Title: Blind Fate 1/2
Warnings: Child Abuse, Violence, AU, Pre Hogwarts, Severus adopts Harry, Sevitus ???, OOC-ness, Blind Harry
Disclaimer: Nope, doesn’t belong to me. I only play with them a bit.
Summary: Severus goes home for the winter break and makes a terrible discovery outside his home. Muggles abandoned a small child to die in the snow. He is badly beaten and blind. He takes him in and heals him, not thinking that he would get to care deeply for the hurt and abused child.
This is only part of the Plot Bunny, I’m lacking how Severus came to have little Kaylen under his care, as soon as I finish typing that part I’ll add it.
Severus decided that it would be better to arrive to Hogwarts early. It would give the both of them about
three hours to settle in his chambers, and he also needed to talk to the Headmaster to inform him of Kaylen’s presence in the castle. He had sent Tara and Kasha –a very young house-elf that had attached herself to Kaylen- a day ahead to make sure the spare bedroom was habitable, and had the exact same distribution as the one Kaylen had at the manor. It would make things easier for the blind child. Their luggage was already at the castle, so he did not have to worry about it.
They had woken up around 6:30 and Severus found himself acting rather ‘paternal’ by making sure the boy had dressed correctly and warmly in his emerald green robes, that his bangs covered the set of scars on his forehead, and the rest of his long hair was neatly tied in a ponytail. He really wanted the boy to look presentable and avoid being pitied. He knew Kaylen hated it; he was quite self-sufficient once he felt comfortable enough with the people and the place to move about on his own.
At seven they floo`ed’, to the Three Broomsticks and had a light breakfast there, at that time it was practically deserted. Madame Rosmerta was the one tending the tables, it was probably too early for her helpers to have arrived. She knew Severus since he was a student at the school and he was also one of her regulars. They were familiar enough with each other for her to ask about Kaylen. The Potions Master responded politely to her inquires but did not tell her much except that the child would be staying with him. After breakfast and polite conversation they left.
The walk to Hogwarts was mostly uneventful. But Kaylen did have some trouble at first negotiating the terrain; it was an uneven stone road that had probably been in use since Hogwarts was founded. He had to guide him carefully and let him concentrate on the sounds and feel of his staff tapping away. Kaylen had told him that he did not see with the staff, but that it sort of let him know what was ahead if he paid close attention to it.
By the time they reached Hogwarts Kaylen was quite tired but refusing to complain, he did not want to be a burden for Mr. Snape. His relatives had always told him how they hated to be saddled with him, and how after he lost his sight he was too much trouble and should have died with his parents in that accident. If his aunt and uncle –his family- had gotten rid of him, there was nothing to guarantee that his… protector would too. After all, they never got tired of telling him what a useless little ‘freak’ he was, and that they put up with him because no one else wanted a ‘runt’ like him.
Severus knew the boy was not yet in top form, and he noticed Kaylen was tired from the long walk. But he had learned in the three weeks he had known the child, that he would not ask him to stop for his sake, nor would he complain about anything. Kaylen rarely asked for assistance and did his best to be self sufficient and reliant. It was as if he did not expect to receive any help if he asked for it, and to the older wizard that told him quite a lot about his previous life. The Potions Master had promised himself to insure the boy was healthy and energetic as soon as possible. Already the child was eating more, though still not nearly enough to feed a bird in his opinion.
When they visited the Hathaways, Mr. Hathaway suggested that he read some books about the blind, and how to help them become self-reliant and self-sufficient. The older man had recommended a few that helped him deal with his wife’s blindness. He even gave Severus some of the brochures he still kept at home and that he no longer needed. The wizard had bought the books and started reading whenever he had the time.
Once at Hogwarts, they headed to the dungeons at a slow pace and close to the walls to allow Kaylen to learn the route. It would probably take some days of repeating the process until the little boy could wander on his own. The castle was much larger than the Manor as well as filled with all kinds of nooks, crannies, and winding paths. Severus was thinking of asking either Filius –Flitwick, the Charms Professor and Head of House for Ravenclaw- or Albus –Dumbledore, the school’s Headmaster and a dear friend- if they knew of some spell or spells that would help him track Kaylen in case he got lost, or that would help the boy navigate his way around the castle.
Kaylen had been uneasy when they came into the castle. The place had a lot of echo, and he could tell it was huge. Once he had been able to move about in Snape Manor he found the house was much bigger than the one where he had lived at with his relatives, and yet it seemed small compared to what he could gather just from the sound of their steps on the floor. It frightened him, although he refused to show it. He could really get lost if he was not careful learning his way.
