Summer of 1988 – Harry is eight years old. Severus is the Potions Master at Hogwarts.
Adrienne Elly worked in the maternity department of St. Mark's Children's Hospital in Little Whinging, London. It was only in the administration department where she handled, of all the boring things, the billing. If it weren't for her volunteer work on Saturdays, where she read to the children in the long term children's ward, she might think her job was boring.
Adrienne Elly didn't think she was a "model" beauty, but she came from old-fashioned Yorkshire stock and in her opinion, her people knew the beauty of true health, and Adrienne was proud of her good health.
At 40, just turned a week ago, Adrienne Elly stood at five foot nothing, with chestnut hair (that she loved brushing at night before bed) that curled, sometimes in not all the right places, but it was lovely, so she forgave it. There was a bit of curve on her, a little more than when she was twenty, but from the appreciative smiles she received from some of the young intern gentlemen, she knew that she filled out her sweaters and skirts rather nicely. At home, though, she was a lady who loved her comfortable jeans, and her silly t-shirts and sweatshirts that had everything from 'Bad Girl' on them to 'I'd Marry Gandalf Even if he Were Gay!'
Adrienne had always wanted a cat or a dog, or really a kitten or a puppy, because she loved babies. Her landlord, though, would not allow it, and so that was an end to the matter. At least, on her walk to work, she was able to visit the Pet Park that had been built about five years ago for people to take their pets so they could get away from leashes for a short time. She was well-known there because she always had a pocket full of goodies, mostly for doggies.
Today, a Friday, when she was hoping to leave just a bit early, Adrienne sagged when she saw her boss, Greta Schloss, a stern, iron-faced woman with dark grey hair, and horn-rimmed glasses bouncing on a chain over her pointed bosom, come striding into her office.
"Miss Elly, the reception nurse for the Friday shift has taken ill. You're going to take her place until ten of the clock this evening," ordered Adrienne's boss.
"Ten?" Adrienne sighed. This was horrid! That would mean she would be working almost another shift.
Greta Schloss glared, slipping her glasses onto her pointed nose. "A problem, Miss Elly?"
Adrienne shook her head. "Not a problem, Mrs. Schloss." Greta gave her employee a curt nod and then walked out of the office.
Adrienne spent about ten minutes shutting down her computer and finishing the more critical work that needed attention before Monday. She then closed and locked her office door and made her way to the main Children's Ward Reception Area.
Adrienne was fortunate that the reception duties dealt with just checking long term patients into the children's ward, allowing visitors in to visit their children until seven in the evening, and answering the phones. She didn't have to worry about an emergency coming in. She even could get a bit of reading done and once the last visitor was signed out, she took out her latest book, a lurid romance with an exciting male vampire and his interest, a human, female reporter. It was a bit of silly trash, but it was fun and such things were one of Adrienne's guilty pleasures.
At 10:30, when no one came to relieve her, Adrienne was not just hungry but she was getting tired. Just when she was about to call someone to complain, the ward doors opened to admit a small, ragamuffin of a boy in over-sized clothes, terribly messy raven-black hair, and cradling his right arm to his chest.
Adrienne didn't hesitate as she came round her center desk and walked swiftly over to the boy. Although he was obviously trying not to, his small body still flinched slightly at her quick approach. She slowed down, and then crouched before the little boy.
"Hi, sweetie," she spoke softly so she wouldn't startle him. The little boy had the most beautiful green eyes, but they were filled with a deer-in-the-headlights look in the darting gaze.
"Hi," he whispered softly. His eyes did not stop moving about and Adrienne knew that the little boy was taking a measure of his surroundings and keeping an eye out for people.
"Where's your mum and dad, sweetie?" she asked finally seeing some awful bruising on the skin of the arm he held to his chest.
"Dead," he stated.
A tear dripped down his cheek and without thinking, Adrienne had taken out a handkerchief and gently wiped at the tear. She was, unfortunately, not surprised to remove a bit of dirt with the tear. Could this darling boy be one of the street urchins she'd heard stories about?
