Raising Harry - Chapter 4 - jennaall - Harry Potter (2024)

Chapter Text

Severus Snape surveyed his quarters for what would be the last time. He had only recently settled into them and was beginning to feel at home in a way he never had at Spinner’s End. To be free from teaching though…the heavy yoke that had been weighing him down since the beginning of term was lifting.

As was the burden of being tethered to the Dark Lord…but the loss of his sweet Lily was an abyss he wasn’t sure he would ever climb out of. His fists clenched, and he struggled to maintain his steady breathing as he thought over that night.

His fault. It was all his fault. He would never see her again.

What was the point in living anymore?

He had been so determined to rise in the Dark Lord’s service to protect her life. Surely James would have befallen some sort of…tragedy that he was normally so recklessly seeking out. Then she would have been in a prime position for him to swoop in and protect her personally.

But his Lord had lied to him as he knew he likely would, and his insurance policy had failed thanks to that rat. Had Dumbledore known and allowed it to happen? He thought over the time traveler’s words about secret keepers and wondered why did they set it up that way?

They were utter imbeciles to have done so, it was their fault his Lily was gone!

No…no, it was his fault she was killed. Tears began to fall as he thought of how he was the one to hand deliver her death warrant to his Dark Lord. Her fate had been sealed from that moment forward, and he needn’t look any farther than the mirror to find the culprit to blame.

Devastation flowed through him in suffocating waves. He crumpled to the floor as heavy sobs wracked his body, and he let loose the torrent of despair he occluded to keep at bay until he was alone once more. His arms clenched across his body trying to hold in the bottomless ache, missing the love of his life.

Leaning forward, he felt the cool stone flooring touch his forehead, his chest shaking and heaving as he cried. His agony circled in on itself, amplifying until it was his entire existence.

By gods, he was the worst sort of monster to have caused the death of the only good thing to ever come into his miserable life.

Lost in despair, he had no sense of time passing. As he began to rock back and forth, he opened his eyes and saw a puddle of his tears on the floor before him. There was nothing, absolutely nothing he could ever do to make up for this grievous mistake.

Severus cried until he felt hollow, a shell of the man he had been but two days prior. As he sat there completely drained, he looked about the room and remembered the need to pack and relocate. Standing up, he mechanically began to shrink and box his belongings.

Thanks to magic he finished in an hour. Turning from the room, he left without a single glance back and made his way to the gates. On his way there, he thought over his destination, a sick feeling pervaded his abdomen at the thought of living in the same house as Potter’s spawn.

Lily’s child…Harry should have been his child. That is if the world were a fair place.

He stared blankly off into the distance, standing outside the gates. Shaking his head, he realized he couldn’t do it. There was no way he would survive living in the same house being responsible for him.

Without giving it further thought, he apparated home to Spinner’s End and set his stack of boxes down. He would just need to tell Granger of his decision, and then he could return to his hovel. Apparating to Cheselbourne, he walked through the gate and entered the house.

Seeing that the first floor was empty, he went upstairs and found them in a bedroom. She was pulling nursery things out of her bag and enlarging them before setting them up. Looking at the toddler, he found him sitting listlessly in the middle of the floor with a stuffed white owl in his grasp.

“Granger, I—”

She dropped her bag to the floor and whirled to face him, wand pointed to his chest with the beginning of a spell on her lips before she stopped.

He raised a mocking eyebrow, and heard her say, “you’re very quiet. It will take some getting used to.”

“Not as much time as you think. I have decided to stay at my residence. I am uncertain what the demands of the soul bond will be but testing it out will give us an idea what the minimum requirements will be to satisfy it.”

Her face was a picture of shock before turning incredulous. “You can’t be serious. We’re bound to each other and Harry, you can’t just leave us.”

“I’m not leaving either of you, simply not residing together,” he said woodenly.

“But we have no idea just how much time we’re going to need to spend together. To go off on your own is ludicrous. The books I’ve read specified it could be anything from a few hours a week to long hours of daily contact depending on the strength of the bond. Ours is very tightly woven together and thick, meaning it’s going to be the latter!”

“Yet you have no way of knowing for sure what exactly it’s going to be until it’s been tested. My decision isn’t up for debate. I was simply letting you know what is going to happen.”

Her mouth hung open before clicking shut, her eyes burned with fire. “Oh, so that’s the way of it then? So good to know that this will be a dictatorship and not a cooperative endeavor. Where do you get off thinking you get to control this situation?”