He started ‘sensing’ the place. Mr. Snape had explained that what he really did was use his magic in a way others used their eyes, or bats used their sonar. He also had to explain how the sonar worked, and Kaylen had to admit that what he did was the same as the bats, but with magic instead of sound. The small boy was very surprised when ‘it’ responded, leaving him with a warm, welcoming sensation. It/him, Hogwarts, was happy to have him –Kaylen- there because very few witches or wizards ever paid attention to it/him, except from the Headmaster and Deputy Headmistress.
Hogwarts got lonely despite having many people living there during school time, as no one bothered to listen to it/him. Kaylen assured him –the boy was undecided about what to call the castle, but settled in the end for him. The voice was masculine, warm and friendly– that he would talk to him for as long as he stayed. Hogwarts then told the young boy that he would never be lost while inside his walls or outside in the castle grounds. He just had to ask for directions and he would lead him there. Kaylen told Hogwarts that he was grateful, and felt quite heartened. The castle wanted to be his friend; he never had any friends before he met Mr. Snape. Now had Hogwarts besides Tara, Kasha and the rest of the house-elves.
When they arrived to the dungeons Severus was pleased to see that his personal chambers were in perfect order. He made sure his young charge learned the password and spoke to the portrait so the boy could identify it. The size of most of the rooms was smaller than what Kaylen had been used to at the Manor, so it would be easier to map them in his head, he just needed to inform the Head house-elf not to change the disposition of the furniture. He gave the boy a slow tour to get him aquatinted with the layout.
The typical rooms for a Head of House were slightly bigger than those for a Professor and could be expanded to suit the needs if there was family living with him or her. Severus did not think it would be necessary to add more rooms. His quarters consisted of a sitting/dinning room, a small study, two bedrooms, a bathroom and a small kitchen that was rarely used for more than making tea or coffee depending on the mood.
His personal potions workroom was not inside his living quarters; otherwise he would rarely leave them. The Potions Master had ordered Kasha to stack the small kitchen’s cabinets with food and all kinds of healthy snacks for the boy, though they would be eating at the head table most of the time. He had given the young house-elf the responsibility of tempting Kaylen to eat a bit more.
Kaylen’s was very happy with his room, it was identical to the one he had before, and so he moved about with ease. Kasha had even placed his clothes in the same drawers than he had at… would Mr. Snape’s house be home? He didn’t know if he should consider Snape Manor that, since he did not know how long Mr. Snape planned to keep him.
The small boy did not want to raise his hopes high only to have them come crashing down. At the tender age of nine he had already learned not to dream or hope. His short experience told him doing that only hurt him in the end. If he had had a say -not that he ever had in his life- he would love to stay with Mr. Snape, Kasha, Tara and the others though. The man was, after all, the nicest person he had ever met. He healed his wounds, comforted him when he had nightmares, bought him clothes –new ones that fit– and did not shout at him, or hit him.
Mr. Snape was not really a ‘loving’ person, in fact, he was a bit curt or sarcastic sometimes, but Kaylen did not expect him or anyone to love a ‘freak’ like him, so he had no problem with it. After pondering all that for a few moments, the little boy decided it was better not to dwell on thoughts of a home, and concentrated instead on exploring the room. He found Spring’s tank was close to the fire and kept at a nice warm temperature just like she liked it.
Kasha had brought Spring with her the day before, and the lazy serpent was basking in the warmth of the fireplace. Kaylen asked her if she wanted to explore with him. But she really did not want to move. Her kind did not hibernate, but they still preferred inactivity in the colder months. So he let his lazy friend remain curled up in her tank.
Severus decided to introduce Kaylen first to the Headmaster and then to the rest of the staff at the meeting, after all, he did need to ask permission to keep such a young child in the school. He told the boy what they were going to do and, before going out, he picked the muggle book about dragons Kaylen had been listening to. Then on second thought he took from his bookshelf, Hogwarts: A history; he believed the child would find it interesting and useful. It would give Kaylen something to entertain himself besides mapping the room. Merlin knew those meetings were enough to bore anyone to tears.
They walked slowly on their way to the Headmaster’s tower. Kaylen memorizing the way as well as ‘listening’ to Hogwarts ongoing commentary; he found the castle to be quite funny and he had quite a lot of anecdotes for almost every inch of their way. When they reached the moving staircases Severus explained them to the child, and told him that he would have to be very careful or he might get lost when they changed direction. On an aside, Hogwarts told the boy that he need not worry; they staircases would always take him to his desired destination. They surprised the Potions Master by not changing directions until they reached their floor.
When both of them reached the gargoyle, Kaylen asked if he could touch it to get a better idea of what shape it was. The gargoyle was quite amenable and allowed the boy to trace its form with his small hands. At one point Severus had to lift him up so he could reach the highest areas of the head. After that introduction he gave the password ‘Cockroach Clusters’ and they were allowed in.
“Good morning Severus,” Albus greeted him, his eyes twinkling in curiosity when he saw his Potions Master guiding a small child that had a staff and wore some oddly darkened eye-glasses.