Adrienne then took a glance around the very quiet ward and she wondered where everyone was. There were always nurses checking on the long term and terminal patients, but it was eerily quiet. She returned her brown-eyed gaze back to the small boy.
"Can you tell me what's wrong, sweetie?" she asked gently.
The little boy hesitated for a rather long time before he whispered, "I can't sleep. My arm hurts." Supporting it, he held it out a bit towards her.
Adrienne cursed in her mind as she glanced around the ward. Where was a nurse, or a doctor, to take care of this?
The woman rose to her feet and escorted the small boy into a pristine sterile, and white treatment room. Under glass was a whimsical painting of a frog with a crown on its head. The little boy smiled a bit at it until Adrienne watched him use a metal step attached to the bed to climb up and sit on the edge of the exam table.
"Can you fix it?" he asked, his voice very quiet in the still ward. "I'm kinda afraid to."
He was afraid to fix it? Adrienne wondered at that odd statement. "Could I get your name first?" she asked keeping a reassuring smile on her face. It was slowly relaxing the boy.
"Very nice to meet you, Harry. I'm Adrienne Elly. Usually I don't work here, but the night nurse receptionist got sick.
"You can fix it, right?" he asked hopefully.
"Well, I ought to call for an orderly to take you down to emergency, but," before Adrienne could say anything else, the small boy was off the bed and crouched in the corner. He was silently crying.
"Please! I wanna sleep but it hurts so much an' if I don't get some sleep an' it's still useless tomorrow, my uncle's gonna be so mad...!" He let out an agonised sniffle. "I'm tired," he wailed very softly.
Adrienne felt her heart breaking, and something primal, deep down in her soul told that this child had been hurt before his poor little arm. He was afraid and it must have taken every ounce of courage to come to St. Mark's by himself.
The woman went over to the small boy, gathered him carefully into her arms so she wouldn't jar the injured arm, and put him back on the exam table. Adrienne was neither nurse nor doctor, but something within her had decided to treat the child. So she gently examined the arm, and found something that angered her torn heart; although by some miracle the arm was not broken, there were a number of terrible bruises and cuts all over the arm. Worse, there was the imprint of a very large footprint along the forearm's length.
What Adrienne decided to do next would get her fired, but only because she never returned to her job. Adrienne was in her car, driving through the very quiet traffic to her apartment, little Harry was seated next to her, his arm now in a sling and feeling just a bit better after a couple of aspirin. He snoozed lightly, leaning against the woman.
Albus Dumbledore watched as one of his many instruments remained silent as it sat upon his desk. Other instruments, of which only the Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry, knew what they did, ticked, chimed, swirled, moved up and down, and various other sorts of things all over his office. Only the one on his desk was silent and it greatly concerned Albus.
His office door opened to admit a tall, thin man, all in black. Lank, black hair swung to the man's shoulders, and he was also dressed all in black. With a severe expression upon his sharply defined face, it was his completely black eyes, looking over a hooked nose, that captured even the attention of the past Heads of Hogwarts as they resided in their portraits.
This was Severus Snape, the Potions professor of Hogwarts. He was an acerbic sort, not entirely liked by the majority of students, and also the Head of Slytherin House, the House that had the reputation of being the least savoury of all the Houses.
What few people knew was that Severus Snape was an intensely honourable man who instilled his own virtues onto his cherished Snakes. Yes, cherished. Not that he would ever openly admit it, but a Slytherin rarely used words to express what was best expressed by actions. All Severus' Snakes was knew that their Head of House was the one adult, in a harsh world, they could rely upon if needed.
Albus Dumbledore knew that the young man now taking a seat in front of his desk was a man on the side of not the underdog, but of the children. No matter what crimes he had committed in his younger years, it was children, the future of the wizarding world, that mattered to him. Sometimes a child did not know of this, and that was because Severus Snape rarely looked like an approachable adult. However, if a child was hurting, even if they were in another House, you could bet that the Potions Master would know of it, and would do something about it.
