Author's Note: Okay, so I'm trying to write a German paper right now (yes, in German) and I had this idea kicking around in my head for a long time. It just won't leave me alone, so I decided to let you all have a bit of fun as well. I think this posting will lead to others, so this is going to be my "An Aunt's Love – Deleted Scenes" version. So, things that were supposed to make it into the story but didn't are here, as well as random quirks my brain produced that were funny but didn't belong in the story. Oh, I'm sure you all get the point.
"Stupid, spoiled, arrogant, Gryffindor brat!" Snape mumbled to himself as he and Zareh left Hogwarts' grounds.
"Don't hold back." Zareh commented flippantly. "Tell us how you really feel." The man sent Snape a grin worthy of a Hufflepuff and folded his hands behind his back. "You do know where he lives, right?" He asked as Snape pulled out a portkey.
"Unfortunately." Snape gestured for Zareh to take hold of the portkey and whispered the password to activate it. The tug came and went, leaving the two men in an alleyway down the street from Potter's house. "Muggle life." Snape muttered as he eyed the cookie cutter houses with disdain. "How droll."
"Didn't you grow up in a house like these, Severus?" Zareh asked as he followed Snape down the sidewalk.
"I've repressed those memories, thank you very much." Snape growled as he whirled on Zareh. "I'll ask you not to mention it again, William."
"Sure thing, Severus." Zareh said with his hands in the classic surrender position. "So, what number are we looking for?" He asked curiously.
"Four." Snape growled. "Expect wards." He warned Zareh as he continued down the sidewalk.
"Wards, shmards." Zareh muttered. "This is the actual Harry Potter we're going after, right?" Zareh asked. "I'd hate for this to be a wild goose chase."
"You used to be quiet." Snape said. "What happened?"
"Caffeine." Zareh told him with a smile.
"Ah." Snape was well aware of the effects of caffeine on a person. Draco had learned not to ask anything of Snape until after the man had some form of caffeine. "That nasty side effect will wear off in time?" He asked.
"Yes. In fact, it's going now." Zareh told him calmly. "There, I'm calm now." Zareh lapsed into silence, leaving Snape to wonder what would happen if Zareh combined lemon drops and caffeine. The evidence of the Headmaster's actions combined with the effects of caffeine could prove to be quite... "Ow." Zareh said after some consideration from the pavement.
"I believe," Snape said as he peeled himself from the ground and gained his feet, "that we have found the wards to Number Four." He pulled Zareh up and turned to study the invisible wall.
"Muggles have to notice this." Zareh snorted.
"Yes, they would, if they had magic." Snape sneered at Zareh.
"Oh, right." Zareh gave Snape a sheepish look.
"God save me from fools." Snape muttered to himself. "How on earth did you receive the Defense post?" Snape raised an eyebrow.
"I'm an Auror." Zareh said. "That's enough for Dumbledore."
"Hmm. The Headmaster must be slipping." Snape said as he took out his wand and cast a Notice-Me-Not charm on himself and Zareh.
"Prat." Zareh returned as he turned to stare at the invisible wall.
"Brainless." Snape hesitated to even think it, but he felt that he and this Zareh person could be...acquaintances.
"Bat." Zareh spat as he raised his wand at the ward. "This is tightly woven. Whoever did this didn't want anyone to get through."
"The Headmaster did want to allow wizards through. Just not wizards that could harm the brat." Snape told him. "Several Order members were able to come and go before this and I doubt the Headmaster would have sent us had he known that the wards have changed." Snape sighed and decided that the only way he could finish this fool's errand was to convince the wards themselves that he meant no harm to the boy. Wonderful. "Think benevolent thoughts, Zareh." Snape said as he grabbed Zareh's arm and paced up to the ward wall and allowed his body to brush the surface. I can not believe that I am broadcasting good will to Harry Potter's wards. He thought to himself under his shields.
He had to spend the next fifteen minutes thinking nice thoughts about the Boy-Who-Lived. I'm in my worst nightmare. The wards had accepted him, examined him, and released him to move forward in those fifteen minutes. It had felt like the longest period of brewing he had ever needed to accomplish. Boring and fraught with possible danger. Zareh was waiting for him with a foppish grin on his face.
"One would think you don't like Potter." Zareh said. "I was allowed through almost immediately.
"'Ask me no questions...'" Snape quoted. "Let's just get this over with." Snape said testily. "I have things to do at the castle."
"Right." Zareh said as he stopped at the door and rang the doorbell. Looks like he's had some experience with Muggles...must be his Auror training. Or background. Snape's musing was cut short when a thin woman opened the front door. Snape saw her take in their appearance of wizarding robes and watched as her defenses went up. He sent out a quick probe of Legillmency and found that nothing was readily available.
"We're here for Potter." Snape told her.
"Harry's not here." She told him.
"What?" Snape snapped. If that boy is out doing anything foolish or reckless, he will answer to me.
"I sent him to school." Petunia said calmly. "He's not here."
