|webmistresses (webmistresses) wrote in severus_sighs,|
@ 2011-02-12 18:15:00
|Entry tags:||event: anti-valentine's day 2011, fic, member: bonfoi, pairing: severus/harry, pairing: severus/lily, rating: pg-13|
Life is a Box of Poisoned Chocolates by Bonfoi
Title: Life is a Box of Poisoned Chocolates
Pairing: Severus Snape/Lily Evans; Severus Snape/Harry Potter
Word Count: 2,039
Warnings: Severitus; Manipulative!Dumbledore
Summary: Given enough time, Severus Snape can plan a subtle revenge. Severus Sighs Anti-Valentine’s 2011 Prompt #2: Love philtres, chocolates, perfume ... Yes, for a potion master, there were many ways to exact revenge on Valentine's Day.
A/N: There’s love and then there’s love. Beta: Onkoona. Any perceived mistakes are mine own.
Disclaimer: The world of Harry Potter, its characters and settings are the copyrighted works of J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., her publishing companies and affiliates. No profit was made from the writing of this story nor was any malice intended in any way, shape or form to the author or the actors/actresses who so brilliantly have brought them to life.
This author is not responsible for underage readers. Please observe the ratings, warnings, and age of legal consent for your country.
Standing before Dumbledore’s desk, shivering in the pitiful rags the Aurors had left him, Severus Snape fumed. Lily—sweet, fiery, strong-willed Lily—was gone! Only half of her still existed and he was banned from even seeing the child. As he waited for the headmaster to finish signing his release paperwork, Severus plotted and planned, rubbing at the chafed skin of his wrists. He’d make good on his promise at Lily’s death…whatever Dumbledore and the Ministry put in his way!
Three and a half months later
Severus sniffed gently at the phial’s cork. The potion was perfect. He corked it and set it into the wooden phial holder, bending to write the name in perfect copperplate and then affixing the label to the phial. He surveyed his month’s work and allowed himself a smirk of accomplishment.
“Barmy old coot won’t know what’s what,” he whispered under his breath. A quick flick of his wand and the cauldron was sailing into the large sink, the ladles and stirrers gently clinking as they bumped together on their way into the sink set aside for them. Bubbles formed in the water and enchanted scrubbers went to work cleaning his utensils. He scrubbed his tables down by hand, carefully, and then wiped them dry with soft wool. Within half-an-hour his potion’s laboratory was neat enough to eat in, not that anyone would attempt such a foolhardy thing.
“Severus? Dear boy, what are you working on that keeps you away from the dinner table?”
“Coming, Headmaster,” Severus called. He cast another look over his shelves, secure in the strength of his concealment spells—even under Dumbledore’s nosy glances.
As Severus stepped through, he closed the door to the laboratory softly. “I’ve brought you a tray, Severus, and some news.” Dumbledore was seated in Severus’ favourite chair, garish robes transitioning from bilious green to yellow and back again until Severus winced and the headmaster snapped his fingers to stop the changes. “Sit, dear boy. I thought you’d like to hear how dear Harry is doing.” The old man’s eyes were shrewd behind his spectacles.
Severus barely blinked as the man mentioned her son…their son. He glided to the other chair and the small table set with a bowl of rich lamb stew and a plate of thick-cut bread, still steaming from the oven. There was even a pat of golden butter in a small dish to the side. Without deigning to respond, Severus sat and began eating.
“Petunia Evans, well, Dursley now, seems a stalwart guardian for the tyke. She had him and her son out in the park yesterday when Minerva visited. The boy seems small for his size, but well enough.” Dumbledore combed his fingers through his beard, ostensibly looking anywhere but in Severus’ direction.
Swallowing, Severus chose his words. “Petunia hates magic, hated her sister. How you can deem her a fit guardian for Lily’s child is still beyond me…sir.” His eyes never wavered from his bowl of stew.