Severus' partner in crime was Poppy Pomfrey. She had been Severus' saviour when even the Headmaster had been too obtuse to realise he was continually hurting the boy he quietly admired. Dumbledore had been a Gryffindor through and through, and unfortunately, Severus had paid the price for that bias.
It was Poppy Pomfrey who had been instrumental in repairing the rift between the two men, and when it was necessary, their fragile bond was cemented during perhaps the worst time in both their lives. That was the night the Potters met their end, along with that of the Dark Lord Voldemort.
Severus, devastated by the death of his childhood friend, had vowed on that night to protect the small baby that had been the son of Lily. Immediately after that night Severus had found himself in Azkaban, but Albus had done everything to free the young wizard so it had been no more than two weeks in that hellacious place. He had wanted, then, to bring the babe, Harry Potter, into his life, but Albus had assured him that the boy was well, with relatives.
"You sounded worried, Albus, when you Floo'd me," remarked Severus. "What is the matter?"
Albus tapped the little instrument in front of him. "I charmed this clock to Harry Potter's magical signature when he was a child. There was not a problem until a few months ago and I sent Mundungus to check up on the boy." Severus grimaced at the name. Mundungus Fletcher was a thief and an idiot and Severus despised the man. Albus nodded wearily. "I know I should have listened to you, Severus. Once again the wizard has disappointed me." Albus looked up at Severus' snort of righteous derision.
"Just tell me what is needed, Albus," urged the Slytherin.
"Harry Potter has vanished from his relatives' home," the Headmaster intoned flatly. Severus' lips thinned pensively. "Kingsley spoke to the Dursleys..." Albus lowered his head in shame.
Severus leaned forward. "What is it, Albus? What did they do?"
Dumbledore raised his head slowly. "They never loved him, Severus. They hurt him."
Severus rose to his feet rapidly, drawing his robes about him. "Is Harry still alive, Albus?"
"They don't know. Petunia Dursley believes Harry ran away." The Headmaster rose to his feet and walked over to an ornate cabinet with the design of a Phoenix inlaid with colourful pieces of mother-of-pearl on its doors. He opened it and withdrew a small, green alabaster box. Lifting the lid of the box, he took out a curl of black hair that was tied with a red and gold bow. He replaced the box in the cabinet and then brought the lock over to his Potions Master. His smile was sad, "Lily gave this to me after Harry had his first haircut at six months old." He gave the younger man the lock.
Severus took the lock of baby hair, holding it with utmost care. He couldn't help running one slim finger over the soft strands.
"Use it with the Location Spell, Severus. Find Harry." Albus touched the younger wizard's arm. "Bring him home."
Adrienne Elly wasn't a doctor or a nurse, but she had grown up in Yorkshire, the farmland. Her own father had been a veterinarian and there were many of his calls that she had gone on after her mother had been taken away by pneumonia when she was just four years old. She figured that's where she had fallen in love with babies. Whether they were calves, or lambs, or even a farmer's beloved cat that had kittens, or dog that had puppies, Adrienne adored babies.
She herself had always wanted children, but school in London, a flat, and eventually her job at St. Mark's had all taken precedence. Of course, it didn't matter to her that she was 40. Really, there were women everywhere that were having children after the age of 40, and as she was proud of her health, she was certain that someday she would not only be a good wife, but she would be a great mother.
After almost four weeks with Harry, in which she not only nursed his bruises on his arms, Adrienne also dealt with his terrible nightmares and a shy, little boy, who still hid behind her legs if they went out in public.
Adrienne couldn't tell anyone why she had never contacted the authorities about Harry and his terrible relatives. She could only think of the compulsion deep within herself to keep this child close, to love him, to protect him. And, Adrienne did.
