|Finding a Family
Author: hestiaA1 PM
AU - What if Severus had been able to overcome Harry's resemblance to James? What if Harry weren't the only Griffyndor with Slytherin traits? ...Snape ends up mentoring the Golden Trio. Contains corporal punishment, not abuse. Several sequels now posted.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Severus S. & Harry P. - Chapters: 14 - Words: 44,718 - Reviews: 261 - Favs: 578 - Follows: 157 - Updated: 07-13-08 - Published: 06-30-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4360923
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Ron was still a little tender the next day, but not enough for anyone else to notice. Even Snape, who studied him closely in Potions, could only detect a slight hesitation before he sat down and greater than usual amounts of fidgeting in his chair. Other than that, though, the boy behaved like his usual self – well, except for the shy smile with which he greeted the professor. He was able to attend quidditch practice with Harry, and if he groaned and limped at the end of the hour, it was no more than the other exhausted team members were doing. "Is Ickle Ronniekins tired?" Fred and George asked, coming up behind the boys.
"Yeah," Harry responded for him. "He hasn't been feeling that great."
"Awwww, poor widdle man," they teased him, but for all their annoying mockery, Fred hoisted him up in the air and deposited him on George's back for a piggy back ride to the dorms. Ron protested, but in truth it felt a lot better on his bum than walking. He suspected that by the next day, his backside would be completely back to normal, but just then, at the end of a long day and not quite 24 hours after the worst spanking of his life, he didn't really mind his big brothers babying him, even if they were awfully irritating with it.
He and Harry returned to Snape's quarters later in the evening, and Ron was directed to the sink in the laboratory for cauldron scrubbing that night. For the better part of a fortnight, things continued in much the same way, though Ron noticed that his chore nights were getting rather less frequent than his study nights. Instead of alternating one with the other, it was soon two or even three study nights for every evening he spent squishing bubotubers, depending upon the assignments and how his essay was progressing. And there were several nights when Snape sent word that Ron was excused, giving himself time alone with Harry, and even a few when both boys were told to stay away, as Snape was otherwise occupied for the evening. Still, Ron caught himself beginning to look forward to the hours in Snape's quarters, reading about military strategy and ethics while Harry practiced DADA and occlumency. The only problem was one that, in retrospect, both boys should have foreseen.
"It's not fair!" Hermione yelled at them, her face flushed and her eyes suspiciously shiny.
"What?" Ron flinched back. He knew the signs of a female in meltdown mode, and he edged towards the exit from the Common Room.
"What's the matter, 'Mione?" Harry asked, concerned. They had been studying Charms, and suddenly Hermione had started to shout. What had he said wrong? He'd only mentioned a new charm that Snape had promised to show him if he did well on Flitwick's next exam.
"It's not fair! You're always rewarded when you get into trouble!" she said, her voice cracking. "I behave and study and keep you out of mischief, and you're the ones that get the special privileges!"
"Like what?" Ron demanded incredulously.
"Like getting to study with Professor Snape! Like getting to use his own private, personal library! Like getting to be taught all kinds of things that aren't in our books!"
"It's not a reward," Ron argued. "I have to spend a lot of time mincing seaslugs and all sorts of disgusting things."
"I'd be happy to do that if I could use his library!" Hermione snapped back. "You don't even appreciate what you're getting!"
"Girls are mental," Ron rolled his eyes. "I can't believe you actually want to spend time in the dungeons, getting insulted and scrubbing cauldrons and –"
"Oh, shut it, Ronald Weasley!" Hermione snarled, sounding amazingly like Snape. "I've heard all about the study time and the biscuits and the interesting discussions. So don't you try to tell me it's just awful down there. It's not fair. I mean, I understand why Harry has to get the extra time and attention, and I didn't really mind when it was just him, but now it's the both of you, and you're getting all this great stuff and – and – I'm just left out of all of it!" Her voice broke and a tear spilled down her cheek. She buried her face in her hands.
Ron looked horrified and ready to bolt, while Harry frantically tried to think of something to say.
"Um, um, why don't you come with us tonight?" he finally gulped.
Ron stared at him in disbelief, while Hermione lifted her face and gaped at him. "Do you really mean it?"
