Title: Harry’s First Birthday
Series: What Happened to Harry Potter Interludes
Category: Gen, AU,
Summary: Harry is worried about celebrating his first birthday with Severus.
Harry woke up feeling groggy. He hadn’t slept well the night before. He had been worried about how big of a deal he should make of his birthday. Severus had not mentioned it at all and Harry didn’t know if he just didn’t remember. Harry stayed in his room as long as he could. He didn’t want to face another time where his birth didn’t matter. Severus had never mentioned his own birthday much less celebrating Harry’s.
Harry spent an hour cleaning his room before he noticed he hadn’t been called down to breakfast. Harry decided to venture out and find out where Severus was. When he got to the kitchen, only Zook was there. Harry’s jaw dropped. There was a wonderful breakfast about on the table. It was more than Harry would be able to eat.
Severus believed in only preparing what was going to be eaten. Harry never went hungry and if for some reason what the House Elves cooked wasn’t enough, Harry would have to eat fruit to finish off a meal. He didn’t mind. It had taken a while but Harry was starting to grow again. Severus had told him just the week before that he was getting to the right size for a child his age.
“Zook, why is there so much food?”
“Master Severus left early to go find some supplies for his coming school year. He said his Sixth and Seventh years students will be working on a few odd potions and the ingredients need his ‘personal’ touch. I decided that you needed a good meal for breakfast. What is left over, I can put a preservation charm on and you can snack on them all day.”
“Thank you, Zook. I guess this means that Father won’t be back till tonight?”
“Master did not say when he would be back. He did say that I could take you into the woods.”
“That’d be great!” Harry said as he sat down and started to pile his plate with food. Harry ate all the hot food first. The eggs, bacon, sausage, and pancakes were gone in minutes. He ate a few of the muffins and a little of the fruit. He ate more than he normally would. He was going to spend as much time as he could in the woods. The muffins and fruit would be able to be kept and taken with him in a pack and eaten while in the woods.
After he was completely done eating, Harry ran up the stairs and packed a backpack. When he got back downstairs, Zook was ready with a small pouch of jerky for snacking. He was putting it into a larger bag with the rest of the breakfast foods. Harry took the bag from Zook and placed it in his backpack. Harry grabbed a hat from the pegs by the door.
“I’m ready!” Harry said, opening the door and moved out it. Zook followed behind, staying quiet. Harry wasn’t allowed out into the woods much and when he did go out Severus and Zook let him be. Harry was good at figuring out plants and such. Harry would collect many plants and other forest debris for potions ingredients. He would spend tomorrow playing with potions and trying to modify certain potions. Harry had gotten pretty good potions in the almost year that Harry had been with Severus.
Harry wandered the woods looking at everything that he could. He went a way that he had never gone before. Zook followed watching for anything that could harm him. Harry kept an ear out for animals but he didn’t listen for any other sounds. On the way into the woods Harry just looked. He didn’t gather anything just looked at everything. Several hours later, they stopped to eat a quick lunch. Zook talked about the local bird life and how it was different from the bird life around the house. Harry let him just chatter while they ate.
They started out again and Zook went back to being quiet. Harry started to notice that the trees were thinning out. He knew that the town was in the other direction. He had no idea why the woods would thin out. He stopped and turned to look at Zook.
“Stay here. Don’t make a sound.”
Harry crept closer, all the while listening for any sounds. As the trees became less and less, Harry moved slower and slower. Finally, he could spot the end of the trees. When he made it to the treeline, there was on tree that was big enough for him to hide behind. It was a small clearing. There was nothing in it, just grass and flowers. Harry didn’t move. He just listened for a few minutes. That’s when he heard it. Voices in the clearing that had no body. They had to be Wizards.
“Will he like it, Master?”
“I am sure.”
“Master Severus wants us to do this good.”
“I am aware, Dobby. We are almost done. We must leave before Mr. Potter arrives.”