Harry was a truly remarkable boy. He loved to read and he was delighted when Adrienne would sit with him in the evening to smooth out his skills. They read Treasure Island, the Jungle Book, Old Yeller, which made them both cry, and then Adrienne had sacrificed some of her savings to buy seven of the Hardy Boys books she found at a yard sale one afternoon. Harry loved those adventuresome books, and there were quite a few nights when Adrienne would go to check on Harry after he was supposed to be long asleep, and he would be covered by his sheet, with the flashlight, and one of the Hardy Boys books, reading.
The first time something odd happened was two weeks after Harry had been living with Adrienne. They had just returned from the grocery, and Harry, who was always eager to help with the chores, wanted to help Adrienne put away the groceries.
Harry was doing fine until he tried to lift the heavy jar of pickles from the bag and to the refrigerator. The jar promptly slipped from his hands and fell to the floor where they shattered. Harry was so startled, he let out a cry of, "No! Fix yourself!" Adrienne watched in astonishment when the jar reassembled itself, including with the pickles and the liquid, then set itself on the counter.
Before Adrienne could question what had happened, Harry dashed beneath the kitchen table, curled up in a ball, and apologised for 'being a freak' and begged Adrienne not to hit him.
Adrienne was awfully curious about what happened with the pickle jar, but Harry naturally took precedence. Thankfully in her comfy jeans, she knelt down, crawled under the table, and sat beside Harry. She assured the small, frightened boy, that she would never hit, or hurt him, and what had happened with the pickle jar wasn't at all freaky, but it was curious.
It was almost an hour before Harry uncurled himself and crawled in Adrienne's lap. It was the first time the little boy called her Addy. She hadn't heard the nickname since her own father had called her that as a little girl.
It was a few days later when there was another occurrence at breakfast. Adrienne had just received notification from St. Mark's, by letter, that she had lost her position. Of course, it wasn't the best position in the world, and there hadn't been much in the way of socialising, but it was still a blow to lose the job she had worked so hard for. Harry thought it was all his fault, and to both their surprise, the seeds for the little herb garden they had both planted a few days ago in the kitchen window, suddenly bloomed and grew, and grew, and grew.
Before Harry could run off again, Adrienne caught Harry, and he couldn't believe as she told him that those herbs coming up was one of the most remarkable things she'd ever seen.
Funny thing, she hadn't been afraid at all, and Adrienne thought it was that bravery of hers, that allowed Harry to tell her about many more strange occurrences at his relatives' house.
Harry shyly revealed things like his cousin's toys flying around the room, water in the shower turning warm when it should have been cold (since that was all he was allowed) and other plants, such as those he planted in his aunt's garden, blooming quicker than anyone else's garden did. Harry also explained that if his aunt and uncle saw this 'freaky nonsense', that was when he would get hit. He finally told Adrienne that it was the 'freaky nonsense' that helped him to heal his body of minor scrapes and bruises.
"Do you think it's freaky, Addy?" Harry asked shyly as they sat together on the worn, but comfy couch.
"It's unusual, Harry," admitted Adrienne, and Harry's head lowered. She lifted his head by tapping on his chin. She smiled, "I don't think it's freaky, though. What a marvelous gift you have, sweetie. Your relatives were asty people who were probably just jealous, and I promise, you're never going back."
"But what if you get in trouble someday, Addy, for taking me away?" Harry asked. His voice was both mournful and hopeful.
Adrienne was surprised at the protectiveness she suddenly radiated as she declared, "Nothing and nobody is ever going to part us, Harry, my sweet boy. I'll do anything to prevent it."
Harry hugged Adrienne, and told her, for the first time ever, in a gentle whisper, that he loved her. Adrienne hugged Harry tightly, and admitted to the little boy, that she loved him, too.
So, after four weeks, there had been quite a few more strange happenings that Adrienne decided to just call magic and took them in stride. Harry was still a little nervous about them, but he was growing less nervous with each one. He even giggled with her when some of his crayons flew up and over his head one day.
