A few things:
- Obviously if you haven't read part one to this story you probably should or else you may be a bit confused.
- I know that there is a lot from part one that needs to be resolved and it will be - promise.
- As always, enjoy and feel free to tell me what you love or hate about it but please do so nicely.
The bell on the door chimed loudly, alerting the older man that someone had entered his shop.
He moved quickly from the back storage room and down the middle aisle. It had been less than a quarter of an hour since he had opened for the day. He was surprised that he had a customer so soon. Weekdays were usually less busy in the morning. His first customer normally trickled in around ten.
He slowed to a stop as he carefully eyed the man standing next to the bird feed. He was dressed in black slacks and a black shirt. His hair was the color of coal. The strangest part of his appearance though was the long black coat that he wore - it nearly touched the floor.
"In need of bird feed?" He questioned hoping that the man hadn't come to make trouble.
Snape's eyes took the muggle in as he shook his head. "Not at the moment. I am actually hoping for assistance in purchasing a dog." Snape felt the overwhelming urge to cast a silencing spell on himself and exit the store at once. He was absolutely sure that allowing Harry to have a pet dog would only result in a headache. Still, he had given Harry goals to meet for obtaining his pet and the child had risen to the occasion. His grades at the end of the school term had been impeccable and since the Sirius Black debacle he had managed to keep himself out of major trouble. There had been one instance in which he had acted out in class that had resulted in a smarting bottom, but aside from that the child had really been exceptionally well behaved.
He also had not pestered his guardian for a dog which the man was forever grateful for. Even with the passing of his fourteenth birthday he had not mentioned it. Snape had gifted him a very expensive set of books on Defensive spells. Of course Harry had thanked him a dozen times but Snape could see the disappointment in the boy's eyes. Clearly he had been hoping for something else.
Snape had already had the idea to purchase the animal while Harry was vising the Burrow. With the child scheduled to come home the following evening it would make the perfect surprise. Snape only hoped that he would have luck finding the perfect canine.
"We just got a litter of puppies in," the man replied with a hint of affection in his eyes. "Real cute – pure bred bulldogs." The man looked Snape over once more. "What line of work are you?"
For a fleeting moment Snape regretted not dressing in muggle attire. Before he had left the house he had debated using a quick spell that would change his normal clothing into something more suitable in the muggle world. He quickly pushed the thought from his mind. The man before him was wearing a pair of old jeans that had a rip forming in the knee – Snape nearly crinkled his nose at the sight. "I am a professor at a boarding school," Snape replied. "It is due to my profession that I do not think a puppy is the best option. The animal will be a gift for my son and we do not have the time to train it. I was hoping for something a bit older."
"I assume that your wife and son will care for the dog while you are teaching?"
Snape would have liked to tell the man to mind his own bloody business but he refrained from doing so. "I am not married and my son attends the school at which I teach, however my maid has agreed to care for the animal." He supposed that Minka was the muggle equivalent of a maid though he did not enjoy referring to her as such.
The man nodded in approval. "I only have one dog that is a bit older, goes by the name of Bane. He's a mixed breed and eight years old, well past the puppy stage. He should have been shipped out ages ago, right after he didn't sell as a puppy, but I took a liking to him; kept him around."
"Good with children I presume?" Snape questioned.
"Excellent with children," the man replied. "He's really well- mannered, smart too, though he can be a bit mischievous from at times."
Snape smirked at these words. He knew a boy that could fit that exact description. "Might I have the opportunity to meet the canine?"
The man turned, waving his hand to motion for Snape to follow him. He walked back down the aisle and at the end turned to the right.
Snape followed him, halting to a stop as he saw the black dog staring up at him, his tail wagging widely.
"Like I said he's well trained and friendly as hell to boot."
Snape approached the small fence that surrounded the animal and once close enough reached a hand over. The dog sniffed his hand and then instantly licked it.
"Friendly as hell," the man repeated once more.
Snape gently scratched the animal behind his right ear causing the dog's tail to wag even harder. "He seems like a fine match," he finally decided.