Harry gasped slightly as he took in that bit of information. He didn’t know what to make of it. Was Severus taking back all that he had said before? Was he being given to someone else? Was Severus fed up with taking care of him. Harry started to back away and then just took off running in a blind direction. He stopped only when he was out of breath and that was a while. Harry knew that he had been getting better at the physical stuff since coming to stay with Severus. He could run longer, harder, and faster.
When Harry was out of breath and couldn’t draw in another breath, he stopped. He leaned against a tree while he caught his breath. He didn’t know what he was going to do. He knew that Severus would tire of him but he didn’t think it would be this quickly. He didn’t know what he was going to do, he knew that he was in Wales but not specific location. He was sure that if he made it to a larger town, he would be able to find enough to eat. Severus would probably look for him, if for no other reason than to give him over to that man who he had heard in the clearing.
Harry looked around and saw that he was in the thick of the woods. He was sure that he had left some kind of trail. He started moving at a slower pace and picked his way through the woods and tried to leave as little of a trail of possible. Once he was sure he was good, Harry decided to climb a tree. He could get high in the tree to hide. It would afford him distance from everything but still be safe.
He got almost to the top of the tree and started to pull some of the branches around him. He settle his pack in a crook of the tree and settled himself in a larger crook. The tree itself was over one hundred years old, he could tell by the size and the bark. He wanted to think.
He knew that Severus liked him. He shouldn’t fear being harmed. Severus was not his uncle. Severus though, had never wanted to be father. He never wanted to be burdened with children and to take control over another human life. Maybe Harry was becoming too much of a burden. Harry started to think about what he could do to minimize his draw on Severus’s time and energy.
A crashing sound alerted Harry to the fact that someone was nearing him. Harry pulled a few more branches around him so that he was sure that no one could see him.
“I am sorry, Master Severus. He heard something in the clearing and then just took off. Before I could even try and go after him he was out of sight.”
“It is fine, Zook. He is feeling alone. I had hoped that making a big deal of his birthday would make up for him thinking for a few hours that I forgot. I was wrong and the blame lays at my feet. The others had finished their things and left. Harry and I have much talking to do, once we find him.”
Harry listened as Severus stopped and Harry decided to try and look down at the them. Severus was actually closer than Zook was. Harry stayed still in his tree.
“There are still no tracks. Harry must have found that he was leaving too many. He slowed down and started to move carefully. I should not have been training him so well.”
“He is good. Master Harry is a good boy. He is scared. He runs from you because he is scared of what feelings you bring out in him.”
“I know. Zook, you need to head back. I think that I need to find Harry on my own.”
Harry heard the pop of Zook leaving.
“Harry I am sure that you are somewhere around here. Those two were friends of mine that were prepping a surprise for you. I was going to have Zook bring you to the clearing later and we were going to have a small party for you. The man and the House Elf were going to leave. I was getting your present and getting it set up at the house when you took off.”
Harry watched Severus’s body language. He was scared. Harry picked his pack up and released the branches. The rustling made Severus look up.
“How did you did all the way up there?”
“I climbed. It was easy.”
“How about I help you down?” Severus asked. Harry nodded his consent and waited for the feel of magic to over take him. He felt it and loved the way magic felt. In just a few seconds, Harry’s feet were touching the ground. Severus crouched down to look Harry in the eye. “You have to quit running. I can’t help you if you do.”
“I know, Severus. I just heard the talking and thought you were laying a trap of some kind for me. That you were going to give me away.”
“Harry, we have talked about this. I would never give you away. You would never be safe. I know that you have read over those books. Voldemort’s minions would find you and kill you given the chance. You are safer with me than anywhere else.”
“I know that but…”
“Harry, I love you. I know that I am a hard man but never doubt that I love you.”
“That’s the first time you have said that.” Harry looked Severus in the eyes for several minutes before he let himself crumple into Severus’s body. Severus pulled him close.
“I’m sorry. I should have…” Severus stopped and pushed Harry away so that he could look him in the eye. “I know that I should have told you before now. I knew that given…Harry I do love you. I love you like I have never loved anyone else in my life. I would never leave you or get rid of you.”
“That’s the best present I could get.”
“Happy Birthday, Son.”