Adrienne was looking for a new job, and also contemplating a move. She thought she might go back to Yorkshire where it would be easier for her and Harry to live. That thought became more important when Harry first reported the stranger that he saw sometimes on the street below their flat.
The first time Adrienne saw the stranger, he hadn't even flinched or tried to hide from his dark, watching gaze. He was a tall, hawk-faced man, who was slim, and wore dark blue jeans, a white, poplin shirt, and a black, leather jacket.
At first he unnerved Adrienne, and she made sure to accompany Harry when he went down the street to play basketball with some of the neighborhood kids. It was when she accidentally bumped into him after a run to the neighborhood grocery for some cold medicine for Harry, that she had the unswerving sense that, as intimidating as the man looked, he meant neither Adrienne, nor Harry, harm.
Two weeks of being watched by the stranger made Adrienne do something both bold and foolish. Just before dinner, she made her way out of the flat, down the stairs and onto the street. She walked right up to the man, introduced herself, and invited him to dinner!
When Snape left Hogwarts to find Harry Potter, the boy had been gone from the Dursleys home for nearly two weeks. It took awhile before he got any results from the Location Spell, but it had led him to St. Mark's where he used a Disillusionment Spell to discover that an employee had just walked off her job two weeks prior with no explanation whatsoever. The woman, an Adrienne Elly, was considered a conscientious woman who hadn't missed a single day of work since being employed in the hospital admin some ten years before.
Severus had stayed for two days so that he could learn more about this Adrienne Elly. The Potions Master was rather pleased that so many thought so well of her. He also learned of her volunteer work with reading to the children in the main ward, and so he had gone there to listen to what the children thought of the woman who didn't seem to be coming back.
All the children were enamoured of Adrienne, and when she was brought up, it seemed they couldn't stop talking about her. She didn't just read to the children. She would sing to them, offer cuddles, and she would also see all of them to bed on the nights she visited.
Just when he thought it time to end his spying and to find this Muggle woman, because he was certain she had Harry, the mailman had arrived with cards for all the children. He ghosted around each child and saw that the cards were from Adrienne. She had written to each and every child!
Severus had found a small room to let over the neighborhood grocery. It was two blocks away from the rental building where Adrienne Elly lived with her nephew, Harry, who was staying with her while his parents toured America. Of course, it took one look at the boy, and his tell-tale lighting bolt scar to let the Potions Master know it was truly Harry Potter.
The first time he had seen the little boy Harry, Severus did not know that the boy could actually see through his Disillusionment Charm. Once he realised that, he gave up on using the charm. It wasn't too many days later, as Harry and Adrienne were coming back from a walk, or a park, or some such thing, when the woman got her first glimpse of the wizard.
Severus expected that his usual dour, and intimidating stare, would throw her into a state of fear or probable hysteria. He was, deep down, rather pleased that she returned his stare, not one whit afraid of him.
It was after he had been openly observing Harry and Adrienne for two weeks, that the Muggle woman boldly emerged from her flat, walked right up to him, and invited him to dinner!
Well, he knew he ought to refuse. He ought to Obliviate her and steal Harry away. There were probably a dozen things that a Slytherin wizard, an ex-spy, ought to have done instead of nodding his head in acceptance of the invitation.
Yes. Severus Snape was going to share dinner with Adrienne Elly, a rather compelling Muggle woman, and the Saviour of the Wizarding World, Harry Potter.
The dinner was quite good, though the portions had been small. Adrienne had not apologised for that, although Severus knew she had been out of work for some time. Dinner talk was trivial, and although they had all introduced themselves, the conversation was nothing to remember.
Harry didn't talk much. He watched the tall, dark-haired man with curiosity. Severus figured that the boy showed no fear of him, because Adrienne was certainly not afraid of him. After dinner, he wanted to talk to Harry alone, but realised very quickly that wasn't going to happen.
"Mr. Snape," began Adrienne as they all sat down in the small sitting room. "I don't suppose you'll tell us why you're here, and why you've been watching us for a couple of weeks now, would you?"