The man smiled widely. "I suppose you'll need food for him?"
"Indeed," Snape replied as he stood straight once more. "As well as a bed and a few toys I suppose."
The man nodded clearly excited about his sale as he turned and rushed back down the aisle.
Snape smiled softly down at the dog. "You are going to make a certain fourteen year old quite happy."
"What on earth were the two of you thinking," she shrieked loudly. Before either of them could reply she continued on. "I would have thought that you learned your lesson already when it came to this but clearly I was wrong!"
"No mum we did," he replied in a nervous voice. He glanced at his best friend who quickly nodded in agreement.
Harry could feel his stomach churning at the situation that they were in.
They really hadn't meant to end up hovering over the house in Mr. Weasley's flying car. Ron had only wanted to show him that his dad had gotten the muggle radio in it working. Apparently he had hit the wrong button though. Harry had contemplated jumping from the car as it quickly soared into the sky. He still wasn't sure that doing so wouldn't have been favorable over the predicament he was in now. He had seen Mrs. Weasley angry plenty of times but it was very unusual for her anger to be directed at him.
"You obviously didn't Ronald or you wouldn't have been so much as five feet near that blasted car!"
"I only wanted to show Harry that the radio is working now," Ron replied trying desperately to explain.
Harry felt Ron's weight shift next to him. He silently hoped that she would let it go. That she would somehow morph into a different version of herself, one that was much more lenient with misbehaving children.
"I don't care what you were trying to show him. You were told multiple times to stay out of it! If Percy hadn't seen you go past his window you would still be out there hovering, that is if you didn't crash!"
"We're really sorry," Harry offered speaking up for the first time since they had been ushered into the kitchen.
Ron quickly nodded in agreement. "Really, really sorry."
Harry's two front teeth bit down on his bottom lip as he prayed that Mrs. Weasley would have pity on them. He had managed to stay out of trouble for ages now. He didn't want his streak to end like this.
"Harry were you aware that you weren't supposed to be near the car?"
He could easily lie. No one had been outside with them when Ron had confessed to him that technically he wasn't allowed anywhere near the magical vehicle let alone in it. The lesson had been pounded into his brain – and his bum – months ago though, lying wasn't the answer. "Yeah," he nodded. "Ron told me."
He could feel his best mate's eyes boring into him but he didn't care. Even if he had likely sealed their fate it still wouldn't be as bad as being caught in a lie.
"To your room," she said to her son. "The both of you."
Harry let out a small sigh of relief. He would stay in Ron's room until he went home if it meant that Snape would never find out what they had done.
"I'll be up shortly," she continued. "Harry pack your things, you'll be going home."
Harry felt his stomach flip at the words. A feeling of dread that he hadn't felt in weeks filled his body.
"But mum," Ron tried.
"You are in enough trouble as it is Ronald!" She cut him off in a stern tone. "Wait until your father gets home from work and hears of this stunt."
Ron's face instantly turned as red as his hair. Harry didn't have a doubt that his best mate was going to suffer the same fate that he would.
The two boys scurried out of the room and up the winding staircase.
"Awe did little Ronnie get himself into trouble?" Fred teased as they stepped onto the second floor.
"Flying daddy's car again?" George questioned in a mock parental tone. He made a disapproving tsk-tsk sound.
"Shut it the both of you," Ron replied. His face turned red with embarrassment as he pushed by the twins and stormed down the hall to his room.
"Tough break that you have to go home Harry," George said in a voice that sounded sincerely disappointed.
"Tough break that he has to face Snape," Fred added.
Harry felt his ears burn at the words and he prayed that the twins didn't notice. He turned his head in the direction of Ron's bedroom as he heard the door shut. "I uh- have to go pack."
"Good luck Harry," Fred said in a sad tone.
Harry pushed the bedroom door open to find Ron sitting on the edge of his bed. The moment his best mate spotted him the red head jumped to his feet.
"Harry I'm sorry," he said in a sincere voice. "I should never have suggested it. It was a dumb idea."