“I would think that is obvious. I have every right to decide where I am going to be living, and I have chosen to reside at home.”

“Merlin’s bollocks you have every right. Your rights ceased as soon as we became intertwined. Now we have to consider each other.”

“Granger, you’re making a mountain out of a mole hill. You’re just upset because we aren’t doing what you think is right.”

“No, you’re just trying to abandon your commitments!”

Severus lifted his eyes skyward and pinched the bridge of his nose. He did not have the energy to care about this. “We’re ceasing this circular conversation. I returned as a courtesy to let you know. Goodbye Granger.”

He heard her growl and step forward, but he apparated out on the spot. That harridan was maddening. There was no way he would be living with her on top of the constant reminder of Lily’s decision to choose his tormentor.

Taking off his robes, he threw them on the arm of his chair and went in search of alcohol. His father may have been an abusive waste of a man, but he always had a supply of alcohol. How much remained depended on the amount he drank through before he died.

He opened the alcohol cabinet and found himself for the first time in his life grateful for something his father did. Tobias managed to pass with a veritable hoard of hard alcohol which Severus planned on depleting in the days to come.

Pulling out a bottle of whiskey, he opened it and drank straight from the bottle. This would do for a start. He walked over to his chair and collapsed into it. Drinking another pull of whiskey, he leaned his head back and closed his eyes, wondering just how quickly oblivion would find him.


Albus Dumbledore looked out the window in his office as he sucked on a lemon drop. Miss Granger was proving to be a sharp thorn in his side. He pondered over the events that brought her to their time and how it obliterated his plans.

Everything had been progressing as he had orchestrated until she made an appearance. While he had lamented the loss of the Potters, it was necessary for the prophecy that was foretold. Harry needed to be raised in such a way as to be ready to sacrifice his life for the greater good. Living with his aunt and uncle would have primed him for such a task.

Now however…he was sure to be raised in a nurturing environment, not at all conducive to the manipulative scheming that would have been necessary to ensure such a feat. His expression soured as he cursed Death’s involvement. Anything else and he would have been able to find some way around it all. He knew as soon as he tried reading Miss Granger’s mind and was chased out by Death’s specter that he had to accept it all.

Now he had to content himself with using Lily’s sacrifice as a way to ensure young Harry would one day do the same. It was but paltry consolation compared to what he originally had planned, but it would have to do. He would still have Harry’s school years to sculpt him to meet his needs.

Rather than feeling reassured, Albus still felt quite irritated having his plans thwarted. He was the one best suited to being in control of these events. Miss Granger would rue the day she interfered with his machinations!

Yes…he had just the idea to remind her who was in charge after all.


Hermione fumed as she stared at the space Snape had occupied before disapparating like an errant father ‘off to get milk.’ What an absolute wanker, thinking only of himself! Who knew he was such a selfish prick. He was such a far cry from the professor she knew, tirelessly fighting for the side of the light, no matter the cost to him.

Perhaps she had romanticized him a bit—it would certainly explain the fleeting thoughts of fancy she had entertained the past day. She would do well to squash that thoroughly. He was clearly made from lesser stuff than his older self.

He was obviously a flight risk, not to be trusted to stay when the going got tough. She felt cursed to deal with such men as she went through life. Seriously, how difficult was it to pull up your big person pants and just do what needed to be done?!

Growling in frustration, she vowed to stop thinking of the irritating man and returned to setting up Harry’s room. Having already arranged all of his furniture, she moved on to pulling out his toys and getting them situated. As she finished up, she eyed Harry sitting in the middle of the room cuddling the owl as he gnawed on a wing. At least she always had him in her corner, even if now he wasn’t able to reciprocate like he used to.

Gods knew she had always been taking care of him anyways.

Picking him up, she gave him a little cuddle and a kiss on his cheek before bringing him downstairs. Tilly was still out picking up groceries and household necessities from wherever it was that house elves shopped. She wasn’t sure what Harry’s schedule normally was, but he was being remarkably good for her.

Now that she wasn’t actively distracted from her task, she couldn’t help but be absorbed in the aching chasm of emptiness in her chest. Her eyebrows furrowed as she rubbed her sternum. The feeling was so oppressive, she felt swept away in it, adrift from all the rest of her senses.

Narrowing her eyes, she had the vague sense that she shouldn’t be feeling such a way. The more she struggled and fought to hone in on the feeling, the more she realized it did have a sense of otherness to it. Closing her eyes, she focused on her breathing until she felt centered in herself.