He smirked. She really was a forthright thing! "Let me ask Harry this, first," he countered. The boy nodded, and Adrienne waited politely for his question. Severus lowered his gaze to the child. "Has anything odd ever happened around you? Perhaps objects floating by themselves? That sort of thing?"
Harry glanced at Adrienne before he replied to any question, and she nodded at him that it was all right to do so. Harry took a deep breath, "My aunt and uncle called it 'freaky nonsense'. Addy and I like to call it m-magic."
Severus immediately noticed that Harry had a difficulty with the word 'magic' and so he pursued this, even though he was boiling over the insult of 'freaky nonsense'. "Were you never allowed to say magic around your relatives'."
"It was a bad word," Harry said softly.
Adrienne gave him a warning look as Harry suddenly pressed against her side. He then revealed the truth. "Magic is a gift, Harry, because you are a wizard, as am I."
Harry gave him a surprised, owlish look. Adrienne nodded. "Wizards. Well, that makes sense."
Severus stared in puzzlement at her. "You are not surprised, Miss Elly?" he asked.
"After I've seen the things Harry can do, Mr. Snape?" she smiled. "They could only be magic. He has the gift in him. When I grew up in Yorkshire, there was an old woman, Granny Lawler, and she used to show us kids some very miraculous tricks. The adults all thought she just knew some magician trickery and sleight of hand, but we kids knew better. I'll bet she had magic just like Harry does."
Severus inclined his head slightly. "Quite likely your Granny Lawler was a witch."
Feeling it was right to do so, Severus allowed both Harry and Adrienne to ask all the questions they wanted about the magical world. It made for an interesting evening until the very last hour.
"I am pleased that you took good care of Harry, Miss Elly, but I must return with him to Hogwarts. He will have a home with me now."
Severus should have known it wasn't going to be that simple.
"I'm not going anywhere with you!" Harry declared sharply as he held onto Adrienne's hand.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Snape, but as much as I trust you, there's no way I'm letting Harry go off anywhere with you. It isn't fair to me to let you just take him and me not ever know what happened to him," she spoke forthrightly.
"I'm not going nowhere!" Harry said stubbornly, now glaring at the wizard.
"I could simply Obliviate you both and neither of you would remember the other," Severus threatened. That really was not the right thing to say.
Harry burst into panicked tears, and Adrienne turned into an angry, protective woman, rather a bit like Minerva McGonagall, the Head of Gryffindor, who was as protective of her Cubs as he was of his Snakes.
"You try it, Snape, and although I haven't an ounce of magic in me, I'll send you back to your wizard world regretting you ever came here!" Adrienne threatened firmly as she drew Harry onto her lap, and patted his back.
Severus blanched. He had the oddest feeling that despite any spell he might cast, this extraordinary Muggle would be able to carry out her threat. There was nothing else to do, then.
Back at Hogwarts in the Headmaster's office, Severus was back in the comfort of his teaching robes. He had just finished telling Albus all about his time searching for Harry, and then about Adrienne. He finished his tale by saying, "I had no choice, Albus. It honestly is a curious thing, but I felt it best to bring them both with me."
Harry sat behind Severus with Adrienne next to him as he held her hand. Dumbledore smiled at them both, a helpless, yet amused twinkle in his blue eyes. He addressed Adrienne. "Do you believe you'll be happy here, Miss Elly?"
"Please call me Adrienne, sir," she sighed, with a smile.
Dumbledore nodded, and his smile grew a bit wider. "Adrienne it is, then. So, what do you think, my dear?"
"If I get to stay with Harry, then I'll be happy anywhere, Professor Dumbledore."
Harry grinned, "And I gotta stay with Addy, Professor Dummelore."
Severus let out a half snort at Harry's gross mispronunciation of the Headmaster's name. Albus just chuckled as Adrienne corrected Harry with a low whisper. Harry's cheeks coloured lightly, but then he giggled.
"Well, then, Severus," said the Headmaster. "Will you see about some guest quarters for Adrienne and Harry?"