"It's okay," Harry replied as he picked up his satchel from its spot on Ron's desk chair. He picked up his Quidditch magazine from on top of the desk and quickly pushed it inside. "I knew that we weren't supposed to. I could have said no."
"I can't believe that you told my mum that you knew," Ron remarked as he handed Harry a stray sock that had somehow wound up on his nightstand. "You could have lied. She never would have known."
Harry shrugged. He honestly couldn't believe that he had told her either. "Snape hates when I lie," he muttered as he shoved the last of his things into the satchel. He picked up his wand and pushed it into the back pocket of his jeans. He knew that his reasoning sounded stupid at best. There was no way that Snape would have ever learned the truth.
"How would he know?"
Harry shrugged once more. He didn't know how to explain that it didn't matter if Snape knew that he had lied, Harry would know that he had – that was enough.
"Is he gonna be real mad?" Ron questioned as he sat back down on his bed. There was no denying the concern in his voice.
Another shrug. He wasn't sure why he hadn't responded or even just nodded. There wasn't a doubt in his mind that Snape would be mad. He had been told numerous times that if he got in trouble at The Burrow – or anywhere else – he would be in trouble at home too. "Probably," Harry finally managed to answer. His throat was dry, causing the word to stick to it like an unwanted particle of food. He didn't want to think about his guardian or the fact that he was being sent home a day early for misbehavior. He was holding on to a small glimmer of hope that he could just talk to Snape and everything would be fine.
"Harry," Mrs. Weasley's voice echoed up the stairs. "Let's go dear."
Her voice caused Harry to spring to attention. "I'll owl you later," Harry promised as he pulled Ron's bedroom door open before throwing his satchel over his shoulder.
"Don't bother. I'll probably be grounded until we go back to Hogwarts."
"I'm probably going to lose my broom," Harry offered in an attempt to make his best mate feel better.
"If I had a broom my mum would probably use it as firewood," Ron replied forcing a small chuckle.
"Harry," Mrs. Weasley called once more, louder this time.
"See ya," Ron said sadly.
"Bye," Harry replied before he hurried down the hallway.
He rushed down the staircase before Mrs. Weasley could call him a third time.
Snape sat in his armchair, his eyes fixed on the fireplace as he waited for Harry to come through the floo. His temper was fuming. It had been ten minutes since Molly had said that she would be sending the boy home. Another five minutes, Snape decided, and he would go fetch his delinquent himself. Just as quickly as the thought entered his mind he forced it out. Doing so would only end badly and he knew it. He was far too angry for such things.
It had been months since Harry had been in such serious trouble. Naively Snape had truly believed that perhaps such misbehavior was a thing of the past.
The fireplace roared to life, seconds later his child appearing.
He could not deny that Harry looked tremendously remorseful as he stepped into the living room.
"Hi," the boy offered in a soft voice.
Snape's face was stern, unwavering.
"Can I at least explain before you go mental?" Harry quickly asked.
Snape resisted the urge to snort at the request. It was a question that Harry had asked in the past and one that Snape always agreed to. He preferred it over the requisition to promise not to go mental at all – a vow that Snape never made. "May you," he corrected his child in a harsh tone. "And yes you may."
"Ron said that Mr. Weasley got the muggle radio working," Harry said as he sat down on the couch. He dropped his satchel at his feet. He had the sudden realization of how much his relationship with his guardian had changed. It had been nearly a year to the day since Dumbledore had met him at The Leaky Cauldron and proposed that the Potions teacher be his guardian. Last year if he had misbehaved at The Burrow, Harry liked would have been walloped the second his feet made contact with the parlor floor. Any discussion would have been saved for afterwards. "He was just going to show me. We never meant to actually fly it."
"Regardless of what you intended to do you weren't even to be near the car. Were you aware of that?"
"Yes Sir," Harry answered without a moment of hesitation.
Snape's eyebrows rose in shock. He had expected the boy to deny his knowledge of the rule. "Yet that did not stop you from doing so," Snape mused sternly. "You are lucky that you didn't plummet from the sky. You could have killed yourself."