Now that she was grounded, it was completely apparent this feeling wasn’t coming from herself. It was so strange to have this awareness. It must be the soul bonds, but who was it coming from? Tilting her head to the side, she puzzled over the connections.

Diving deep into the sensations, she noticed a pool of hollow emptiness on the left of her chest. It was a depth of such apathy that if she waded into it, she feared she’d never return. Quickly turning her attention to the right, she felt herself surrounded in a thick fog, blurring everything out while simultaneously feeling disconnected from it all.

As much as when she focused on the feelings in the right side of her chest it felt all consuming, however when she was grounded firmly in herself, it was quite muted in comparison to the feelings on the left.

This was going to take some getting used to. Unfortunately, she was no closer to figuring out who was who. There was a niggling thought that Harry might be on the right, but she’d have to pay attention to any changes and see what they matched up with. It was alarming that one of them was Harry though.

She worried her bottom lip as she thought back over his previous disposition wondering if he had been like this all along. With acute dismay, she realized that he had been rather despondent since her arrival. How had she missed such a thing?

Toddlers were supposed to be such vivacious, demanding creatures that when he acted the opposite, she simply assumed he was an easy going tot. She couldn’t have been further from the truth. Finding out she had been so wrong set off a cascade of failure and impending doom. She could scarcely breathe.

Merlin and Morgana, how was she going to adequately raise Harry if she couldn’t even recognize when his behavior was off? She cursed herself for putting so much of his care off on Mipsey and vowed to never do it again.

He had already had one disastrous childhood. If she turned out to be no better than the Dursleys, she was going to kill herself. Well, perhaps nothing quite that drastic, but she knew whatever she did it wouldn’t be good.

Feeling choked without air, her eyes watered as she took ragged breaths. She just couldn’t get in enough air no matter how much she tried. Her hands scrambled against her neck, trying to free the obstruction so she could breathe freely again.

Absolutely panicked, her heart was pounding and felt like it was going to beat outside her chest. Feeling dizzied beyond belief, she sat with a thud on the sofa. Staring at her shaking hands she felt like her chest was beginning to cave in.

Was she having a heart attack? It was going to turn out she needn’t do anything at all as a punishment for herself, her body was going to take care of it for her. She was too young to die, she still had so much to do!

Strident breathing echoed through the room. Feeling chubby little hands on her own, she opened her eyes, not even realizing she had closed them in the first place. She saw Harry’s concerned baby face staring up at her, and she stared at his eyes as she tried to regulate her breathing.

Concentrating on the feel of his hands, she was desperate to calm down and not affect him further. Part of her chest felt warm and cozy, like she was wrapped in a hug she never wanted to escape. The tight pressure in her chest eased, and she started breathing more normally.

She picked him up and hugged him close, taking slow, deep breaths as she waited for her heartrate to slow down. Hermione thought she may have just had a panic attack. It fit her recollections from the time she read her mother’s psychology texts the summer after fifth year.

Furrowing her brow, she tried to recall when PTSD was first diagnosed rather than shell shock or battle fatigue. She thought it was somewhere in the ‘70s or ‘80s. While there likely wouldn’t be as much information as was available in her time, it would be better to research all she could than simply write it off.

It wouldn’t hurt to pick up books on child rearing and child psychology as well if they had them. Biting her lip, she wondered if there was a bookstore in the nearest town or if she would need to visit the local library instead to peruse their offerings. Hopefully that would be something Tilly would be able to answer for her. Otherwise, she had no idea how to find it out, she wasn’t even sure where the nearest neighbor lived.

Hermione supposed she should add area surveillance to her growing to-do list. She needed to be prepared for whatever problem may arise. Being ignorant of her surroundings was sure to be to her detriment.

Thankfully, Tilly appeared with numerous bags of things, and she joined her in putting them away while holding Harry. When she asked about the surrounding area, she found out that they were halfway between Dorchester and Weymouth Bay. Also, their nearest neighbor happened to be a magical family, but their Muggle neighbors were many kilometres away.

Harry began to cry up a storm, so she got him some more milk and settled on the sofa to cuddle him while he drank. It felt pretty peaceful sitting here like this with him. Her new life was sure to be rife with challenges but with moments like these to get her through it, she knew she’d find her way. Eventually.

Raising Harry - Chapter 4 - jennaall - Harry Potter (2024)
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