Potions and Snitches
Snape and Harry Gen Fanfiction Archive

Chapter 4 Blood and Fever
Severus Snape flitted through his house in a furious ball of energy, like a vengeful spirit, he slashed his wand about in angry, violent motions, his magic crackling as it was released. He had been doing this throughout the afternoon, putting up multi-layered repulsion wards on every item and place he wanted the pampered brat to stay away from. He had been berating himself for failing to cast them the previous night. Obviously, it had been utter foolishness to believe that a stern word and a few pats on the rear would convince the brat to mind his word, when he’d been quick enough to disregard it from the moment he’d appeared on his doorstep.

A bloody son, he snorted derisively, ever since Tuney Evans had given him that damnable letter from Lily, he’d felt as if he had been unwillingly cast in some cheap muggle soap opera. Originally, he’d been sure it was some cruel prank made by James Potter from beyond the veil. He couldn’t conceive of his childhood friend flinging such vicious accusations, despite their falling out, Severus didn’t believe she had written such hurtful things.

The little idiot had disabused him of that fanciful notion, however, when he’d sprinted onto the busy street after the departing car, and unable to think of a better way to stop his heedless flight, Severus had locked the familial wards and watched the boy smack hard into the outermost wards, unable to move farther. As far as paternity tests went, that one had been an unorthodox one, but the evidence of it couldn’t be denied. Severus was the fucking father of one Harry James Potter, and without any memory of having commited any child-producing deeds with his mother.

Gritting his teeth, the man jabbed his wand at the bookcase in the living room, finalising the last of his child-proofing spellwork. He was satisfied that the strong stinging hex intricately woven into the spells would keep the insolent brat out of his things, and if even that failed, his belt would be of some assistance, he was certain. If the fates wanted him to be a father, he was determined to be a strict one.

His empty stomach grumbled in protest, in his fury over discovering the destruction of his almost-ready-to-harvest plantation of Blood Weed, he’d completely forgotten that they were supposed to be sitting for lunch. Grimacing, he realised that he hadn’t cooked anything for dinner, and they would have to make do with sandwiches this evening. He climbed the stairs to fetch the child for the meal.

Severus rapped on the door sharply and entered without waiting for an invitation, he wouldn’t allow the impression that he could be denied entry. The child was sprawled on the bed, apparently not too old to take a nap during the day as he’d claimed.

“Up, boy,” the man called loudly, crossing his arms in impatience. “It’s dinnertime.”

The boy didn’t even give a twitch at the sound of his voice, Severus rolled his eyes and stepped up to the bed, delivering a hard smack to the prominently situated posterior, but even that ungentle treatment failed to garner any reaction whatsoever. Frowning in sudden concern, Severus scrutinized the slumbering child more closely, he appeared to be shivering, despite the sweltering heat in the room, and his face was very pale.

Sitting on the edge of the bed, the man put a hand to the boy’s forehead, his hand came away damp with perspiration. The child was running a considerable fever, deeply uneasy, Severus rolled him onto his side, and pressed two fingers to the side of his neck to check for a pulse. It was thready and very faint, as he was moved, one of the boy’s hands shifted from the awkward position over his head and to his chest. He counted the uneven heartbeats, his eyes following that limb with a furrowed brow, almost as though he instinctively knew there was something wrong with it. The rust-coloured trail on the sheet barely surprised him.

The man snatched the twig-like arm, and stared in horror at the sticky blood flowing freely from multiple shallow cuts on his fingers and palm. He pulled away the pillow, cursing at the large stain of red hidden under it.

“The Blood Weed,” Severus breathed, starting to run.

He flew down the stairs, bursting into his office and shouting Incendio at the empty hearth, throwing a handful of powder in as soon as the first tongue of flames appeared.

“Hogwarts, the headmaster’s office!” he yelled, his eyes frantically scanning labels on the first-aid potions he kept stocked in his office. “Albus! Get in here, now!”

Gathering a handful of vials, Severus spun on his heel, shouting his destination to the floating head of his employer that just appeared in the fireplace. He reached the boy mere moments later, and was prying his jaw open to administer the Blood-Replenishing Potion. He urgently massaged the child’s throat to stimulate the instinct to swallow, before repeating the process with a small Bezoar.

“What has happened?” Dumbledore’s worried voice sounded from the door.