Dumbledore harrumphed and stood easily, for once himself and not the jovial façade he portrayed to the world. “I see you are still an quick-tempered fool, Severus. I know what I’m doing, and Harry will be the better for Mrs. Dursley’s influence. I’ll see you at breakfast then. Good evening.” The headmaster turned, his robes flaring out dramatically as he strode to the chamber door. He called over his shoulder, “That was not a suggestion, Severus.” The door thumped behind him as Severus flung a powerful locking spell at it.
“Insufferable fool!” Severus fumed as the spoon fell into the half-eaten bowl of stew. “Our son is not a pawn for your machinations, old man!” He stood up, knocking his knee into the small table and barely catching the table and the plates upon it before they crashed to the floor.
“Come Valentine’s Day, Harry won’t be under your thumb anymore!” Severus vowed.
Petunia struggled to keep Dudley on her hip. The boy was his father’s son, growing fast and outgrowing her strength. As the doorbell rang again, she finally put him down in his playpen.
“Dudder’s can sit for Mummy, can’t he? Nice and quiet, like a good boy,” she simpered at him. The doorbell rang insistently. “I’ll be right back, baby.” She wiped her hands reflexively on her apron and reflexively checked that the cupboard door under the stairs was closed as she went toward the front door.
“Coming! Serves you righ—” Petunia opened the door and then smiled at the sight of a matronly lady, serviceable wool suit and brogans showing the universal sign of a church lady come calling. “Oh, hallo. Can I help you?” Never hurt to be nice the first time, might be someone who could help Vernon.
The matron shook a canister under Petunia’s nose. “Collecting for St. Vitus’ School for Wayward Boys, my dear. I’ve also got teething biscuits from the matron at the hospital for you. Said your boy might be needing them now.” A plate covered in a towel sack was shown at the bottom of the matron’s overly-large purse.
Petunia coloured up and invited the woman inside. She found fifty pence for the collection and gossiped about the other mothers who’d shared the birthing ward with her, passing bikkies to Dudley and nibbling on her own. Soon, she was drowsy and Dudley was a snoring, drooling bump in his playpen.
The matron stood up and a stick appeared in her hand. Petunia struggled to get up, but her body didn’t obey her frantic pleas. She could only moan, “Nooo…” as the matron became a raw-boned, hawk-nosed man whom she remembered sourly as a detestable boy.
“Where is he, Petunia?” Severus growled. He Transfigured his woman’s suit back into his teaching robes with a flourish, relishing the flickers of terror and loathing in Petunia’s eyes. “You can say it, Petunia…or would you prefer if I take the lump in trade?” he hissed.
Petunia’s head whipped around and she stared hard at the cupboard under the stairs. “Stairs…” she moaned.
Severus pulled out a phial of something honey-coloured and dripped it on Dudley’s head. “Something to remember me by, dear Petunia.” He corked the phial and secreted it away with a vicious smirk. “What you’ve sown, you’ll reap in your own planting, dear sister-in-law.” Petunia’s moans grew more thin and banshee-like at that.
Severus began to climb the stairs and then looked at Petunia. Something about her eyes made him pause and he retraced his steps until he was standing by the cupboard under the stairs. Petunia whimpered on the couch when he touched the the cupboard door.
The door to the cupboard creaked open slowly and a small head and body crawled through. Dark hair, wildly waving over the baby’s neck and Lily’s eyes greeted Severus as he bent toward Harry.
“I promised I would come.” Severus picked up Harry, who flinched back silently. “I’m so sorry it took so long, my Harry,” he whispered.
They stared at each other for long minutes and then Harry lunged forward, wrapping his arms around Severus’ throat. Little lips murmured, “Dada…da-da,” against Severus’ shoulder. Severus held him just as tight as those little arms clutched his neck.
Severus turned and stared into Petunia’s eyes, his own flickering down at Dudley and back to her with a grimace. “If it wouldn’t scar him further, I’d flay you within an inch of your life, you bitch!” Harry began to cry silently against his shoulder.