Harry could feel the lump growing in his throat. "I'm sorry," he said in a voice that he didn't recognize as his own. "I wasn't thinking."
Snape observed the child's demeanor. His eyes were downcast through Snape could see the tears rimming them.
He had little desire to dole out a punishment. Despite his anger and disappointment over the situation he wasn't fond of his role as Harry's sole disciplinarian. Still, the child had done something foolish – inexcusable. Had that blasted car malfunctioned, Snape would be at St. Mungo's right now likely praying that the boy would survive. No, he decided, Harry's poor decision could not be excused without consequences.
Harry looked up at him, his face full of remorse.
Snape raised his hand and with the crook of his finger summoned his child to him.
"I'm sorry," Harry offered not making any attempt to move. He didn't want to disobey his guardian but he hated this. He hated that he had upset the man that he had grown to love more than he would ever be able to say. He hated that the same man was disappointed in him enough to feel as though he needed to be punished. He hated that after months of behaving and avoiding this dreaded punishment he was finding himself in this position. There wasn't a doubt in his mind that he didn't know what was coming. He was sure that his knowledge of his fate was written all over his face.
"I do not doubt that you are," Snape replied. "Given your current position I would be surprised if you were not." He crooked his finger once more. "That does not change the fact that there are absolutely consequences to your actions."
Snape breathed a sigh of relief as Harry stood. He had been hopeful that the boy would comply without further argument.
Slowly Harry approached his guardian. "I could be grounded," he mumbled.
Once he was close enough Snape gently took ahold of the boy's wrist. "I don't believe that grounding you in addition to smacking your backside will be necessary, however, if you feel as though it is it can certainly be arranged."
Harry shook his head, his ears burning at Snape's words. "Not in addition."
An annoyed eyebrow raised on Snape's face. "As always how I choose to punish you is not up for negotiation. As it stands you should be thanking your lucky stars that I haven't summoned the paddle," Snape chided as he released Harry's wrist and reaching out popped open the button on his jeans. His hands traveled north, carefully removing the boy's glasses from his face. He placed them on the end table before beginning to tip the child over his knee.
Snape smiled softly as he spotted the wand in the child's back pocket. If there was one lesson that had stuck it was the importance of keeping his wand on him at all times. When he had left for The Burrow two days prior Snape had questioned where it was and Harry had pulled it from his satchel. Though Snape was pleased that he had it with him he had lightly scolded his son that he needed to keep it in his pocket or his holder, digging through his satchel to find it when it was needed would hardly be ideal.
Carefully Snape pulled the wand out of the back pocket and placed it next to the boy's glasses. He spontaneously decided that the child's ability to listen to his lecturing and follow direction would earn him the right to have his bottom clothed.
Snape raised his hand and brought it down smartly on the jean clad backside. A small yelp escaped Harry but he was nearly certain that it was due to shock rather than pain.
His hand fell ten more times, the child over his lap now crying quite audibly. He debated scolding the boy as his hand fell the last four times but thought better of it. Harry knew why what he had done was wrong and he likely wasn't in a position to retain any information anyway.
Seconds after his hand fell for the final time Snape found himself gently rubbing the child's back softly reassuring him. He rolled his eyes at his own behavior. A year prior he would have cursed someone had they suggested such treatment of the boy. It often amazed him how much he had grown to love his son.
Carefully he helped Harry to his feet. As was often the case, the teenager fell into his arms, sobbing loudly into his chest.
"That certainly was not undeserved." His voice was no longer stern but comforting.
"I know," Harry choked out.
"I have said it before and I will say it again, I simply cannot allow you to make careless mistakes, you're worth too much to me Harry."
The tears fell harder as he hugged his guardian a bit tighter and wiped his face on the man's shirt. No matter how often he was reminded of it he still was somewhat amazed by how much Snape cared for him. Despite his reckless behavior he never took what he had with his guardian for granted. He knew how fortunate he was to have someone that truly cared if he put himself in harm's way.