Severus nodded, and then ushered the two out.
The Headmaster stopped the Potions Master. "Severus, a moment?"
Severus directed Harry and Adrienne to ride the spiral staircase down the tower where he would meet them in a minute or two.
"Yes, Albus?" asked Severus, wondering if he should return to his chair in front of Albus' desk.
Dumbledore popped a sherbet lemon into his mouth. "Adrienne is quite a remarkable young lady, don't you think so?"
Severus scowled, not willing to answer. He turned away and the Headmaster chuckled. Under his breath, as he left the office, Albus just barely heard the young wizard mutter, "She is fascinating."
A Small, Indulgent Epilogue
Four years later – 1991. Harry is eleven.
"Dad! I need your Hair Straightening Spell!" Harry shouted from his bathroom.
"Do not yell, Harry!" his father shouted.
Adrienne laughed at the tall man who stood in front of their full-length mirror as he tried on his new robes for the new year of school at Hogwarts.
"Go help your son, Severus. You know he wants everything perfect for the feast tonight," Adrienne chided gently as she pushed her husband of three years out of their room.
"If you would just let the boy grow his hair long, madame," he scowled. "That would solve the problem."
Adrienne kissed Severus on the tip of his nose. His scowl deepened. "We'll see what his friends think is fashionable, Severus, and if Harry wants to grow his hair long then, well..." she sighed in resignation, "he may do so."
Severus smiled, grasped his wife around the waist and pulled her close. He kissed her, quite thoroughly, and then swept away. Adrienne blinked dazedly, and smiled a little on the goofy side. Even after three years, her husband's kisses made her toes curl, and caused her blood to tingle delightedly.
Sitting upon the edge of her and her husband's marital bed, Adrienne smiled to herself as she recalled a few of the events that brought her to this wonderful world of magic.
After Severus and Albus Dumbledore were absolutely assured that Adrienne was not going to leave Harry's side, the guest quarters she and the eight year old had been housed in, became their living quarters. Only a few weeks later did Adrienne, with Severus' help, begin the paperwork to adopt Harry Potter.
The adoption had not been smooth since there was quite a bit of opposition to the Saviour of the Wizarding World being adopted by a Muggle. Either Severus, or in some cases Albus, spoke to some of those objectors, and after a few months, the way was clear for the adoption. Harry couldn't be more ecstatically happy to learn that Adrienne was now his mother. He made sure to inform all of the ghosts and the portraits at Hogwarts of his new status, and threatened Peeves, to Severus' silent approval, with an exorcism if he dared prank his mother!
By then, Severus made it plain to Adrienne that he wished to court her. Adrienne reveled in almost an entire year of not flowers, but an introduction to Potions making, many long walks, and stolen kisses on Hogwarts grounds, or the many corridors of the castle itself.
In the tall wizard's arms, Adrienne felt like a treasure. She felt cherished, but also respected, for Severus never brought up the fact that she was a Muggle as something negative. Adrienne was very intelligent and Severus discovered that although she couldn't do magic, she could still help him to puzzle out and research new potions, or modifications to potions. He found it intellectually stimulating to talk with Adrienne, and Adrienne felt appreciated in ways she hadn't been in a very long time.
During their courtship, Severus was as much a part of Harry's life as Adrienne was. Severus introduced Harry to collecting Wizard Cards, and Quidditch, and taught him how to play Wizard's Chess. As for Albus, he just simply spoiled Harry and tended to sneak him too many sweets. That was cause for more tummy aches than either Severus or Adrienne liked to deal with.
There was one time, when Adrienne had found Chocolate Frogs, Sugar Quills, and Sherbet Lemons in Harry's closet that had all come from the Headmaster. Adrienne had stormed to the Headmaster's office, confronted him, and then sent the old, rather surprised wizard, to Severus – for detention.
