Summary: Harry’s life at the Dursleys is bad enough that his magic is so used to keeping him alive that when he gets to Hogwarts his magic is noticeably weaker than other students, or completely ineffective. Harry is considered a disappointment and a freak by many people who had thought he would be a hero and powerful because he ‘vanquished’ Voldemort. Snape never had any illusions about Harry being a hero and thus is in a unique position to realize that the boy’s magic is being almost completely spent on protecting Harry from harm. As Snape confronts his own issues regarding Harry Potter, will he be able to help the first year heal from trauma? Will Harry’s magic ever return to normal?
Summary: Harry is so unused to being treated kindly that he doesn’t even bother to question Snape’s dislike of him and insults/bullying from Slytherins and/or Malfoy. He can still be friends with Ron and Hermione, but he must secretly think that they A. wouldn’t really like him if they knew more about him, and/or B. that they will reject him for other friends later on. Snape should be the first to realize that Harry isn’t phased by his insults and begins to investigate things. He should have to reevaluate his opinions on Harry and at some point in the story apologize directly to Harry. I’d really like to see Hermione and Ron be supportive of Harry and Harry slowly realize that he does deserve friendship and kindness, though it’s entirely up to you how big of a role Harry’s friends play in the story. I do want Snape to have a big role and become a mentor/guardian/parent to Harry eventually.
Summary: Write a story where Harry has nyctophobia (fear of the dark) or strongly dislikes being in small dark places because of being in the cupboard for weeks on end at the Dursleys. Snape must discover this and try to help Harry.
Summary: Professor Snape teaches something other than Potions or Defense Against the Dark Arts.
Option 1: When 1st-year Harry arrives at Hogwarts, this has always been Snape's subject of teaching.
Option 2: Harry starts a new year at Hogwarts and it's announced that Snape is now teaching that subject instead of Potions.
Summary: Something happens (you choose what and how but make it plausible), and Severus ends up in an alternate timeline or universe. The timeline he left was one in which he had adopted Harry (you choose how long he had had custody of Harry) and they had a loving relationship. The timeline he finds himself in is the one we know and love from canon. He finds himself in a timeline where he and Harry are bitter enemies. Severus can't find a way back and he can't reconcile himself to leave his relationship with Harry as it is in this new timeline. He also can't watch the Harry of this timeline continue down the self-destructive path he's on without a parent because he loves him too much.
1. Make it plausible.
2. Make it realistic. No rushed relationships.
3. Keep Snape and Harry in character. I hate reading stories where their dialogue is unrealistic for their characters and when they do things their characters just wouldn't do.
4. No slash.
Snape probably tells Dumbledore at some point what's happened and where he came from as that would just make things easier (and actually more interesting as Dumbledore probably finds the concept of Snape having adopted Harry in any universe an interesting one). Preferably I'd like to see a story in which Snape does not return to his original timeline and doesn't think overmuch on 'his' original Harry. Maybe something happened and the other timeline was actually destroyed, so 'his' Harry isn't left wanting for his father in another time and place. I also think it would be more interesting (although it's up to you) to have Harry be 13, 14, or 15, so he's a teen and his personality is already set. I can't see it being all that interesting with a younger Harry and if Harry is older that doesn't leave Harry any room at all to see how having Snape as a father figure would be beneficial as he'd be almost an adult by wizarding standards. All other details up to you. I'd love to see multiple entries for this challenge.
Summary: Write a story involving Severus dancing. Any kind of dancing. Not because of any kind of magic, but because he actually wants to.
Summary: An abused Harry discovers there are house-elves, and that these creatures do all the cooking and cleaning. Since Harry had been treated as one for as long as he could remember he decides to join them in their duties. I would really like it if Harry starts living with the house-elves and refuses to go back to his dorm.
Summary: Au with implements from His Dark Materials. Every witch and wizard is born with a Daemon, a physical manifestation of your soul in animal form. Harry is no exception to this, but his Daemon is a bit...odd. Of course, chaos ensues.
Summary: What if Harry isn't James and Lily's child, but James and Severus'? Bonus if Sev is Harry's "mom".
Summary: Draco running from the dark mark seeks shelter with the help of the Order, where else would be safer when Hogwarts isn't an option during the summer with Harry Potter of course. Requirements: Draco get the guest bedroom Smart-ish Dursleys try and hide full truths about mistreating Harry Draco doesn't notice how bad it really is for atleast two weeks
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