"Sure," Harry said stoutly, wondering what on earth Snape's reaction would be. He'd more or less accepted Ron's presence, but that had come about more or less by accident and because of the detentions. If he thought Harry was getting in the habit of inviting the whole of Gryffindor Tower to his private quarters… Still, Hermione did have a point, and it would be really awful of Harry not to at least try to include her.
So that night, the three nervously made their way down to the dungeons. Hermione stayed behind Ron while Harry apprehensively knocked and entered. "Um, Professor," he gulped, approaching the desk where the man was grading papers, "is it okay that I, um, invited Hermione along tonight?"
He was prepared for yells of outrage, complaints about "arrogant brats who invade my privacy", and even a quick swat or two for his presumption. He wasn't prepared for a quirked eyebrow and a calm, "I wondered how long it would take before you thought to include her."
"What? I mean – huh? That is, well, she actually was the one who…"
Snape rolled his eyes. "You mean you made her ask you? It didn't occur to you to invite her along? Didn't you think she would enjoy it?" Now that he put it like that, Harry did feel badly about not realizing how Hermione must have felt. "Or did you want to exclude her?" Harry squirmed. No wonder Hermione had gotten so upset. What a rotten friend he had been.
"No, I did want her along. I just didn't think…" Harry trailed off dismally as Snape scowled at him. The professor hated it when he used that excuse. Not that it was untrue, it just irked Snape no end when he didn't stop and consider things.
"One hundred lines of 'I will think about my actions and not cause others pain with my thoughtlessness.'" Snape snapped.
"Yes, sir," Harry sighed resignedly. "Does that mean Hermione can stay?"
"Yes," Snape gestured to where Harry's friends hovered nervously at the threshold, and they tentatively entered his quarters. "Welcome, Miss Granger."
"Thank you, Professor," she said politely. "Your quarters are very nice. I like the green and black color scheme."
Ron and Harry exchanged looks of bewilderment. They had never even noticed the color scheme, let alone complimented the Potion Master on it.
"I can see that you will add a much needed level of civility to the gathering," Snape replied. "Not that that is saying very much.
"Very well, here are the rules. Mr Potter, you are still to attend extra lessons with me at least five nights a week. You may invite Mr Weasely and/or Miss Granger along on no more than three of those nights. Mr Weasley, I may also summon you to work in the laboratory. Those nights are considered detentions and will be treated as such."
"That means no biscuits," Harry whispered to Ron.
"Indeed," Snape agreed. "However, on nights when you are working on the essays that I have assigned you, you are welcome to join the rest of us."
Ron grinned in relief. Since he was really here for punishment, unlike Harry and Hermione, he had wondered if Snape was going to treat him differently than the other two. It was reassuring to hear that they would all be treated the same here in the quarters. He understood that it was different on the nights that he had to work with disgusting things out in the Potions lab. Frankly, he didn't really have much appetite for tea and biscuits after slicing and deboning and pulping and filleting and skinning potion ingredients. He'd be just as glad to be dismissed and head straight to a hot shower.
"The rules for you, Miss Granger, are that no books from my personal library are to leave these quarters. You may look at the bookshelves but do not touch any of the books. If there is one you would like to see, you will ask my permission and if granted, I will retrieve the book for you. I do not answer homework questions, but if you need help, I will provide references wherein you may find the answers. I will, upon request, review your essays and Mr Weasley's. I review all of Mr Potter's essays despite his requests to the contrary." Snape permitted himself a brief smile, while behind his back, Harry made a face. "I saw that, Mr Potter. Behave yourself or I will hex your face to stay that way. To continue, Miss Granger, you will conduct yourself with decorum at all times, and you will under no circumstance expect our time here to alter my treatment of you elsewhere. If your behavior fails to meet my expectations, you will – at the least – be told to leave, and your return will not be easily accomplished. I do not, however, restrict myself from levying additional penalties against you. Do you understand?"
"Yes, sir!" Hermione said quickly.
"Very well," Snape relaxed with a look of resignation. "What is your favorite type of biscuit?"
Author's Note: Thank you and mega-hugs to all you wonderful reviewers! I really appreciate the compliments and the constructive criticism. It is such a thrill to hear that you like my take on JKR's universe and want more stories featuring my version of her characters. I will do my best to come up with some new stories - your reviews certainly provide plenty of motivation. :)