“A baby, Petunia, how could you heap such anger upon a baby?” Severus asked as he bent down to look in the cupboard. “Spiders? He’s been sleeping with spiders? Dear Merlin, Petunia! How much of a monster could you be?” He wandlessly created a Blue Bell Flame in the palm of one hand while the other kept Harry pressed close. There was only a stuffed kneazle—singed but recognizable as the one he’s brought Lily when their son was born—and he Summoned it close enough for Harry to blindly grab.
“He’ll never come back here, Petunia, whatever Dumbledore promised. If the Dark Lord were to rise once more, I’d lead him to your doorstep with impunity!” he growled. Harry’s sniffles had died out, the poor boy slowly falling asleep on Severus.
“You deserve everything you get, Petunia Evans!” Severus fumbled in a hidden pocket and pulled out a flask. He showed her the sickly green fluid sloshing inside. “This is for you and your husband. It will show the true wickedness you always tried to hide with your finicky manners and sneering superiority.” He tossed the flask toward the kitchen where it broke and began to rise in a mist.
“Rot in hell, Petunia,” Severus said with a sneer just before he Apparated away with Harry.
Severus found a few bleeding heart notes—Slytherin valentines—pinned with small daggers on his quarters’ door and ignored them. Harry had been a silent observer once he woke up during the walk from Hogwarts’ gates. Neither one of them had done much but let wondering fingers touch cheeks and hold tight to bits of material. When he passed the Black Lake, Severus pulled a swatch of Demiguise fur from a pocket and wrapped Harry within it, disguising his presence until he could put his wards up.
He noted that the boxes of “enhanced” chocolates he’d sent out for St. Valentine’s Day hadn’t been returned. Harry fussed a bit under the fur and Severus shouted the warding and locking spells, startling himself as well as the baby. “Sorry, son, I’m sorry.”
A shout brought the Bloody Baron and Severus had the reports he’d hoped for: all the professors, including Dumbledore, were drowsing in their rooms and had been for the past three hours, and the students were as snug as they might be. Severus thanked the Baron and then revealed Harry to the ghost’s eyes.
He is as he should be, Master Snape, the spectre said finally. I can see your great-grandfather, Julius Prince, in his face. He will be a worthy opponent and a more worthy son.
“Thank you, Baron. I never knew Mother’s grandfather, but it is kind of you to say so. He needs food and a bath, so I’ll bid you good night.” The Baron nodded and flickered away without a sound. Harry had been mesmerized by the ghost, hands reaching out to grasp at his nothingness.
Severus turned Harry to look at him. He held him at arm’s-length and stared hard at his son. “I’m not sorry Potter died for you, my Harry. Saves me the time of maiming him for coveting your mother.” Harry suddenly laughed, which made Severus chuckle. “You would have liked your godfather Regulus Black, I think. He made me laugh as well.”
The clock on the mantle struck midnight and Severus pulled Harry into a gentle embrace. “Happy Valentine’s Day to us, lad. While they’re still groggy, you and I will gather our things and be gone by dawn.” Severus snapped his fingers and a bin opened, revealing food fit for a toddler, held under stasis. “Let’s feed you, wash you, and then clothe you, eh?” Harry gurgled in assent.
In the morning, the Potion master’s rooms were bare, not a scrap of parchment to be found. Even the castle couldn’t—or wouldn’t—show Albus Dumbledore what had gone on for ten hours while he lay dazed in his rooms. Fawkes merely rubbed his head against his shoulder and crooned.
Dumbledore should have asked the Merpeople of the Black Lake. They held the small skiff steady for Severus as he climbed aboard with Harry in his arms. They even kept the Giant Squid at bay as the boat sailed to the exact centre of the lake and vanished in a shimmer of faint moonlight and false dawn. Even the centaurs had known Severus was taking Harry away and lined the banks by the Forbidden Forest, silent witnesses to the event.
Lily saw it all from beyond the Veil and approved. Dumbledore understood that every St. Valentine’s Day afterward when a box of chocolates appeared on his desk with the words of a note he thought destroyed long ago.
…Harry is Severus’ son, Headmaster. He needs to be with his father. See that my boys stay together.