“Blood poison,” Severus explained shortly, gathering the limp body in his arms and rising. “I’m taking him to St Mungo’s.”

“You cannot do that, Severus,” the old man shook his head categorically. “Harry Potter can’t be seen in our world, it wouldn’t be safe for either of you.”

“Are you deaf or senile, old man?!” the younger man yelled furiously, holding the unconscious boy up to be viewed more closely. “I don’t have time or supplies to treat him here, he’s already lost 1,5 litres of blood and, at this rate, will have a cardiac arrest soon. He needs hospital, immediately, so make it work, or he’ll be a dead Boy-Who-Lived! Is that clear enough for you?!”

Dumbledore stroked his beard thoughtfully, looking at the sickly child with a tender expression. Severus wanted to blast him into the next century for taking so long, when his son’s blood was dripping on the carpet, but only gritted his teeth in impatience. Finally, the headmaster looked up, his blue eyes twinkling merrily.

“You and Harry can’t be seen together at present,” he mused. “But a father with an ailing son certainly could.”

“What?!” Severus demanded suspiciously, narrowing his eyes at the other wizard. Wasn’t hiding their newly-discovered relationship the whole point of this blasted delay?

“Correct me, if I am wrong, but isn’t the Polyjuice virtually undetectable to both spell and potion?”

His eyes grew wide in comprehension, yes, that might be what they needed.

“I don’t have enough potion to last days of hospital stay,” he reported quickly.

“The potion, I can procure easily,” Dumbledore assured with a gentle smile. “A child’s hairs might be a bigger problem.”

Cursing, Severus deposited the boy back on the bed and cast a hurried Diagnostic, skimming past red reports of failing lung function and low saturation, until he spotted the line with his body weight and blood type. He flung himself past the headmaster, and out the door, shouting.

“Cast Respiro Vitae, and bring him down!”

Severus was out the door and past the gate in seconds, with his wand drawn, it wasn’t time for subtlety or clever subterfuge. He had mere minutes before the boy’s blood volume would be too low for the Blood-replenisher to be effective. The man strode hurriedly up his neighbour’s path, and pounded on the door with a fist. The moment the elderly Mrs. Wilkinson opened the door, her mouth opening to launch a tirade, he struck.

“Confundo!” he cast powerfully, causing the old crone to sway precariously. Growling, he caught her arm and lowered her into the nearest chair. “Where’s Eliot?”

“Upstairs,” she murmured, shaking her head in confusion.

The man dashed up to the upper floor, shouting urgently for the blasted boy to come out. He half-expected the cranky five-year-old to hide from him, just to be contrary, but as he stalked down the landing he caught sight of his cherubic face peering fearfully out of his room.

“Hello, Eliot,” he said softly, stopping in front of the child, he tried not to sound threatening, but the sparkling moisture in the lad’s eyes showed his failure.

Severus had managed to utterly terrify him the previous summer, when, with the use of a subtle compulsion charm, he’d convinced the boy’s doting grandmother to whip his sorry hide for his incessant tongue-sticking. Sighing, he sent a non-verbal confundus at the blond head, catching the boy before he toppled to the floor in a faint. Laying him on the bed, the man cast a hurried diagnostic to compare the children’s blood type and weight, they were close enough even though Eliot was two years Harry’s junior. He proceeded to swiftly cut Eliot’s blond locks, and stuff them in a glass container. Casting a limited hair-growing hex to cover his tracks, Severus left the room at a run.

He hadn’t stopped running until he was in his basement laboratory, completing a two dozen vials of Polyjuice with Eliot Parker’s hair. Packing everything into a bag he conjured, the man flew up the stairs and into the living room, a vial of potion held in a closed fist. His heart clenched, seeing neon blue sparks dancing over Harry’s nose and mouth, signifying the presence of pure oxygen. He didn’t waste time asking questions, jabbing his wand at the vial to send its contents straight into his son’s stomach.

Severus snatched the milk-coloured child from the headmaster even before the transformation started. He ran for the floo, grimacing as his face and the boy in his arms began to twitch and convulse simultaneously.

“Names!” Dumbledore shouted urgently, while throwing a pinch of powder into the fire.

“Him, Eliot Parker, me, Thomas Parker,” he stepped into the fireplace, shouting. “St Mungo’s hospital!”

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