Severus had laughed at poor Albus' predicament, and then proceeded to go through with the detention and had the disgruntled wizard preparing some really horrid potions ingredients. Two Gryffindor boys were serving detention at the very same time as the Headmaster had detention. After that, the respect for the Potions Master jumped exponentially throughout the school. Albus was very good about not overloading Harry with sweets after his detention!
At the end of the courtship, one perfect year to the day, Severus wed Adrienne in the Great Hall. As it was during the school term, all of the students were allowed to attend, even though Severus threatened to devise a ward that could prevent any students from getting into the Great Hall that day.
Albus, who always loved a wedding, had taken a few suggestions from Harry, and they had gone overboard in the celebration. There was food galore, music, dancing, and clowns (that had been Harry's suggestion). Severus never quite got over having clowns at his wedding reception and swore, to Harry, that someday he would get him back for that. Harry just giggled.
After Severus and Adrienne were husband and wife, Severus also adopted Harry, and once it was done, Harry made the rounds in the castle to inform the ghosts, and the portraits. He absolutely, fiercely, loved his parents.
From then on, Adrienne, who refused to be an idle housewife, became her husband's teaching assistant. She helped with preparation of ingredients, inventory, grading of essays and tests, and listened patiently when her husband had to vent about a 'dunderheaded' student attempting to blow up his classroom.
Harry was taken under his father's wing and taught a little bit of Charms, Transfiguration, History of Magic, but mostly Potions. He wasn't too good at first, but Harry had determination, and when he was having trouble figuring something out, he kept at it until it made sense. Severus was quite proud of this and showed Harry a few secrets that Potions Masters had that he never taught in class. Harry loved secrets!
It was a good life at Hogwarts, and then Harry received his letter telling him he would officially be a student at Hogwarts. He couldn't have been happier. During their trip to Diagon Alley, his friend Hagrid had gone with them, and bought Harry his familiar, a beautiful snowy owl that he named Hedwig.
Adrienne smiled. Tonight would be the Welcoming Feast and the night Harry was Sorted. No one knew that Harry had snuck into the Headmaster's office a week ago to talk to the Sorting Hat. They had had quite an argument over where Harry would be Sorted, and although the Sorting Hat thought Ravenclaw was best for Harry, Harry wanted to be in Slytherin, with his dad, and he had told the Hat that if it didn't give him what he wanted, he would feed it to one of Hagrid's Blast Ended Skrewts.
Later that evening, Adrienne sat beside her husband at the staff table, and waited nervously, along with Severus, for the Sorting. Harry was finally called by Deputy Headmistress McGonagall, and before the Hat even touched Harry's head, it groused out, rather testily, SLYTHERIN.
Harry trotted off with a smug little smile to the table of his new House, and Adrienne gave her husband's hand a squeeze. She could tell he was a bit smug over the Sorting, too.
Much later that evening, after Severus had greeted his new Snakes and acquainted them all with his guidelines and rules, and sent them all to bed, he sat next to his wife, on their sofa.
"I know that Harry will visit," he mused as he kissed Adrienne's forehead, "but it will be rather quiet without him around."
Adrienne nodded, but then said quietly, "Ohhh, I wouldn't count on that, Severus."
Looking down into his wife's sparkling brown eyes, Severus frowned slightly, but his lips quirked up in interest. "And, whatever could you mean by that, my dearest?" he asked.
Adrienne took her husband's hand and placed it palm down over her belly upon the barest hint of something they had both been hoping for. "Is it?" Severus whispered in awe.
"In eight months," Adrienne smiled as she relaxed against her husband, "Harry will have either a little sister or brother."
Well, what could Severus do after hearing something like that. He kissed his wife, and thus ends the story of Adrienne Elly Snape.
Oh! Wait! Epilogue to the Epilogue
Eight months and three days later, after the Welcoming Feast, Harry was a big brother, Severus Snape was once more a father, and Adrienne Elly Snape was really, and truly, the greatest mother ever.
Because, that's what Emily Anne Snape told the ghosts and the portraits some five or six years later.