Severus Snape is one of the most controversial characters in Harry Potter.
He is both a brave spy and a bully, a loyal romantic and a man blinded by prejudice.
Some call him a tragic hero; others, a petty felon.
No matter what opinion you have on Snape, you can likely agree that he is a lot more likable when he’s not bullying Harry.
Yet, what could cause the stubborn Potions professor to change his ways?
What could cause Snape to see Harry Potter as anything other than a lazy, arrogant celebrity?
Snape adopting Harry is a popular trope in Harry Potter fanfiction.
Many of these stories force Snape to form a bond with Harry after rescuing him from the abuses of the Dursleys.
Some use other means to force the two characters to get over their hatred.
Either way, all these fanfictions give Harry the opportunity for a family when Snape adopts him.
1. To Trust by clairdeloon
In this work, Harry runs away from the Dursleys while still a child.
He lives on the London streets until Snape finds him the summer when he turns eleven.
At this point, Snape is still determined to see Harry as the arrogant spawn of James Potter.
But, since this is a Snape-Adopts-Harry fic, we know how successful Snape’s resolution will be.
This fic is complete with over 100,000 words and a great introduction to the trope.
2. Bruised Words by starknjarvis
If you’re not in the mood for a long read, try Bruised Words.
This one-shot picks up after Harry blows up his Aunt Marge and runs away to the Leaky Cauldron.
But Dumbledore decides that a public tavern is not the best place for Harry to hide out for the summer. Dumbledore instead sends Harry to stay with Professor Snape at Spinner’s End.
The arrangement forces both characters to overcome their hatred.
Eventually, they also find the family they’ve never known.
If you want more, there is a three-chapter sequel entitled Blackberry Tart.
In it, Sirius Black’s appearance disturbs the peace of the new family of two.
3. The Dark Guardian by InTheShadows
If you’re a fan of crossovers, this might be the fic for you.
Harry Potter meets Rise of the Guardians for a humorous slice-of-life story in this fic.
Pitch Black works with Snape to raise and protect Harry after rescuing him from the Dursleys.
This six-chapter fic also promises snowball fights, Slytherin Harry, and a dead Voldemort.
What more could you ask for?
Oh – it’s complete, too!
4. A Year Like None Other by aspeninthesunlight
A Year Like None Other will deliver if you’re looking for angst or hurt and comfort.
When Harry tries to save his aunt from cancer, he suffers cruel consequences.
Snape comes to the rescue, but not before Harry is crippled for the foreseeable future.
With Voldemort hunting him, Harry has to learn to trust Snape, who’s suspiciously acting a lot less like a git.
I loved the later addition of Draco Malfoy, who is also running from family problems.
Harry and the two Slytherins form a unique dynamic that is humorous and heart-warming.
You’ll get to enjoy it for a long time, too – A Year Like None Other is the longest fic on this list!
Together with its two sequels, there are 1,600,000 words and almost 200 chapters!
It’s still getting updates.
5. Crime and Punishment by melolcatsi
In this fic, the Dursleys let Harry take the fall for Dudley’s criminal behavior and leave him to rot in jail. With Voldemort’s return not long past, Dumbledore sends Snape to bring Harry to safety.
Snape, though, sees Harry’s arrest as confirmation of all his prejudices.
He has no pity for the supposed teenage delinquent even as he bails Harry out of jail.
Harry despairs even surviving the summer at his professor’s non-existent mercy.
The fic begins about as well as you might expect, but living with a person often forces opinions to change.
This fic is still getting updates, but with over 180,000 words, there’s plenty to get started with!
6. Baby in a Box by Sita_Z
If you love cute kids, give Baby in a Box a try.
It’s a complete Christmas ficlet where Snape adopted Harry as a baby.
Enjoy six-year-old Harry’s Christmas preparations and Snape’s attempts to mitigate the damage.
Then, listen with Harry while Snape tells the story of Harry’s arrival at Spinner’s End – as a baby in a box.
If you’re looking for warm fuzzy feelings, look no further than this sweet fic.
7. Black Mulberry by nxrthmizu
Harry is so often seen as James Potter’s son, but he is also Lily Evans’.
In Black Mulberry, Harry is a quiet child raised by Snape after the Dursleys’ abuse is discovered.
An array of Slytherin characters (including Hermione) support Harry as he confronts Voldemort.
The fic is almost complete, with 29 out of 31 chapters posted.
Be aware that this fic also promises Dumbledore bashing, so give it a miss if that isn’t your preference.
8. The Potion Master’s Second Chance by Thinksy
No list of Harry Potter fanfiction would be complete without time travel!
Seven months into his term as Headmaster, Snape despairs.
Dumbledore is dead, Voldemort’s power only seems to be growing, and the horcrux hunt is going nowhere.
Desperate, Snape succeeds in brewing a potion to take him into the past.
By creating a third side in the war, he hopes to save Harry from the horcrux inside of him.
The stakes are high – Snape may save lives, or doom them all.
Be warned, this fic does contain bashing of Dumbledore, Sirius Black, and Remus Lupin.
The fic is incomplete but still offers plenty of content to enjoy, with almost 600,000 words and 82 chapters.
9. A Childhood Well Spent by Isscha
Enjoy lots of appearances by the Malfoy family in A Childhood Well Spent.
Snape decides to adopt Harry as a baby and raises the orphan as his own, resulting in a very different story.
“Heartwarming” and “slice-of-life” are both apt descriptions of this work.
The fic is complete with twelve long chapters, so there’s little reason not to dive in!
10. Nobody Cared by etherian
Hedwig fled for her life.
Hogwarts Express missed.
Harry is more despondent than ever when Vernon keeps his word and keeps Harry from going to Hogwarts.
Then, a curt letter from Snape arrives, promising an uncomfortable rescue.
There’s plenty of time to enjoy Harry and Snape’s growing relationship in this story.
It’s complete, with forty chapters and a spin-off one-shot to boot.
Snape Adopts Abused Harry Fanfiction: Conclusion
What’s not to love about a jaded Slytherin trying to raise a trouble-prone Gryffindor?
It’s no wonder that Snape-adopts-Harry fics are so popular!
The ten listed here are only a few of the many great stories in this category.
I hope you found something to enjoy on this list, and encourage you to explore the genre further!
Are you a fan of this trope?
Let us know your favorites in the comments below!
And if you want to read more about the best Harry Potter fanfiction on this blog, check out: