindor thing and ceded to the writer’s demands, turning up at the designated point, only to be spelled unconscious and removed from the meeting place to be dropped off at some manor house with only a wounded Lily and several house-elves for company.
By the time of Hadrian’s birth, I had exhausted all ideas on how to get out and away from this strange place.
Now, almost a year and a half later, I write this to you, pleading for you to forgive me. I’m sorry I never told you about my pregnancy. I’m still sorry for all the things I’d done in school. I’m sorry for not drowning you in gifts and affection during the time we had together but I knew you wouldn’t accept. I’m sorry for not telling you that I loved you more often. I’m sorry for everything. I know it will be hard but I hope you can forgive me.
I fear that this letter may come too late for me to physically gain your forgiveness. Fear blankets my mind that I will not be around to see you finally meet our son. I feel like something is to happen – something bad, something that will drastically change our worlds, something that will take me from you and Hadrian from both of us. I beg of you to find and care for him if this does happen.
I love you, Severus.
Yours Always and Forever,
James Henry Potter; Lord Potter, Consort Prince.’
Severus stared at the parchment for a moment, clutching to the page carefully for a long moment before he set it down on the desk. He turned back to his messenger, staring at the creature.
“You have news for me?” He questioned, folding his hands together on his lap.
“Yes, Lynk is to tell Heir Prince that dishonor has befallen his son. The boy’s so-called guardian has set standards that no child his age can live up to and his punishments outweigh the crime.” Lynk responded, smiling slightly at the growl that escaped the man.
“And just who are his guardians?” Severus hissed, his fangs appearing for a moment before disappearing again as he calmed himself down.
“The young master is cared for by those of the House of Dursley. His tormentor is limited to Vernon of the House of Dursley. The Lady Petunia cannot do anything to protect the young master as she fights to protect her own son from the Lord’s wrath.” Lynk told him, coming to stand closer to the young Heir. “She tries hard to protect the young masters but to less success than she hopes.”
“Who placed my son with the Dursleys?” Severus questioned, gritting his teeth to keep another growl from bursting free.
“Headmaster Albus of the House of Dumbledore placed your son there to much protest from Lady Minerva of the House of McGonagall.”
Severus jolted for a moment before a slightly pleased smile bloomed on his face, knowing that the older woman would be a good ally and family member to them. He looked at the elf for a moment before he spoke again, “What time is it there? And is Vernon gone, so I may see my son?”
“It is just after ten o’clock and the man is gone.” Lynk replied, wringing his hands as he studied the Heir.
“Take me to him.” Severus held out his hand, not caring that he’d been in the middle of writing something that was almost immediately forgotten in the need to get to his son.
The Elf clasped his own small hand to the large pale one before a hook captured Severus’ naval and yanked him away from his own home to wherever Petunia and his son were.
An almost silent pop sounded in an inconspicuous alley near the home of Petunia Dursley nee Evans. The well kept home looked much like all the rest of the houses in the neighbourhood, barring the number on the door. Its immaculate lawn matched all the others and the pale paint matched each and every one of the others in it’s shade.
Severus sighed quietly before moving up the door, knocking lightly. He waited, breathing calmly as he waited for the door to be answered. He ran his hands through his hair, watching the door.
The door opened slowly and Petunia Dursley peered out. “Severus…” She whispered, blinking in shock.
“Hello, ‘Tunia.” Severus greeted, smiling at her gently. “I’ve come to see Harry.”
“Come in, come in.” Petunia rushed, holding open the door for him. Her soft pink dress fluttered slightly in the breeze coming in the open door.
Severus stepped into the brightly lit house, listening to the quiet giggles coming from the room just off the entrance. “Harry and your son?” He questioned, looking towards the doorway.
“Yes, Dudley adores Harry and the feeling seems to be mutual on Harry’s part.” Petunia replied as she led him to the room. She stopped in the doorway, just watching the two boys chase each other around the coffee table.
Severus smiled at the sight, his son looked happy, but he knew that if he was left there, only bad things would happen to him.
“Harry, darling, someone’s here to see you.” Petunia called, rousing the boys from their games.
Both boys looked up to see who’d come to visit and Severus knew immediately that he would be wrapped around his son’s finger after just one look into those startling emerald eyes. He licked his lip lightly as he knelt down to the boys’ height.
“Hello, Harry. Do you know who I am?” Severus questioned quietly, looking at his son carefully.
Harry shook his head slowly. He stepped forward, skirting around his aunt carefully as he moved to stand in front of this new visitor. He tilted his head to the side, carefully studying the man in front of him.
“I’m your father, Harry.” He whispered, staring into the green eyes of the child who he’d missed five years of life with. “I’m yours, Harry.”
Harry squealed happily and threw himself at the man, little arms coming to wrap around Severus’ neck. “You came. Papa, you came.”
“Of course, I did, little star.” Severus whispered into the boy’s hair, brushing his lips against the small forehead. “Of course, I did.” He clutched his son close to him, a soft purr starting in his chest. He smiled at the small sound that answered his own.
After a long moment of silence, Severus pulled back to study all three of the remaining occupants of 4 Privet Drive. “I think it’s time that you all left this place.” He admitted, looking up at Petunia from where he was crouched by her feet.
“Where would we go?” She questioned, placing a hand on the top of Dudley’s head when he stopped next to her.
“Lily left a house of hers in my care when she went to France before she disappeared. You could stay there until you find your feet.” Severus replied, petting his fingers through Harry’s hair. “It’s a mixed village, so someone will be quite happy to take you on as you know about both worlds.”
“It’s going to take too long to get everything packed before Vernon comes home…” Petunia muttered, petting through Dudley’s hair gently.
“You seem to forget what I can do.” Severus smirked, flicking his wrist lightly to drop his wand to his hand. With a quick motion and a quick order of “Pack Petunia belongings. Pack Dudley belongings. Pack Hadrian belongings.”
He watched as things from all over the house floated around and into suitcases that had floated down the stairs. There were so few things that he could automatically recognize as Harry’s and it made him sad to think that his son had gone without because of a man he wasn’t even related to.
“We’ll have to go to Gringotts and get all three of you tests for poisons or other harming conditions that may be in your blood.” Severus remarked, watching as the trail of belongings began to trickle off. “There’s most likely nothing but better safe than sorry.” He petted his hand over the unruly locks on the top of Harry’s head, sorting through the slight curls gently.
When all the things were packed away, Severus waved his wand once more and shrunk everything down so that he could shove it into his pocket. He grabbed everything and turned to look at his companions. He scooped Harry up into his arms, coaxing the boy to curl his head against his neck before holding out his hand for Petunia to take after she’d picked up Dudley.
“Lynk.” He called, waiting for the elf to appear. When the elf appeared, he quickly introduced Petunia and Dudley before giving an order, “Drop us on the steps to Gringotts.” With a single touch to his shoulder, all five disappeared.