"Is it necessary to use me as your personal hanky?" Snape asked in a tone that sounded much less annoyed than he would have cared for.
Harry shrugged not caring if he was scolded for it. His guardian wasn't nearly as stern as he had been only moments ago and he was thankful for it. He would have been perfectly content staying in the man's arms, his face buried in his chest for the rest of his life. He wished he knew how to get there without getting into some kind of trouble first.
"Into the lavatory with you," Snape instructed. "Wash your face and clean yourself up. Afterwards you can come back here as I have something for you."
Harry pulled away from his guardian and looked up at him with a curious face.
"Not that you deserve a gift in the least mind you," Snape chided gently. "When Mrs. Weasley informed me of your behavior I had half a mind to return it."
"What is it?" Harry couldn't help but ask.
"Lavatory," Snape repeated his request. "Wash your face and clean yourself up."
Harry wasted no time hurrying in the direction of the lavatory. The moment that the boy was out of his sight Snape smiled softly to himself. He had left the canine in the backyard after Minka and Kermy had inspected the fence that surrounded the property and made certain that there were no areas in which the dog could escape.
"Done," Harry announced his presence as he ran back into the parlor.
"You will be if you continue to run around this house as though you were raised by a troll," Snape replied as he stood. "You can easily spend the remainder of your summer holiday in your room writing lines."
Harry nearly rolled his eyes in response but stopped himself before doing so. He knew that Snape would never make good on his words.
Snape snapped his fingers causing Minka to appear at his feet. The small elf bowed deeply before looking up to the man for her instructions.
"Despite the fact that our young ward should be spending the remainder of the day in his room thinking about his poor decision making skills I have decided that now would be a suitable time to give him his belated birthday present."
Harry felt his cheeks prickle at Snape's words. It was bad enough that he knew that Minka and Kermy could see everything that happened in the house and therefore were all too aware of his punishment, Snape really didn't have to bring it up too. Still, Harry could hardly be cross with the man. After all, he had gotten him another birthday present.
"Please show Harry to his present Minka," Snape continued.
Minka bowed deeply in understanding before turning her attention to Harry. "Follow please Master Harry," she said in her soft voice before turning and walking towards the kitchen.
Harry gave Snape a curious look but the man merely smiled softly in reply.
Snape followed the pair of them into the kitchen. He instantly opened his cupboard full of draughts and pretended to be taking stock. He wasn't sure why he suddenly felt the need to appear busy. There was a part of him that wanted nothing more than to go outside with them and see Harry's initial reaction to his new dog. He wouldn't allow himself to do so though. The idea of acting silly over something so ridiculous was preposterous.
Seconds later the backdoor closed behind Harry and Snape found himself stealing glances out of the large window that overlooked the yard. He grinned as he watched Bane run towards Harry, a moment later the two of them rolling around on the grass together Harry's face covered in slobber.
Snape's attention quickly went back to his stock of potions as he saw Harry running the direction of the house, the dog right behind him.
The back door swung open loudly. Not even five seconds later Snape felt Harry's body slam into his own. If it weren't for the counter in front of Snape the pair would have fallen to the floor.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you!" Harry exclaimed as he hugged Snape tightly. Bane jumped happily at their feet.
"You will be responsible for him," Snape forced himself to sound solemn. "You will feed him and see that he is let outside. You will bathe him as well as play with him daily so that he is not over energized."
"I promise," Harry nodded as he squeezed Snape a bit tighter.
"I mean it Harry," Snape replied. "If he is not cared for he will go back to the pet shop."
"He will be," Harry promised. "Just thank you so much!"
Snape grinned softly as his hand gently ruffled his son's hair. Despite the misbehavior that they had just dealt with Snape could not deny how well things had been going with the two of them. When Sirius Black had entered their relationship months prior, he had been sure that the man's existence would only harm the relationship that he had with Harry but he had been proven wrong. If anything things had only gotten better with the child. If the boy's behavior in the last few months was any indication of things Snape knew that Harry would not let him down when it came to Bane either. "You are so very welcome."