Snape stared at her for a few seconds. If Potter's not here and he wasn't on the train with the others, where in the world is he?
"He didn't arrive with the other students, ma'am." Zareh said politely. "We're just here to take him to school. We're both on Hogwarts' staff." Zareh explained to the woman. "I'm Professor William Zareh and this is my colleague, Professor Severus Snape." Zareh's skills as a 'gentleman' were renowned in the Auror corps. Too bad the skills didn't work here.
"I couldn't care less where you are from." Petunia told them. "Harry is not here. He's at school."
"He didn't arrive at the school, Mrs. Dursley." Zareh said.
"Young man, do you think I am stupid?" Petunia asked in a dangerous voice. "I am getting tired of repeating myself, so I'm only going to say this once more: Harry is not here. I sent him to school. Good day, gentlemen." Petunia shut the door firmly and Snape found himself doing something very un-Snape-like. He gaped.
"Did she just do that?" Zareh asked.
"Obviously." Snape said as his mind told him he was doing something undignified and that he better stop before Zareh lost all respect for him. "She's hiding the boy." Snape decided. "The brat probably didn't want to leave home." Snape surmised as he raised his wand and cast the unlocking spell.
He stepped into the Muggle home and felt his skin crawl. It was so...clean. Obsessively so.
"How dare you come into my home?" Petunia shrieked from the doorway leading into the kitchen. "I've already said the boy is not here. Now get out before I call the police!
"The boy is not at Hogwarts, either." Snape told her. "We are not leaving until we have Potter." Snape told her, raising his wand.
"Who says I sent him to Hoggity's?" She demanded. Zareh was very quiet next to Snape. The Potions Master turned to study his partner and noticed that the man was afraid of the woman. What a fabulous Auror. I feel so very safe with him along. Pathetic.
"You sent him elsewhere?" Snape asked. Good Merlin. Potter loose in a foreign magical school. The Continent will not survive. "Where?"
"I refuse to tell you. The boy is still my nephew and I will send him where I like for school. Now, get out and tell that man to leave my nephew alone." Petunia pointed to the door and waited for them to leave.
"William, check upstairs for the boy." Snape told him as he pushed past Petunia. "I will check down here." Snape didn't wait for Zareh to move before he started to look around. Something was off in this house.
"What do you think you're doing?" Petunia demanded as she followed Snape into the sitting room. "You are breaking the law, even your kind have laws!" She said. "Leave now."
"Not without the boy." Snape told her firmly.
"He's not here!" Petunia nearly shouted with exasperation. "Wait until my husband gets home. He'll toss you out on your ear."
"I doubt that very much, madam." Snape said with a sniff. "I'm the man with the wand." Snape told her.
"Did you just threaten me?" She demanded.
"I never threaten." Snape told her with a malicious grin. He didn't usually engage in Muggle baiting, but this was particularly enjoyable.
"Oh, I see. You don't threaten. I guess you must know what a threat sounds like." She said calmly. "I am giving you and your associate exactly three seconds to leave my home or I will toss you out myself." She said with a glare.
"I'd like to see you try." Snape said as he moved into the next room.
"One." Petunia started to count down behind him. Was this woman actually...? "Two." She said as she pointed at the door. Merlin, she was! Snape only raised an eyebrow at her. She was being extremely serious about this. "Three." She grabbed hold of Snape's arm and started to drag him to the door.
Snape only rolled his eyes as Zareh came down the stairs to witness this predicament. This fell under self-defense, correct? "Pet-." His eye only had a second to process the image of a fist coming at him before he felt pain explode behind his eye. He let out a terrific swear word he only used after a brutal session with the Dark Lord.
"Whoa." Zareh said from behind him on the staircase. "She was serious." Snape wanted to strangle the man for the slight hint of awe in his voice.
"Out! Out! OUT!" Snape felt himself pushed out of the house and Zareh bashed into him as the woman slammed the door. The man's head slammed into Snape's face, reinforcing the wonderful sensation of swelling and bruising from the punch.
"I could cheerfully kill you at this moment." Snape ground out as he straightened from his slight crouch.
"I didn't think you did anything cheerfully." Zareh commented. He paused and stared at Snape's already bruised eye. "That looks nasty." He told Snape.
"Thank you, William. I wasn't aware of that!" Snape had to stamp his homicidal urge into the pavement. Dumbledore would not be pleased if he had to find another Defense teacher so soon into the term.
Snape felt the wards tighten and wondered how that was possible. The woman was a Muggle! She shouldn't be able to do that. Snape had a feeling there was more to these wards than Dumbledore was willing to say. He straightened and glared at Zareh. "Let's get back to Hogwarts." He said gravely. "The headmaster needs to know about this."
Snape stalked away from the Muggle house and wondered exactly where Potter was. He couldn't wait to take house points away for the indignity of his blackened eye.
Author's Note: I promised to post something like this ages ago, but somehow forgot to do so. I hope you liked it!